Vaio. Who are they? Weren’t they a part of Sony (they were, but Sony sold them), and am I right by saying we haven’t heard much from Vaio since the two split? Whether you remember it or not, Sony made some pretty nice laptops. They were premium in both style and price. If you don’t remember any of this, it’s probably because they were never very popular. But Vaio, now its own company, wants to revive itself with the Z Flip, “an ultra-premium convertible laptop built for the executive set, made to turn a man of business into a businessman”. Thanks Digital Trends, for one heck of an intro.
This the second iteration of the Z Flip Vaio has come out with, this time with a 13-inch screen instead of a 15-inch screen, and an extra interesting 2-in-1 functionality. Vaio’s “flip mechanism”, a seam on the back of the display, attached to a half-sized back panel, is how you convert the device into a tablet mode without the screen being flipped all the way around. It’s a wonder this method isn’t more common, as many folks don’t enjoy having to feel keyboard keys whilst holding their single-piece computer. This easy flip mode provides ease of transition for business presentations.
The Z Flip measures 12.76 x 8.48 x .66 inches, weighs 2.96 pounds, and its 13.3-inch touchscreen display features a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution. At a 220 pixel density, this doesn’t quite put Vaio head-to-head with the Surface Book (267 ppi), but looks a lot like competition to the MacBook (227 ppi). It runs Windows 10 out of the box, sports up to a 6th-gen 3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 CPU, Intel Iris 550 GPU, comes with 8GB to 16GB of RAM, and 256GB to 512GB of storage (Cnet).
Its exterior features a dark anodized aluminum lid, a carbon-fiber base that allegedly stays quite cool, and an aluminum deck further supporting the overall light and thin feel to the device. You can’t forget the Z Flip’s custom chipset, “Z-engine”, Vaio’s high-density logic board configuration for freeing up space to fit its larger battery and fan (Digital Trends). While we’re on it, the battery should last a good 11.5 hours, which is really nice if you’re in the middle of a meeting or presentation. The Z Flip has an extra 8MP camera on the bottom for “taking document-sized photos”. Add that to its CamScanner software (which scans photos by taking a snapshot of them), and you’ve got a couple very helpful tools for on-the-go business professionals.
Starting at $1,799, the Vaio Z Flip is far more expensive than its biggest rivals, the Surface Book ($1,499) and MacBook ($1,299), but it’s lighter than the two, sports a touchscreen (Apple doesn’t), and has premium everything under its hood. As both a laptop and a tablet, though, it’s up to the consumer to decide just how well the Z Flip performs. This seems to be one of the biggest issues when designing 2-in-1s, and since this one’s particularly expensive, it needs to hit the nail on the head.
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