Sony Vaio Z: Thunderbolt-packing Apple Macbook Air rival revealed

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Sony have revealed their new Vaio Z laptop, and it has one target squarely in its sights; the svelte Apple MacBook Air.

The 13-inch 1600 x 900 resolution machine weighs just 1.8kg and is 16.65 mm thick, which compares favourably with the MacBook Air’s 1.32kg heft and 17mm thickness.

Get into the inner workings of the Vaio Z and you’ve got an Intel Core i7-2620M at 2.70GHz, with Turbo Boost overclocking pushing that up to 3.40GHz. 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM and as much as 256GB SSD RAID storage can also be factored into configurations.

A Quick Boot option fires up the laptop in seconds, while a backlit keyboard is another bonus over the Air. The Vaio ‘everywair’ feature uses 3G WWAN to connect up to mobile broadband operators in optional set-ups too. A HD web camera with Exmor tech is also included, while a full HD 1080p LCD screen can also be added on.

The size of the laptop does mean that battery life and DVD drives take a hit, but Sony have a get-around fix for those issues in the shape of a “Sheet Battery” add-on, bringing the laptops regular 7hour battery an extra 7 hours of juice, and the “Power Media Dock”, which adds a DVD or Blu-ray drive alongside HDMI, VGA, Thunderbolt connectivity and a 1 GB RAM boost.

So what’s the catch? That’ll be the price; at £2,699 it’s almost double the cost of a MacBook Air. Spot this one in shops from July.

Gerald Lynch