Vaio Z with Core i7: Another Small Wonder

Sony-VAIO-Z-Series-NotebookIt seems that good things do come in small packages every now and then. At CES we saw the release of the smallest gaming laptop yet – the 11-inch Alienware m11x. The 13-inch, 3.2-pound VAIO Z is obviously larger, but makes up for it by packing the most powerful 32nm processor yet, the Intel Core i7 620M, an Nvidia GeForce GT 330M and no less than four (yes 4) SSDs in RAID0. It’s worth mentioning that this is not one of the quad-core Core i7s released last year, but a dual core (but 4-threaded) variant that consumes less power (35W) and emits less heat than its quad-core counterparts (45W). Nevertheless it is a powerful CPU at 2.66GHz, and the Turbo Boost feature will bring that number up to 3.33GHz when one of the cores is idling.

Nvidia’s GT 330M is one of the latest 40nm DX10.1 cards with 48 unified shaders. I haven’t found any benchmarks for this one yet, but judging from the specifications it should be more than adequate for all of today’s games. It’s not one of the fastest mobile GPUs on the market but should make it to the upper end of the mainstream segment, which is not bad at all for a 13-inch laptop.


Then there’s the quad SSD, RAID0 solution. I don’t know how they managed this feat, but it will no doubt make it incredibly fast. Of course, with this more-of-everything philosophy there’s another side of the coin, being that the new VAIO Z is exorbitantly expensive. But if you want a massively high-performing laptop in a smallish 13-inch frame it will come with a matching price tag.

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  1. Yeah, I’m starting to think you’re right Peter! The Alienware is a very nice piece of machinery, but the VAIO is clearly the the better performer on paper. Hell, who am I kidding, there’s absolutely no doubt that it would perform better 🙂 Also, the m11x is at least a pound heavier than other laptops the same size. There’s no big surprises there considering it’s not a netbook, but still. If I could have both I certainly wouldn’t mind, but the Sony is a monster in a neat little package!

  2. The funny thing is that if you look at the size spec of this new Vaio Z-series… It is about 2.8 cm wider (length from left to right of the keyboard) than the Alienware m11x… but it is a good 2 cm shorter in depth… and at the same thickness at the thickest part when compare to the Alienware… but much thinner at the thinnest part of this new Sony Vaio… So what this mean is that, although, Alienware is trying to claim that their laptop is the smallest gaming laptop (people think it is small because it has a 11 inches screen, but look at that huge bezel on the screen)… the smallest gaming laptop in terms of footprint (area on the table) is actually the Song Vaio Z-series… when you think about it, it is an awesome thing that Sony manages to pack in a DVD drive and the Core i7 processor into such a small package, when Alienware don’t even have a DVD drive, and it is only using older generation of Core2Duo SU7300 CPU, and it actual cover a larger area on the table.

    So I think you should crown this new Vaio as the smallest gaming notebook and not the Alienware m11x…

    Just my two cents! 🙂

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