New VAIO 14P from Sony offers gestural control
By Paul Ridden
April 12, 2012
Sony Europe has unveiled a new addition to its E Series VAIO laptop range which allows users to flick through web pages, play music and adjust volume by waving a hand in front of the unit's webcam. The 14-inch VAIO 14P also features a backlit keyboard for twilight hours typing, a USB charging port to keep mobile devices topped up, and both discrete and integrated HD graphics.
The new Sony VAIO E Series 14P is powered by an Intel Core i3-2350M processor running at 2.3GHz on an Intel HM76 Express Chipset, that's supported by 4GB of DDR3 1333MHz SDRAM memory and 500GB of 5400 RPM HDD storage. As the name might suggest, it benefits from a 14-inch VAIO Display at 1366 x 768 resolution and 16:9 aspect, with onscreen action provided by AMD Radeon HD 7670M graphics with 1GB of dedicated VRAM memory and integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000. The system automatically switches between the two, depending on detected need for efficient energy use.
Other power-saving features include a DVD SuperMulti optical drive that powers down completely when not in use, and a backlit chiclet style keyboard that's activated by an ambient light sensor, the latter also dimming the unit's screen in low light conditions to conserve power.
Users can choose to enjoy Dolby Home Theater v4 audio performance via headphones or the included stereo speakers, or switch to the exclusive xLOUD and Clear Phase audio technologies which are said to boost volume without distorting the output.
Connectivity is taken care of by two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports (one of the latter doubling as a charging port), a media card reader slot, HDMI out, 802.11b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth 4.0 plus HS. The touchpad has gesture support and the supplied Li-ion battery can offer up to seven hours of use between charges.
The headline grabber for this Windows 7 machine, however, is the ability to interact with the new E Series VAIO using hand movements picked up by the laptop's 1.31 megapixel HD Web Camera powered by Exmor for PC. Sony says that Gesture Control functionality is currently supported by Windows Media Player, Internet Explorer 9, PowerPoint and PowerDVD.
The 13.4 x 9.64 x 0.8-inch (341 x 245 x 22.4 mm) VAIO E Series 14P is available in white, black or pink but, at the time of writing, we're still waiting on a price.
Source: Sony UK