If you've been mourning Sony's decision to discontinue its super-thin Z Serieslaptop, you can at last dry your tears: the company just announced two flagship Ultrabooks that should more than make up for your loss. For starters, the VAIO Pro 11 and Pro 13 each weigh less than the Z, at 1.92 and 2.34 pounds, respectively -- in fact, Sony claims they're the lightest touchscreen Ultrabooks ever made. They also last longer on a charge and have an optional sheet battery that promises to double the battery life, providing up to 14 hours on the Pro 11 and 13 hours of use on the Pro 13. Presumably, they're faster too: both ship with Haswell processors, and the 13-inch version in particular will be offered with PCIe solid-state drives. And, lest you worry Sony evolved the Z too much, its flagship laptops are still made of carbon fiber from top to bottom.
Either way, you'll have your choice of Core i5 and i7 processors, with 1080p IPS displays, NFC, backlit keyboards and Exmor webcams all standard. Just about the only things you won't get back from the Z are a dedicated GPU and an optical drive. (And who wants a DVD writer, anyway?) If nothing else, perhaps the price might convince you to settle for integrated graphics: these machines are considerably more affordable than the Z, which started at two grand. Now, in the year 2013, you can pay $1,150 and up for the Pro 11, or $1,250-plus for the Pro 13. They'll be available June 9th with black and silver color options, but if you have to know more now, we actually have a review of the Pro 11 ready for your perusal. (Spoiler alert: we like it. We like it a lot.)