Sony’s most premium ultraportable, the VAIO Z, has finally been refreshed with Ivy Bridge processors. We watched over the last few weeks as VAIO Z stocks dwindled and Sony offered deals to get rid of the previous models. Now Sony is offering Intel’s latest Core i5 or Core i7 processors in the VAIO Z which feature the improved HD 4000 integrated graphics.
When ordering the VAIO Z, you’ve got a choice between the dual-core i5-3210M (2.50GHz / 3.10GHz with Turbo Boost) and the quad-core i7-3612QM (2.10GHz / 3.10GHz with Turbo Boost). The latter of which will add $150 to the pricetag.
The VAIO Z is quite the ultraportable beast, but it doesn’t meet Intel’s definition of Ultrabook because it doesn’t use the company’s Ultra Low Voltage processors, opting instead to go with more powerful, albeit more power hungry, versions of Intel’s processors. Still, it’s thin, light, and powerful, and also can be used with the optional Power Media Dock which features plenty of extra ports, a CD/DVD burner or Blu-Ray player, and even a external GPU (AMD HD 6650M) for heavy lifting and demanding desk work. All of this is accomplished through the VAIO Z’s speedy Light Peak (Thunderbolt) port, which doubles as a USB 3.0 port.
We’re a bit disappointed to see that the GPU in the dock was not updated alongside the Z’s CPU. Still, the inclusion of Ivy Bridge means that users won’t miss the dock quite as much thanks to HD 4000 which is up to twice as powerful as the previous HD 3000 integrated graphics.
The cheapest you’ll be able to get your hands on the Ivy Bridge VAIO Z is $1599 (and that’s excluding the Power Media Dock). Sounds expensive… and it is, but it’s also high performance. The smallest memory capacity on offer is 128GB, and it comes in a high performance RAID 0 configuration of 2x64GB drives. Not to mention you’re getting 8GB of RAM which, by the way, has been upgraded from 1333MHz to 1600MHz with this refresh. Then there’s the 1080p screen….
Like the VAIO T, Sony US is offering a free case with the purchase of the VAIO Z through the 16th of June. Head over to the VAIO Z product page to check it out.