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Verge score: 8.0 Verge score: 7.1 Verge score: 7.5

The Sony VAIO Z (mid 2012) shares the same design as its predecessor and still has a proprietary Light Peak port that connects it to that unique external GPU / optical drive combo from last year. The difference now is that you won't have to purchase the Power Media Dock to get the VAIO Z, which means that the starting price is now much lower. Of course, the big change to the VAIO Z is that it now has Ivy Bridge processors

Description

The HP Envy 14 Spectre is an ultrabook with a 14-inch display. Its base configuration features an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD storage, and an backlit keyboard.

The Zenbook UX31A is the direct replacement of the UX31, though don't be fooled by the similar product names, this is a serious upgrade we're talking about. Ivy Bridge processors from Intel and matte screen options will be available with the highest spec offering 1920 x 1080 resolution on a 13.3-inch IPS display.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is an ultraportable notebook with a 14-inch display featuring a carbon fiber chassis, included 3G connectivity, and Intel's Ivy Bridge generation of processors. It has Dolby Home Theater audio and a 720p webcam.

The Samsung Series 9 15-inch is a laptop featuring an Intel core i5 processor, 128GB SSD, and a 400 nit SuperBright Plus display. This mid 2012 refresh model will use Intel's new Ivy Bridge processors.

  • Status: Available
  • Availability date: June 2012
  • Price at launch: $1,599.99

Availability

  • Status: Available
  • Availability date: Feb. 8, 2012
  • Price at launch: $1,399.00
  • Status: Available
  • Availability date: June 2012
  • Price at launch: $1,149.99
  • Status: Available
  • Availability date: Aug. 21, 2012
  • Price at launch: $1,299.00
  • Status: Available
  • Availability date: June 2012

Also Known As...

  • Alias: Spectre Ultrabook 14t-3200
  • Alias: NP900X4C-A03US, NP900X4C-A01US, NP900X4C-A02US
  • Laptop type: Ultraportable
  • Width: 13 inches
  • Depth: 8.27 inches
  • Thickness: 0.66 inches
  • Weight: 2.57 pounds
  • Color: Black, Gold

Hardware

  • Laptop type: Ultraportable
  • Width: 12.88 inches
  • Depth: 8.7 inches
  • Thickness: 0.79 inches
  • Weight: 3.98 pounds
  • Color: Silver / Black
  • Laptop type: Ultraportable
  • Width: 12.8 inches
  • Depth: 8.78 inches
  • Thickness: 0.71 inches
  • Weight: 2.87 pounds
  • Color: Silver
  • Laptop type: Ultraportable
  • Width: 13.03 inches
  • Depth: 8.9 inches
  • Thickness: .71 inches
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Laptop type: Ultraportable
  • Width: 14 inches
  • Depth: 9.3 inches
  • Thickness: .58 inches
  • Weight: 3.63 pounds
  • Color: Black
  • Operating system: Windows 7

Software

  • Operating system: Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Operating system: Windows 7
  • Operating system: Windows 7
  • Operating system: Windows 7
  • Screen size (diagonal): 13.1 inches
  • Display surface: Matte
  • Backlight: LED
  • Resolution (X): 1920 px
  • Resolution (Y): 1080 px

Display (base)

  • Screen size (diagonal): 14 inches
  • Display surface: Glossy
  • Technology: LCD
  • Backlight: LED
  • Resolution (X): 1600 px
  • Resolution (Y): 900 px
  • PPI: 131.13
  • Screen size (diagonal): 13.3 inches
  • Display surface: Matte
  • Technology: LCD
  • Backlight: LED
  • Resolution (X): 1600 px
  • Resolution (Y): 900 px
  • Screen size (diagonal): 14 inches
  • Display surface: Matte
  • Technology: LCD
  • Resolution (X): 1600 px
  • Resolution (Y): 900 px
  • PPI: 131
  • Screen size (diagonal): 15 inches
  • Display surface: Matte
  • Technology: LCD
  • Backlight: LED
  • Resolution (X): 1600 px
  • Resolution (Y): 900 px

Display (max)

  • Size (diagonal): 13.3 inches
  • Technology: IPS LCD
  • Backlit: LED
  • Resolution (X): 1920 px
  • Resolution (Y): 1080 px
  • Type: Chiclet
  • Backlit: Yes
  • Number pad: No

Keyboard

  • Type: Chiclet
  • Backlit: Yes
  • Type: Chiclet
  • Backlit: Yes
  • Number pad: No
  • Type: Chiclet
  • Backlit: Yes
  • Number pad: No
  • Type: Chiclet
  • Backlit: Yes
  • Type(s): Trackpad
  • Multitouch: Yes

Mouse

  • Type(s): Trackpad
  • Multitouch: Yes
  • Type(s): Trackpad
  • Multitouch: Yes
  • Type(s): Trackpad, Pointing stick
  • Type(s): Trackpad
  • Multitouch: Yes
  • CPU brand: Intel
  • CPU family: Ivy Bridge
  • Model: Core i5-3210M
  • Cores: 2
  • Clockspeed: 2.5 GHz
  • Turbo clockspeed: 3.1 GHz

Processor (base)

  • CPU brand: Intel
  • CPU family: Sandy Bridge
  • Model: Core i5-2467M
  • Cores: 2
  • Clockspeed: 1.6 GHz
  • Turbo clockspeed: 2.3 GHz
  • CPU brand: Intel
  • CPU family: Ivy Bridge
  • Model: Core i5-3317U
  • Cores: 2
  • Clockspeed: 1.7 GHz
  • Turbo clockspeed: 2.6 GHz
  • CPU brand: Intel
  • CPU family: Ivy Bridge
  • Model: Core i5-3317U
  • Cores: 2
  • Clockspeed: 1.7 GHz
  • Turbo clockspeed: 2.6 GHz
  • CPU brand: Intel
  • CPU family: Ivy Bridge
  • Model: Core i5-3317U
  • Cores: 2
  • Clockspeed: 1.7 GHz
  • Turbo clockspeed: 2.6 GHz
  • Brand: Intel
  • Family: Ivy Bridge
  • Model: Core i7-3612QM
  • Cores: 4
  • Clockspeed: 2.1 GHz
  • Turbo clockspeed: 3.1 GHz

Processor (max)

  • Brand: Intel
  • Family: Ivy Bridge
  • Model: Core i7-3667U
  • Cores: 2
  • Clockspeed: 2 GHz
  • Turbo clockspeed: 3.2 GHz
  • Brand: Intel
  • Family: Ivy Bridge
  • Model: Core i7-3517U
  • Cores: 2
  • Clockspeed: 1.9 GHz
  • Turbo clockspeed: 3 GHz
  • Brand: Intel
  • Family: Ivy Bridge
  • Model: Core i7-3667U
  • Cores: 2
  • Clockspeed: 2 GHz
  • Turbo clockspeed: 3.2 GHz
  • Brand: Intel
  • Family: Ivy Bridge
  • Model: Core i7-3517U
  • Cores: 2
  • Clockspeed: 1.9 GHz
  • Turbo clockspeed: 3 GHz
  • Graphics type: Integrated
  • Integrated GPU brand: Intel
  • Integrated GPU model: HD Graphics 4000

GPU (base)

  • Graphics type: Integrated
  • Integrated GPU brand: Intel
  • Integrated GPU model: HD Graphics 3000
  • Graphics type: Integrated
  • Integrated GPU brand: Intel
  • Integrated GPU model: HD Graphics 4000
  • Graphics type: Integrated
  • Integrated GPU brand: Intel
  • Integrated GPU model: HD Graphics 4000
  • Graphics type: Integrated
  • Integrated GPU brand: Intel
  • Integrated GPU model: HD Graphics 4000

GPU (max)

  • Integrated GPU brand: Intel
  • Integrated GPU model: HD Graphics 4000
  • Base RAM size: 4 GB
  • Max. config RAM size: 8 GB
  • RAM type: DDR3
  • Base RAM speed: 1333 MHz

Memory

  • Base RAM size: 4 GB
  • Max. config RAM size: 8 GB
  • RAM type: DDR3
  • Base RAM speed: 1600 MHz
  • Base RAM size: 4 GB
  • RAM type: DDR3
  • Base RAM speed: 1600 MHz
  • Base RAM size: 4 GB
  • Max. config RAM size: 8 GB
  • RAM type: DDR3
  • Base RAM speed: 1333 MHz
  • Base RAM size: 8 GB
  • RAM type: DDR3
  • Base RAM speed: 1600 MHz
  • Base drive type: Flash (SSD)
  • Base drive capacity: 128 GB
  • Max. config SSD: 512 GB
  • Card reader: Yes
  • Card reader support: SD, Memory Stick Duo

Storage

  • Options: Flash Memory (SSD)
  • Base drive type: Flash (SSD)
  • Base drive capacity: 128 GB
  • Max. config SSD: 256 GB
  • Card reader: Yes
  • Card reader support: SD, MMC
  • Base drive type: Flash (SSD)
  • Base drive capacity: 128 GB
  • Max. config SSD: 256 GB
  • Card reader: Yes
  • Card reader support: SD, MMC
  • Options: Flash Memory (SSD)
  • Base drive type: Flash (SSD)
  • Base drive capacity: 128 GB
  • Max. config SSD: 256 GB
  • Card reader: Yes
  • Card reader support: SD
  • Options: Flash Memory (SSD)
  • Base drive type: Flash (SSD)
  • Base drive capacity: 128 GB
  • Max. config SSD: 256 GB
  • Card reader: Yes
  • Card reader support: SD, MMC
  • Optical drive type: External
  • Compatible media: DVD Super Multi, BD Combo, Blu-ray burner

Optical Drive

  • Speakers: 2
  • Audio brand: Dolby Home Theater v4

Audio

  • Speakers: 2
  • Audio brand: Beats Audio
  • Speakers: 2
  • Audio brand: Bang & Olufsen ICEpower
  • Audio brand: Dolby Home Theater v4
  • Speakers: 2
  • Effective pixels: 1.3 megapixels
  • Video resolution: 720p

Webcam

  • Video resolution: 720p
  • Video resolution: 720p
  • Video resolution: 720p
  • Effective pixels: 1.3 megapixels
  • Video resolution: 720p
  • Ambient light: Yes
  • Biometric scanner: Yes

Sensors

  • Proximity : Yes
  • Ambient light: Yes
  • Biometric scanner: Yes
  • USB: 1
  • USB 3.0: 1
  • Ethernet: 1
  • Ethernet type: 10/100/1000 (Gigabit)
  • HDMI: 1
  • 3.5mm headphone: 1
  • Docking connector: Yes

Port options

  • USB: 1
  • USB 3.0: 1
  • Ethernet: 1
  • Ethernet type: 10/100/1000 (Gigabit)
  • Mini DisplayPort: 1
  • HDMI: 1
  • USB 3.0: 2
  • Mini VGA: 1
  • Mini DisplayPort: 1
  • Micro HDMI: 1
  • 3.5mm mic / headphone combo: 1
  • USB: 1
  • USB 3.0: 1
  • Mini DisplayPort: 1
  • 3.5mm mic / headphone combo: 1
  • USB: 1
  • USB 3.0: 2
  • Micro HDMI: 1
  • 3.5mm mic / headphone combo: 1
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Wi-Fi options: 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a
  • 802.11n frequencies: 5GHz, 2.4GHz
  • GPS: Optional
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Bluetooth version: 2.1 + EDR
  • Wireless video: WiDi
  • Carrier options: Verizon Wireless, Sprint, AT&T
  • 3G: Optional
  • LTE: Optional

Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Wi-Fi options: 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a
  • 802.11n frequencies: 5GHz, 2.4GHz
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Bluetooth version: 3.0 + HS
  • NFC: Yes
  • Wireless video: WiDi
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Wi-Fi options: 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a
  • 802.11n frequencies: 2.4GHz
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Bluetooth version: 4.0
  • Wireless video: WiDi
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • GPS: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Bluetooth version: 4.0
  • 3G: Yes
  • GSM: Yes
  • WWAN data standards supported: HSPA+
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Wi-Fi options: 802.11n, 802.11g, 802.11b, 802.11a
  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Bluetooth version: 4.0
  • Trusted platform module: Yes

Security

  • Trusted platform module: Optional
  • Size: 4000 mAh
  • Chemistry: Lithium Polymer (Li-Po)
  • Removable: No
  • Quoted time: 6 hr

Battery

  • Size: 54 Wh
  • Chemistry: Lithium Ion (Li-Ion)
  • Removable: No
  • Quoted time: 9 hr
  • Size: 50 Wh
  • Chemistry: Lithium Polymer (Li-Po)
  • Removable: No
  • Quoted time: 6 hr
  • Size: 8400 mAh, 8 cell
  • Chemistry: Lithium Polymer (Li-Po)
  • Removable: No
  • Quoted time: 10 hr
Noise-cancelling earbuds

Bundled Accessories

Gigabit ethernet to USB 3.0 dongle, Mini VGA to VGA dongle

Benchmarks

  • PCMarkVantage: 9121
  • 3DMarkVantage (IGP): 1526
  • 3DMark06 (IGP): 3462
  • The Verge Battery Test: 5 hours and 14 minutes
  • PCMarkVantage: 13128
  • 3DMarkVantage (GPU): 3316
  • The Verge Battery Test: 5 hours and 46 minutes
  • PCMarkVantage: 10913
  • 3DMarkVantage (IGP): 2820
  • The Verge Battery Test: 4 hours and 44 minutes
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