Sony said to release Chrome OS laptop, MacBook Air competitor with ‘Thunderbolt’

sony-vaio-laptop-notebook-thinA new batch or rumors suggests Sony plans to take Apple head-on with an ultra-thin MacBook Air competitor, according to a report by Sony Insider. In addition, sources say Sony has a laptop based on Google’s Chrome OS in the works.

The first device, said to go by the name “VAIO Hybrid PC,” will purportedly come loaded with the super-quick Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor, SSD storage, and HDMI output with 3D support. The battery life is expected to be between 8 and 16.5 hours. And it will supposedly weigh around 2.5 pounds.

When connected to a secondary unit, however, the device expands to become a full desktop unit, with a Blu-ray burner, VGA output, Ethernet, USB and an external GPU (AMD Whistler-XT with 1 GB VRAM).

Another interesting detail of this strange dual-use device is the possible inclusion of an Intel Thuderbolt port, which is currently only available on Apple’s new line of MacBook pros. According to Electronista, Sony was also involved in the development of the super-fast Thunderbolt connection, back when it was still called “Light Peak.” Unless the Hybrid PC is slated to launch a year from now, the inclusion of the connection on a Sony device would contradict Intel’s claim that Apple has a year’s worth of exclusivity rights.

Sony Insider says that “the notebook looks pleasing to eyes, aesthetically designed in its VAIO fashion,” but the desktop component looks like the “VAIO RM series that featured a twin-unit form factor,” which Sony “marketed back in 2007.”

The second rumored VAIO notebook is said to be based on the minimalist Google Chrome OS. Because of the low amount of computing power needed to run Chrome, the device will only have 1GB of memory. It will measure 11.6 inches with a 1366×768 LCD display, and come loaded with a Nvidia Tegra 2 CPU, which will give it an 8 hour battery life.

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