For nearly twenty years, Sony VAIO has produced some of the world’s most ambitious, stylish and expensive computers. Now the brand that taught you to feel “ laptop envy ”
Classic VAIO Z laptops had a partial carbon fiber enclosure, which was really just sheets of carbon fiber held together by plastic or metal parts. But thanks to a new 3-D molding technique developed with Toray experts, the new VAIO Z features contoured carbon fiber plates that cover the lid, base, palm rest and keyboard cutout. VAIO says the laptop and carbon fiber chassis passed 24 different drop tests, but the full assembly weighs in at just over 2 pounds.
Interestingly, VAIO Z is the lightest laptop to use an Intel H-series chip (Intel’s new CPU for gaming laptops), although it doesn’t have a dedicated GPU. The cheapest model comes with a Core i7 H-series chip, 16 GB RAM, 512 GB storage, and an FHD display. Upgraded models have up to 32 GB of RAM, a 4K display and up to 2 TB of storage.
While the VAIO Z has some impressive specs, it lacks the wide port selection that older VAIO laptops are known for. It only has two USB-C ports, a headphone jack and an HDMI port. It also has a backlit keyboard and Windows Hello webcam with a built-in privacy screen. And for some reason, VAIO chose to stick an old-fashioned trackpad to this laptop, with a pair of physical left and right buttons. You can still find these trackpads in some cheaper Windows laptops, but they are quite uncommon in the $ 3,000 + range.
Wait a minute, where has the VAIO brand gone for the past ten years? Sony sold VAIO to Japan Industrial Partners in 2014 due to poor sales. People didn’t want to buy expensive VAIO laptops during the housing crisis, and the brand didn’t do a great job in the early ‘hybrid’ laptop market. Now, after a successful comeback in Asia, VAIO is hoping to become big in the US.
Will the new VAIO Z revive Western interest in VAIO products? Other classic brands, such as Gateway, have managed to make a comeback thanks to their brand awareness and aggressive marketing strategies. And while very few people will buy the VAIO Z, it is a unique laptop, so it will generate a lot of press. If you have money to burn, you can pre-order the VAIO Z for $ 3,579.