Sony VAIO Z: 13.1-inch 1920×1080

Sony’s VAIO Z was already an incredible little machine. The standard 13.1-inch LCD had a 1600×900 pixel format with a very high resolution of 140.13 PPI for a notebook. The pixel format itself is pretty useless for HD video playback or dual-window productivity but it still is a range-topping display in terms of resolution. Unfortunately it is glossy and fingerprint-prone. The thin plastic LCD housing is thin and feels flimsy so I would recommend going with the carbon fiber option.

Sony has upped the ante with the VAIO Z and is offering a 1920×1080 option called the “VAIO Full HD Premium Display” on the 13.1-inch LCD bringing the resolution up to an astronomical 168.16 PPI. The price for the option originally US$100 is free, a great deal, until July 3rd. A 1920×1080 pixel format on a smallish 13.1-inch LCD is simply incredible.

To take complete advantage of such a display you’d want to equip the VAIO Z with the optional Blu-ray optical drive, but that will require you to pony up a whopping $500. If you have that kind of money the 1080p display and Blu-ray combo would be a perfect match to watch Avatar again for the third time. More information can be found at Sony. Estimated ship date is June 28th.

The only problem with the 1920×1080 13.1-inch LCD is Windows 7. The OS from Microsoft doesn’t know how to make proper use of the high PPI. Increase the “DPI” setting and you get improperly rendered ugly fonts and icons. To keep them pretty you’ll need to deal with extremely small versions. Unfortunately this limitation isn’t limited to Windows and affects OS X, Linux and every other OS on the market. When will we get resolution independence (read Resolution Independence) to take full advantage of this marvelously high resolution display? I hope soon.