Sony's European branch has announced an update to its range of Vaio Z ultraportable laptops that will bring some seriously beefy specs to the same tiny and beautifully designed form factor. Two new models will be on offer starting March – the VPC-Z11Z9E and VPC-Z11X9E – with 2.66GHz and 2.4GHz Intel Core i7 processors, respectively, and Nvidia GeForce GT330M graphics capable of operating at full speed when needed or in "stamina mode" to scale down performance and save battery life – possibly reverting to Intel's built-in graphics.
They also have four SSD drives configured in RAID 0, offering either 256GB or 128GB of storage depending on the model, which Sony estimates will be able to load data at up to 6.2 times faster than a regular 5,400RPM notebook disk. Their 13.1-inch LED backlit displays will offer a 16:9 aspect ratio and 1,920 x 1,080 or 1,600 x 900 resolutions, there's a built-in DVD burner, plus HDMI-out to hook up with your HDTV.
Other notable features include 6GB of RAM on the VPC-Z11Z9E and 4GB on VPC-Z11X9E, a built-in ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the screen and keyboard backlights to optimal levels, 3G mobile broadband support, Wi-Fi n connectivity, and Microsoft's 64-bit version of Windows 7 Professional. Everything is packed inside a 210 x 23.8-32.7 x 314 mm carbon fiber and aluminum chassis that only weighs 1.43kg.
Sony did not mention anything regarding battery life but I wouldn't expect any breakthroughs considering all the punch these laptops are packing. Both new Vaio Z series laptops will arrive in March 2010 to Europe, with a U.S. rollout expected in April. No official pricing has been announced but Electronista suggests they'll start at $1,900.