Jan 23, 2018

VAIO to launch new 8th gen Kaby Lake Refresh Ultrabooks

VAIO's comeback to the laptop world is imminent with a pair of impressive-looking laptops

Intel continues to improve on its processor technology, and we're now on the 8th generation of Intel chips, the Kaby Lake Refresh which promises to be 91% faster than the 7th generation Kaby Lake processors. VAIO is now looking to launch a line of high-end laptops to showcase the power of this new batch of processors. These new notebooks are the VAIO S11 and the VAIO S13, and they will be competing in the very competitive ultrabook segment.



VAIO has stumbled a bit in the laptop world. VAIO used to be synonymous with the high-end notebook, but ever since Sony divested themselves of the brand, the VAIO name has fallen out of favor as their laptops lacked the design and innovation compared to upcoming competitors like Lenovo, HUAWEI and Microsoft. Still, VAIO has not given up on the market and this new batch of ultrabooks might be what puts them back on the map.

The S11 will have a small 11.6-inch monitor suitable for those that like a really compact device that they can effortlessly bring along anywhere. The S13, on the other hand, will have a more traditional 13.3-inch display, the sweet spot for most ultrabook users. Other than that, the two lines are pretty much the same, and you can buy them in different configurations, with the choice of two Kaby Lake Refresh processors: the Intel Core i5 8250U or the Intel Core i7 8550U. You can get RAM up to 16 GB, and an internal storage SSD up to 1 TB. No slow hard drives here, that's up to 1 TB of pure SSD performance. You also have the option to get a 4G LTE radio for built-in data.

Both laptops will have three USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI port, and an SD card reader standard. The battery for the S11 is purported to go for up to 15 hours of use, while the larger display of the S13 will mean it'll only go up to 12 hours. Both laptops will be just 0.7-inches thick, and the S11 will only weigh 1.9 pounds, lighter than the 11-inch MacBook Air, while the S13 is a scant 2.4 pounds, itself lighter than its 13-inch MacBook Air counterpart.

The specifications for these laptops are definitely impressive. Neither will offer a discrete GPU, but that's not the segment these ultrabooks are going after. They will be rather pricy, however, with the basic configuration of the S11 starting at USD 1,365 (around PHP 70,000).