Sony refreshes VAIO Z series with Ivy Bridge, price now starts at $1,600 without the docking station
In case you didn’t notice, Sony completely revamped its laptop lineup this morning. Unlike some of the other models on offer, the high-end Z series didn’t get a redesign, but Sony at least took the opportunity to refresh it with new Ivy Bridge processors. Oh, and lower the starting price. The Z will no longer be bundled with the Power Media Dock, that external hub housing both a discrete GPU and optical drive. As such, the laptop will now start at $1,600, down from $2,000, while the dock will retail for an additional $400. Spec-wise, the Z still weighs a scant 2.6 pounds, but it’s now constructed from carbon fiber and will be offered with a glossy finish. It will also be available with quad-core Ivy Bridge CPUs, though the starting model’s processor is dual-core. Otherwise, it offers nearly the same specs as the model we reviewed last year, including a 1080p display and solid-state RAID drives. Look for the refresh sometime this month, and in the meantime we’ve included pics below to jog your memory on what this guy looks like.
What’s a chip maker to do after successfully hawking five million of its Fusion APUs? Why, expand the line, of course! A leaked slide deck from within the lairs of AMD is showing off quite a bit of the company’s upcoming roadmap, and while a good deal of it has already been made public in one way or another, there’s one term that’s causing all sorts of buzz — and for good reason. Desna is the name to know, a Z-Series APU that’s aimed squarely at the tablet form factor. To date, only a handful of chips have managed to slide into slates, and while we always reckoned that a version of Fusion could really give those ARM-based alternatives a run for their money, it wasn’t clear if AMD actually had one that would handle the power and heat requirements. Based on these sheets — dated this month, for what it’s worth — the Z-Series chip will offer Flash compatibility, DirectX 11 support and IE9 / HTML5 acceleration, and that’s just for starters. Head on down to the links below for the full skinny, but make sure you grab a cup of joe and unplug the line first. You’ll need a few, to say the least.