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Sony Vaio S and Y series: Pick peformance or portability

Sony is still pumping out high-end ultra-portables, with its Vaio S and Y series offering 16:9, 13-inch screens, and top-notch computing power or extra-long battery life

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Jason Jenkins
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In a world full of cheap netbooks, Sony isn't letting itself be distracted from its mission of pumping out high-end ultra-portable computers. Two new lines, the Vaio S (pictured above) and Y series are due for release here in the next few weeks.

Both have the same 13.3-inch, LED backlit display with a resolution of 1,366x768 pixels, along with fast 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a webcam, but there are a few other differences between the models.

Most fully featured is the Vaio S series. With an Intel Core i5-520M chip inside running at 2.4GHz, 4GB of memory, 3G to go with the Wi-Fi, a 500GB hard drive and an Nvidia GeForce 310M graphics chip (with 512MB of graphics memory), it will be pretty powerful for such a small machine.

A built-in DVD-writer takes the weight of the machine up to 2kg, with a thickness of 28mm. There's an HDMI port for hooking it up to an HDTV, and some of the models will also have a backlit keyboard.

The Y series is a slightly less powerful beast, with an ultra-low voltage Intel Core 2 Duo SU4100 processor running at 1.3GHz, an Intel graphics chip, 4GB of memory and a 320HB hard disk. There's also no DVD drive. What you lose in performance, though, you gain in portability. Sony claims the battery will last for 7 hours (10 if you buy a bigger battery), with the laptop weighing in at 1.78kg with a thickness of 24mm.

Expect to see the S series from 18 January and the Y series from 1 February along with a pre-loaded copy of 64-bit Windows 7. How much, you ask? Sony isn't saying, although we think we're on pretty safe ground assuming they'll be expensive.

Click through our gallery for some more images of the new laptops. 

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The S series opened up, with handy marketing graphics.
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The back of the Sony Vaio Y series.
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Look how thin the Y series is! And a 7-hour battery!
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What the Y Series looks like closed.
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Doesn't Hugh Grant look miserable on the Y series? Those marketing stickers are back again.

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