Sony is plotting to best Apple's svelte MacBook Air laptops with its own thin hybrid portable that can be turned into a desktop replacement when docked, according a report by Sony Insider. The company is also working on a Google Chrome OS laptop too, according to the same source, which would feature specifications closer to a powerful tablet rather than a full-blown notebook.

Sony Insider claims it has seen the two upcoming portables from Sony, but no photographic evidence was provided. With that out of the way, the laptops from Sony expected some time this summer (coinciding with the arrival of Chrome OS) sound interesting nevertheless.

First off, the so-called Vaio Hybird PC is said to consist of two components. The first one is a thin notebook with an Intel i7 processor, SSD hard drive, HDMI output with 3D support, no optical drive and a battery life of 8 to 16 hours (presumably depending on usage), all weighing just under 2.5 pounds. This laptop is also said to have a Thunderbolt port, the new fast-transfer technology from Intel, currently found only the new MacBook Pros from Apple.

The second part of the hybrid Vaio would be a unique component transforming the laptop into a desktop replacement. Sony Insider says the docking unit weighs around 1.5 pounds and combines a more powerful graphic processor with a Blu-ray disc reader and writer, as well HMDI and VGA output, an Ethernet port and USB. It's unclear what operating system the Vaio Hybrid would run on.

Google Chrome OS Meets Sony Vaio?


Sony is also working on a laptop set to run Google's Chrome OS, Sony Insider says, with specifications close to the performance of a tablet like the Motorola Xoom. Sony's Chrome OS laptop is said to have an 11.6-inch display (with 1366 by 768 pixels resolution), 1GB or RAM and 16GB of storage (via card storage).

The battery life on the Sony Chrome OS laptop is slated at about 8 hours, all packed in a case around an inch thick weighing around 2.2 pounds. Sony Insider makes an interesting point in its report saying the laptop will also have Bluetooth and GPS capabilities along the standard Wi-Fi connection, but they won't be enabled at launch. It's unclear why these functionalities won't be enabled from the start, but it could because Google has yet to finalize these features within Chrome OS.