When Sony sold off its Vaio PC division last year, its new investors didn't look back. The rebooted Vaio brand's crazy out-of-the-box thinking started with its Vaio Z Canvas, which packs hardware no other “tablet” attempts. Now the company is back with a flipping different 2-in-1 laptop.
At first glance you’d think the Vaio Z Flip was a standard clamshell, unless you noticed the seam on the back of the screen. To convert to tablet mode, you simply slide a switch at the base of the screen and flip the screen back along that center seam, where magnets hold it in place. Other 2-in-1s have you flip the entire screen all the way around, but feeling a keyboard on the back is a major turn-off for many consumers.
The Vaio Z Flip certainly isn’t the first time the design has been used. When Vaio was still with Sony, it made a 15-inch version of the Z Flip using Intel’s Haswell CPUs. The new Vaio Z Flip is the first time it's been done with a 13-inch screen, though, and with modern guts.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Most 13-inch Ultrabooks or 2-in-1 devices typically use lower-power 15-watt CPUs. Microsoft’s Surface Book, for example, features a 15-watt Skylake chip.
With the Z Flip, Vaio said it wanted to put more oomph in it, so it designed it around the hotter 28-watt Skylake chip. Vaio says the Z Flip should offer performance better than Apple’s MacBook Pro 13 yet weigh the same as a MacBook Air 13. Both of Apple’s laptops—which Vaio is targeting openly—still use the older Broadwell CPUs. The MacBook Air features a 15-watt CPU, while the MacBook Pro uses a 28-watt chip. To amp up the Z Flip a little more, the company said it's also designed a built-in manual boost mode that will run the chip at a higher temperature when needed.
There’s no compromise in storage, with an M.2 NVMe SSD inside. For memory, the laptop can be bought with up to 16GB of RAM.
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