Where Apple innovates, others follow, right? Well, apparently not for Sony, especially if the company's recent update to its VAIO Z line of ultra-thin and highly portable notebooks are of any indication. With frills such as an extremely thin body, high-performance hardware for its assembly and the inclusion of an external graphics solution for added firepower, it would seem that Sony has had Apple finally beaten at its own game. Or has it? VR-Zone investigates.

As far as most people are concerned, Apple appears to be the only computer OEM that is capable of churning out notebooks that not only boast cutting edge and futuristic designs, but are also thin enough to be capable of being transported around in a typical manilla envelope. However, it would seem that the design crown is no longer Apple's to dominate, especially if the introduction of Sony's new VAIO Z ultra-thin notebook is of any indication. With access to Intel's i7 range of mobile processors, a 13-inch LED backlit display that is capable of 1080p resolutions, a docking station that doubles up as an external graphics solution, and copious amounts of RAM, Sony's intent is clear. The company is aiming to go head-to-head against Apple in the market for premium, ultra-portable notebooks, a segment which Apple has enjoyed undisputed success in for the longest time, with other OEMs mostly playing catch up to the Cuptertino giant.

That being said, good design and performance, while vital, cannot make up for a sloppy user experience, and suffice to say Sony will have its work cut out for it in order to ensure that its new VAIO Z is capable of delivering a decent experience that is worthy of its futuristic design. And that is what we are here to find out in today's review of the Japanese electronics giant's new (and oh-so-droolworthy) VAIO Z ultra-portable notebook.

New SONY VAIO Z VPCZ217GG/N/X notebook PC specifications
 Processor  Intel Core i7-2620M clocked at 2.7GHz (up to 3.4GHz under TurboBoost), 4MB L3 cache
 Chipset  Intel HM67 Chipset
 Graphics Card  Onboard Intel HD Graphics 3000
 Display  LED backlit 13.3-inch full high-definition display (1920 x 1080) TFT VAIO Display Premium screen
 Operating System  Windows 7 Professional SP1 (x64 version)
 Memory  8GB DDR3 SDRAM (2 x 4GB custom DIMM)
 Storage capacity  256GB intenal flash memory (128GB SSD x 2 under RAID 0) 
 Wireless Connectivity  Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, WiFi (802.11a/b/g/n)
 Weight  1.165kg including bundled battery pack


Considering how the docking station for the new Sony VAIO Z notebook is in itself both an attraction and a unique system of sorts, we decided that it deserves its own little list of specifications as well:

 VGP-PRZ20A external Power Media Dock specifications
 Graphics Card  1GB AMD Mobility Radeon HD 6650M
 Optical disc drive  BD-ROM with DVD SuperMulti
 Dimensions  148.0 x 16.65 x 220.0 mm
 Weight  685g