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Report: Sony to strike with 'Thunderbolt' laptop

Sony is readying a Vaio laptop sporting Intel's Thunderbolt tech and a second component that provides a high-end graphics chip, according to a report.

Sony is readying a "hybrid" Vaio laptop equipped with Intel's Thunderbolt tech, according to a report.

Sony is perfectly capable of making very thin laptops like the Vaio X series.
Sony is perfectly capable of making very thin laptops like the Vaio X series. Sony

Thunderbolt, formerly known by its codename Light Peak, is a new connection technology that combines high-speed data transfer and high-definition video on a single cable. The Intel-developed technology has come to market through a technical collaboration with Apple and is being made available first on Apple's new line of MacBook Pro laptop computers.

Though Sony did not publicly endorse Thunderbolt at the Intel roll-out last month, the company has previously offered public support for the technology. "Sony is excited about the potential for Light Peak technology that Intel has been developing, and believes it could enable a new generation of high-speed device connectivity," Ryosuke Akahane, vice president of the Vaio Business Group at Sony, said in a statement that was posted last year on Intel's Web site.

The rumored Thunderbolt-packing hybrid Vaio "consists of two components," according to Sony Insider. "There is an actual notebook that will be pretty thin, featuring...Thunderbolt, that same interface that current MacBook Pros are sporting," the Web site says.

Sony Insider goes on to list other specifications, including an Intel Wireless Display, a solid-state drive, Core i7 processor, no optical drive, HDMI output with 3D support, and battery life ranging from 8 to 16.5 hours. It will weigh in at about 2.5 pounds.

Here's the most interesting part. The second component--which the main laptop hooks up to via a Sony connector--will have a discrete graphics processing unit (GPU) from Advanced Micro Devices, a Blu-ray drive, HDMI output, VGA output, Ethernet port, and USB, according to Sony Insider.

If this Vaio materializes, the MacBook Air will get another worthy competitor like the Samsung 9 Series.

And here's an interesting thought. Will the upcoming refresh of the MacBook Air get Thunderbolt like its Pro cousins? Apple could certainly pull it off.