Sony's Vaio S-series has received a fresh coat of paint today, touting improved portability, performance and power efficiency. Measuring 13.04in wide, 8.84in deep and 0.95in thick, the updated system is about 0.13in thinner than its predecessor -- not to mention about half a pound lighter at 3.6lbs. Despite its ultraportable form-factor, the new Vaio S offers hardware typically found in full-size notebooks.
Configuration options include 2.3/2.5GHz Intel Core i5 and 2.7GHz Core i7 Sandy Bridge processors, 4GB to 8GB of DDR3-1333 RAM, along with AMD Radeon HD 6630M and 6470M discrete graphics chips. Storage is handled by up to a 750GB 5400RPM HDD or dual 500GB SSDs in a RAID 0 array, as well as a DVD or Blu-ray burner. You can also scrap the low-res 1366x768 13.3" display for a 1600x900 panel.
Sony says you can expect up to 7.5 hours of run time when the system is running with the default settings, but we suspect that figure rapidly diminishes with some of the beefier options above. The autonomy doubles to 15 hours if you purchase a $150 battery sheet, but again, we wouldn't expect that performance if you're packing a 1600x900 screen, Core i7 processor and dedicated Radeon graphics.
There doesn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary in terms of I/O with connectivity including one USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, VGA and HDMI outputs, SD Card and Memory Stick Duo slots, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and embedded mobile broadband options. Sony's latest Vaio S is currently available through the company's website for a starting price of $1,000.
Along with updating its ultraportable offering, Sony has revamped its Vaio F series for folks who demand a notebook with a little more pep in its step. The 16.4-incher boasts a 1080p display, a quad-core Core i7 processor , Nvidia GeForce GT 520M 512MB or 540M 1GB graphics, S-Force simulated surround sound technology, an HD webcam, and a backlit keyboard. Systems are available online from $800.