Sony barreled into CES earlier this year flaunting a 3D monster laptop boasting a 16-inch 1080p display, a built-in 3D transmitter and a fancy button that promised to instantly add an extra dimension to your boring “regular” 2D movies. It was the latest in the outfit’s VAIO F Series, and it was ready to snatch $2,000 straight out of your wallet — but not all of us can throw down that kind of scratch. Still looking for a suitably powerful desktop-replacement that won’t decimate your bank account? That same 2011 VAIO F Series rig just might be your ticket, sans 3D trickery — and knocked down to a base price of $980. Does this somewhat more budget-friendly variant still pack enough punch to knockout your hefty desktop PC? Let’s find out.
Having trouble keeping Sony’s slim VAIO S series laptops straight? It’s okay, we are, too, especially now that the company’s officially unveiled the SA series, a 13.3-inch ultraportable that’s poised to go toe to toe with the skinny Lenovo ThinkPad X1. Although it’s got almost the same magnesium-and-alloy chassis as the VAIO SB series we saw at CES, the SA is a hair thinner, at 0.95 inches, and comes standard with AMD Radeon HD 6630 graphics and 1GB of video memory, 1600 x 900 resolution, a 500GB hard drive, fingerprint reader, and a Blu-ray drive. You can also trick it out with a dual channel solid-state drive, which promises to help let you work up to 16 hours unplugged if you combine it with a $100 sheet battery. If you fork out a minimum of $1,650, you can snag one with an SSD.
If the SA’s $1,350 starting price is more than you’re willing to spend, there’s still the SB series, though the $999 base model naturally has less impressive specs, including 512MB of video memory, 1366 x 768 resolution, a DVD player, and a Core i5 — not Core i7 — processor. For what its worth, its color options now include pink and navy, if that floats your boat more than the high-end SA’s black, silver, and brown palette.
In other news, Sony’s also taking orders for the VAIO F Series, which comes in two flavors: one with a 16-inch 3D display with a 2D-to-3D conversion button, starting at $1,840, and a 16.4-inch 2D model with a more modest $1,100 base price. But if you want a 2D display with 1080p resolution and a Blu-ray drive, you can expect to pay at least $1,125. Both these and the SA series are up for pre-order today, with gussied-up photos below and full PR and past the break.