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Sleek Sony VAIO S Promises Up to 15 Hours of Battery Life

Between the Apple MacBook Air, Samsung Series 9, ThinkPad X1, and Poretege R835, the 13-inch ultraportable laptop competition has turned fierce in 2011. Now it's time to add one more strong contender to the list. The new Sony VAIO S weighs just 3.6 pounds and measures 0.95 inches thin while packing a Core i7 processor, DVD drive, sharp 1600 x 900 display, and available AMD Radeon HD 6630 graphics. Starting price? $1,350. That's $50 more than the 13-inch Air, but we suspect many shoppers will pay more for the extra oomph. Plus, Sony rates the VAIO S for up to 15 hours of battery life.

No, that's not a typo, but you'll have to pay extra for that kind of epic endurance. When equipped with an optional sheet battery ($160) Sony says the VAIO S will last up to 15 hours when equipped with a solid state drive (which also costs more). Still, we like that you can charge the sheet battery separately. The VAIO S also has style, with three color options available: burnished brown, jet black, or platinum silver. Get more details below and check out the gallery.

Borrowing some technology from Sony cameras, the new VAIO S Series webcam uses an Exmor sensor that's designed to deliver better low-light performance. It also includes face tracking technology, so your mug will always be in focus. Other highlights include a backlit keyboard  and optional Blu-ray drive.

We can't wait to get our hands on a VAIO S--and that sheet battery--and put them to the test. In the meantime, feel free to peruse the gallery and tell us your favorite color option.