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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.

Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.