Although it's well-versed in developing thin-and-light machines, Sony has been slow to ship a machine under Intel's ultrabook branding. That's changed today with the company unveiling its new VAIO T series as part of a major refresh. The system, as you might expect, is touted as the ultimate travel companion, designed for students and professionals who demand snappy all-day performance in a sleek and stylish package.
The 13.3-inch machine has an aluminum and magnesium chassis and packs a typical 1366x768 display, an Intel Core i5-3317U ultra-low voltage processor (1.7GHz to 2.6GHz with TurboBoost), Intel HD 4000 graphics, a 500GB hard drive with 32GB of MLC NAND flash storage, 4GB of DDR3 1333MHz RAM, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit. A pricier model will carry a Core i7-3517U (1.9GHz to 3GHz) and a 256GB SSD.
Connectivity is fairly standard for what you'd expect on a business-oriented ultrabook with one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, HDMI and VGA ports, Ethernet and an SD card slot. The VAIO T13 doesn't have a backlit keyboard and it's a tad larger than some of the trimmer ultrabooks at 3.5lbs (1.58kg) and 0.71 inches (18mm) thick, but it also starts at an affordable $799, which makes its shortcomings relatively easy to overlook.
Sony has also updated the VAIO E, S, Z and L series. If you're looking for a high-end ultrabook-like machine, the company brags that its Z series has "long exceeded" Intel's ultrabook specifications. To celebrate VAIO's 15 year anniversary, Sony has introduced an exclusive carbon fiber Z series that weighs only 2.6lbs, has a 1080p anti-reflective display, a quad-core Ivy Bridge CPU, and SSDs in RAID. Pricing starts at $1,600.