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CNET First Look
Sony Vaio VPCZ116GX/SSony's top-of-the-line 13-inch Vaio VPCZ116GX/S has a speedy Core i5 CPU, discrete graphics, a huge 256GB SSD, and a sky-high price to match.
[ music ] ^M00:00:03 >> I'm Dan Ackerman, and right here I have got the Sony Vaio Z116. Now everyone's always rushing out to get the latest 299 netbook, or maybe a 599 mainstream PC, but it's nice every once in a while to take a look at a really high end of the market. This 13-inch laptop from Sony is about $2,300 bucks, and you might be saying: How's that possible? Well, partially it's because it's got a 256 gig solid state hard drive, which means that even for a 13-inch laptop it's very thin and it's very light, obviously highly portable there. And it's got one of Intel's new Core i5 processors, which means it's also super speedy. In fact, a lot faster than even some of the other super high-end 13-inch laptops we've looked at recently, like say the NV13 from HP. It's got a lot of features we like about Sony laptops. It's got that squared off island keyboard. It's a backlit keyboard as well, which we totally love. It's got a kind of cool brush metal look, some magnesium alloy in there too, so it's lightweight, but it's still pretty sturdy. It'll stand up to traveling around with ya on the road. And it's got a fairly high-resolution screen; it's 1600 by 900. Obviously that means it's a 16 by 9 screen, opposed to the older sort of 16 by 10 style. And the other really unique thing about this system is that it's switchable graphics. We've seen laptops with switchable graphics before. Usually there's a software switch to go, from let's say the discrete GPU to the integrated GPU. Right here there's an actual physical switch on here. And you take the switch and you go for either speed, which means the discrete graphics will turn on; stamina, which means they're turned off to give you more battery life. Or you can set it to auto, which will usually turn on the discrete graphics if it's, if it's plugged in, and turn them off if you're just running off the battery. Now of course all that switchable graphics stuff is pretty much moot at this point, because NVIDIA now has their Optimus technology, which basically just sits inside the laptop and does all that graphic switching on the fly. You don't even have to worry about it. And hopefully something we'll see on a, on a near future revision of, of this, or other systems like it. We certainly don't actually need that physical graphics switching switch anymore. So with that Intel Core i5 Processor, and the 256 gig solid state hard drive, and the discrete graphics, this thing positively screams, at least for a 13-inch laptop. Definitely one of the speediest laptops of this size we've ever checked out. Of course, at about $2,300 bucks we wouldn't expect anything less. And you do pay a little bit of a price. Battery life is not fantastic. A little bit more then 3 hours. But obviously other 13-inch laptops like the MacBooks can run for a lot longer. I'm Dan Ackerman, and that is the Sony Vaio Z116. ^E00:02:30