By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Sony has released their latest Vaio notebook range, the VGN-Z-Series, which follows in the footsteps of the recent FW Series in offering a 16:9 format screen and Xross Media Bar menu system.

Both models, the VGN-Z16 and VGN-Z17, come with a 13.1-inch screen, MacBook Air-style keyboard, carbon fibre case and the ability to switch between 3D graphics priority and stamina priority on the fly.

The cheaper VGN-Z16 (RRP $2,999) comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor (2.4 GHz) 250 GB hard disc, two gigabytes of RAM and DVD multi drive, while the higher-end VGN-Z17 (RRP $3,699) adds a P9500 processor (2.53 GHz), 320 GB hard disc and three gigabytes of RAM.

Those who purchase a VGN-Z17 also receive a free W910i Walkman phone for their cash.

Sony Australia technology communications manager, Paul Colley, said the Z-Series was a “no compromise” machine.

“It’s a nice size for travel, but more than big enough to do some work on,” he said.

While compact, the Z-Series comes with media features such as the Playstation 3’s Xross Media Bar navigation file navigation system, an HDMI port and the x-DJ function, which creates music channels automatically by analysing a person’s music collection.

Sony will start shipping the Z-Series next month.