Hands-On Video: Sony VAIO Z Series

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Earlier tonight, at the Highbar on the roof of the Hilton in midtown Manhattan, we got our hands on one of the svelter models in Sony's new lineup, the VAIO Z series. Sporting a 13-inch widescreen display and weighing 3.3 pounds, this is a very attractive ultraportable, and part of a number of new models of Centrino 2 notebooks that Sony is releasing. After the jump, take a look at our video and initial impressions of this stylish ultraportable. And stay tuned for our full review.

They keyboard is a continuation of the design that proved popular in previous VAIO models, even if it does resemble those on Macbooks. Even so, if any computer manufacturer can best compete with Apple on style, it's Sony. We were impressed with the ports Sony was able to put on the sides of the Z, including an HDMI port. After all, who wants to be stuck watching a Blu-ray movie on a 13-inch display? Yes, Blu-ray comes as an option, and the success of this line of notebooks will be as much a factor in Sony proliferating the new high-def optical media as their PlayStation 3.

As you'll see in the video, the glossy display has one drawback: It's rather reflective. Even though the video was shot almost over the shoulder of Mark, we still got a bit of the late afternoon sun shining in the lens. However, at 13 inches, the chances that more than one person is going to be looking at the screen at ony one time is pretty slim.

[flv:/flvs/SonyZSeries.flv 480 360]

The standard VAIO Z notebook will start at about $1,800 while the SSD model will go for around $2,300. Look for our full review of one of these units soon.