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Sony to release Thunderbolt laptop in July

Sony are the first company, outside Apple to adopt the new Thunderbolt technology. They will include it in their new VAIO Z laptop which should reach the UK in July at some stage.

This news comes as Apple have just released a firmware update to improve Thunderbolt performance in their latest machines. Thunderbolt was co developed by Intel and Apple, with Intel giving their ‘Light Peak’ technology to the platform and Apple slipping their mini Displayport standard into the mix. It launched earlier this year in the latest MacBook Pro range.

The VAIO Z is a 13.1 inch portable laptop which looks to target the larger of the two Macbook Air machines currently available from Apple. The Air is due for an update in coming weeks to Sandybridge which will bring the ultra portable range in line with the other computers they stock.

Sony say the new VAIO Z is only 0.86 inches thick and weighs only 1.2 kilos. Sony have opted to remove the optical drive and dedicated graphics to a separate external box, which they are calling the Power Media Dock.

The dock will be using the Thunderbolt technology, although it is branded as ‘Light Peak’, confusing for customers. Sony are not highlighting the optical connection prominently in their marketing campaign. Sony are focusing on the Core i7 processor, 256GB of SSD RAID storage. Sony also claim that the machine boots up to 50% faster than the standard notebook, which might sell a few units to businessmen on the move.

The Power Media Dock is a cool looking device on paper, contains a Blu Ray drive, AMD Radeon graphics and extra USB ports, alongside HDMI out to an external monitor or television.

Kitguru says: sleek and slim and with the traditional Sony build quality. It will certainly come at a price.

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