Sony Unveils Ultra-light Notebook PCs Using Haswell

Jun 6, 2013
Tadashi Nakamichi, Nikkei Electronics
The "Vaio Pro 11" has two USB 3.0 ports and one HDMI port on its sides.
The "Vaio Pro 11" has two USB 3.0 ports and one HDMI port on its sides.
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The external battery for the Vaio Pro 11 and 13
The external battery for the Vaio Pro 11 and 13
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The Vaio Duo 13 (front side)
The Vaio Duo 13 (front side)
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The Vaio Duo 13 (back side)
The Vaio Duo 13 (back side)
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Sony Corp announced three ultra-light notebook computers at a press conference that it had on the occasion of Computex Taipei 2013, a trade show focusing on information technologies, which runs from June 4 to 8, 2013, in Taipei, Taiwan.

Sony will release the PCs, "Vaio Pro 11," "Vaio Pro 13" and "Vaio Duo 13," in several countries including Japan in mid-June. All of them will come with the fourth-generation Core processor that Intel Corp announced June 4, 2013 (code name: Haswell).

The screen sizes of the Vaio Pro 11 and 13 are 11 and 13 inches, respectively, and their weights are about 870g and 1,060g. Sony claims that they are lighter than any other PCs of the same class in the world.

The upper and lower surfaces of the Vaio Pro 11 and 13 are made of Toray Industries Inc's carbon fibers. And Sony employed the "Hexa-shell design," a 3D structure having obtuse edges, to further increase strength and lower weight.

"Moreover, both of the models use SSD as a storage device, contributing to realizing the light weights," the company said.

The capacities of the Vaio Pro 11's and 13's batteries are 32Wh and 37Wh, respectively. Their prices will be US$1,149 and 1,249, respectively. And Sony will release a 36Wh external battery (300g) as an option.

The Vaio Duo 13 is a PC equipped with a 13-inch display and sliding keyboard. When the keyboard is folded, the PC can be used as a tablet computer. The weight of the Vaio Duo 13 is the same as that of the "Vaio Duo 11," a PC that has an 11-inch display and was released by Sony in October 2012 (about 1.3kg).

"We realized the light weight by using carbon fiber for its case and making improvements to the hinge structure," the company said.

Also, because of the Haswell, when powered by the battery, it can be used for about 18 hours (normal use, measured with the JEITA-BAT1.0 standard), which is more than twice as long as in the case of the Vaio Duo 11 (7 hours, 14 hours with an optional battery). The expected retail price of the Vaio Duo 13 is ¥100,000-150,000 (approx US$1,007-1,510), Sony said.