Sony VAIO Pros are the Lightest Ultrabooks Ever

At their Computex 2013 press conference in Taipei this morning, Sony announced a few new VAIO ultrabooks – the VAIO Pro 11, VAIO Pro 13, and VAIO Duo 13.

The VAIO Pro 11 and 13 are ultrabooks running on Intel’s new Haswell processors, all the way up to a 4th generation core i7. Sony is saying that the Pro 11 and 13 are the lightest ultrabooks on the market at their respective sizes, at 1.92 pounds and 2.34 pounds. The carbon fiber body explains a lot of that lightness. The carbon fiber chassis is paired with an aluminum palm rest. Both have Sony’s mobile Triluminos displays, which are capable of 1920 x 1080 resolution.

The Pro 13 will be equipped with a PCIe SSD, which is even faster than already pretty fast SSDs found in other ultrabooks. Both models can also be paired with extra sheet batteries sold separately. With the sheet batteries, battery life for the 11 is about 14 hours, while the 13’s is about 13 hours. Chop those numbers in half, and you get estimated battery life without the sheet batteries. Another interesting addition is a USB charging port located right on the AC adapter, if you want to charge something without having your computer turned on. Finally, Sony announced that both models will be equipped with NFC.

The VAIO Duo 13 is another take on the slider hybrid device that Sony tried with the Duo 11. The hinge is now just in the middle, and is reinforced. The keyboard, which suffered on the Duo 11 because the slider form factor limits the size of the keyboard by tying up the back part of the machine, is now bigger and easier to use.

The Duo 13 also has a carbon fiber body (weighs 2.93 pounds), along with a much smaller bezel than the Duo 11. That new hinge, part of what Sony calls its Surf Slider design, is tough, but it’s still possible to switch back and forth between ultrabook and tablet with one hand. In tablet mode, you can use your finger or the digitizer stylus pen that Sony will bundle with the device. When you remove that stylus from its holder on the device, the device will automatically wake up and be ready for use.

The Duo 13 will also run on Intel’s Haswell chips, from i3 to i7. On the back, there’s an 8 MP camera outfitted with Sony’s Exmor RS sensor. That works with the CamScanner app, which makes it possible to scan documents, then edit them. Battery life is up to 10 hours, and the Duo 13 will stay connected in sleep mode to keep your Windows 8 apps updated for when you come back. Like the VAIO Pro models, the Duo 13 will also be NFC-equipped.

All three new devices will be in stores on June 9. The VAIO Pro 11 and 13 will be available in black and silver, and will sell for $1,149 and $1,249, respectively. The VAIO Duo 13 will be available in black and white, and will sell for $1,399.

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