Sony has finally joined the Ultrabook wars, and it's first model is cheaper than you might think. The VAIO T13 starts at $799, compared to $1,000 or more for other models, and features a sleek full-flat design and zippy Ivy Bridge processor. Sony has also unveiled four new E series VAIO notebooks with Sony's magazine-like "wrap" design, similar to the Sony Tablet S. Also common to the series is the ability to wake from sleep in two seconds and a backlit keyboard (except for the E11). The E14P is particularly intriguing because of its premium audio and optional music creation software from LL Cool J.
Say hello to Sony's first Ultrabook, the VAIO T13. It sports a brushed aluminum shell with Sony's angular "full-flat" design, similar to the Sony VAIO Z Series. Starting at $799, the machine measures just 0.71 inches thick, and weighs 3.4 pounds. This 13-incher packs a 3rd generation Intel Core processor, and shoppers can choose from a hybrid hard drive (500GB, 32GB SSD cache), or a full-blown SSD, up to 512GB in size. In our review of the T13, we liked its large, accurate touchpad and fast boot and wake from sleep times. See how this Ultrabook stacks up in our full review.
The 15.5-inch VAIO E15 is the most customizable of any of the E Series. Processor options include Intel 2nd Generation Core i3-2370M, Core i5-2450M, and Intel 3rd Generation Core i5-3210M, and Core i7-3612QM. Along with that come three graphics options: Intel HD Graphics 3000 or 4000, as well as discrete AMD Radeon HD 7550M (1GB & 2GB) GPUs. Hard drives range in size from 320GB to 750GB, and consumers can add up to 8GB of RAM. Unlike the smaller E14 and E11, the E15 also has a number pad. Color options include Aluminum Silver, Sharkskin Black, and Seafoam White. The E15 starts at $449.
While other notebook makers are shying away from 11 inchers, Sony is pretty psyched about the VAIO E11. Starting at pretty aggressive $449, this 11.6-inch ultraportable features an AMD E2-1800 APU, up to 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB (5,400-rpm) hard drive. It will also have AMD Radeon 7340M graphics, three USB ports (2 USB 2.0 & 1 USB 3.0), HDMI, VGA, Memory Stick and an SD Card Reader. Measuring 11.4 x 8 x 1.25 inches, and weighing 3.3 pounds, the E11 will come in Sharkskin Black or Seafoam White.
A good choice for students, the new VAIO E14 starts at $549 and features a 14-inch display. Consumers can choose between either an Intel second-gen Core i3-2370M or a Core i5-2450M processor, 4GB to 8GB of RAM, and hard drives ranging in size from 320GB to 750GB. Also, this system comes with integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000 and a discrete AMD Radeon HD 7550M GPU. Ports include four USB ports (2 USB 2.0 & 2 USB 3.0), HDMI , VGA, and a Memory Stick and SD Card Reader. This 5.1-pound laptop will be available in Sharkskin Black, Seafoam White, or Seashell Pink.
The premium version of the E14, the E14P will step the display resolution up to 1600 x 900 pixels. Inside, it will have an Intel third-generation Core i5-3210M processor, 8GB of RAM, and a 750GB hard drive. Unlike the regular E14, it will only come with an integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 GPU. It's also slightly smaller (13.4 x 9.7 x 1.3 inches) and lighter (5.1 pounds).
The other major feature of the E14P is its audio system. Its Dolby Speakers are enclosed in special boxes to enhance their quality. A special bundle includes a one-year membership to Boomdizzle, a music creation and sharing site founded by LL Cool J and Dolby.
This notebook will start at $699, and will come in Black with Burgundy Red, White with Aqua Blue, or Gunmetal with Vintage Gold. The Boodizzle Bundle, which comes with Sony V55 DJ Headphones, will only be available in Black with Burgundy Red, and will start at $899.