When one company sets the bar, other companies will try anything to surpass that bar. The bar, in the laptop world, is the MacBook Air. The Air is thin, light, and powerful making it the one laptop for all other laptops to beat. The latest company to take on Apple's Air is Sony with the newest 'VAIO Pro.'
In a really bold statement, Sony's VAIO product manager (Travis First) told press: "We're going to war with the MacBook Air." What does Sony have that will turn heads away form Apple's shiny Air?
The New Sony VAIO Pro
The Sony VAIO Pro comes with high resolution, a 13-inch or 11-inch options -- and it's lighter than Air. How light is light? Sony's 11-inch Pro weighs 1.92 pounds. The 13-inch Pro weights 2.34 pounds. Both laptops are just 0.68-inches thick.
In order to create a thin and light laptop, something has to be sacrificed. In this case, the sacrifice that Sony made is on the 11-inch model. This model has a keyboard that's so densely packed into the light and thin frame, it's really tough to actually type anything. Cramped keys aside (the 13-inch is much better keyboard-wise), there's another problem with Sony's new Pro lineup.
Is It Too Thin?
As the subheader suggests, the Pros might be too thin. To create a thinner and lighter laptop than the Air, Sony has also created laptops that just don't feel sturdy. This isn't a laptop that you'll want to toss in a bag or carelessly place on a table. This laptop just doesn't feel as sturdy as the MacBook Air. It's thinner, sure, but is that the most important thing?
Both VAIO Pro laptops run Windows 8. The 13-inch has a 1.8GHz Core i7-4500U and 4GB of RAM; and the 11-inch has 1.6GHz Core i5-4200U processor and 4GB of RAM. Windows has its ups and downs, but sometimes the "downs" are too bothersome. If you've owned a Windows laptop or desktop before, you know that the main problem is bloatware.
Both of these VAIOs come packed with pre-loaded apps. This is especially annoying if you don't want any of those apps. Bloatware makes these laptops slower than they should be. It has also been reported that the VAIO Pros aren't excellent when it comes to picking up WiFi signals automatically, so that's something to keep in mind if you want to travel with your Pro.
Pricing and Availability
The 11-inch VAIO Pro will sell for $1149, and the 13-inch will sell for $1249. These prices are right in line with Apple's MacBook Air prices. Should you choose a VAIO Pro over a MacBook Air? My suggestion: test out both side-by-side first, and then decide which one you like the best. As far as availability goes, you should see the VAIO Pro lineup in stores in the next few weeks.
Is Sony going to beat Apple with the new VAIO Pro? Will the MacBook Air finally be defeated? I'm not so sure, but time will tell!