Vaio's new premium Skylake laptops boast some truly clever design touches

The importance of the keyboard and touchpad shouldn't be underrated…

Vaio has announced the launch of a clutch of new laptops, including a pair of new flagship models, the Vaio Z, and the less premium (or "standard" model) the Vaio S.

All of these are aimed at business users, although any user may well be tempted by these lightweight and durable notebooks which boast an impressive battery life for longevity on the move, and some very thoughtful touches on the design front.

The Vaio Z comes in two variants, a traditional clamshell notebook and a 2-in-1 convertible by the name of the Vaio Z flip.

The Vaio Z offers a 13.3-inch display with a 2560 x 1440 resolution (although there's an option to step that down to a full HD display on the clamshell model). The engine driving that screen is a Skylake Core i7 processor, and as for the battery life, Vaio is claiming up to 15 hours and 30 minutes of longevity for the clamshell, and 11 hours and 30 minutes for the flip.

A high level of build quality is promised, with a durable chassis that employs aluminium and carbon, and the touchpad uses mica for a satisfying and comfortable feel under the fingertip.

Vaio has also given the keyboard a coating to keep it free from unpleasant smudges and marks, and says that the keycaps have been finely tooled to help keep typing noise down.

And of course, with the Vaio Z flip you get a rotating screen that can be fully flipped over to turn the machine into a tablet, or partially flipped to use for presentations (or indeed watching movies) as seen in the picture above.

The flip model also offers an eight megapixel camera and CamScanner app for scanning duties, and a pressure-sensitive stylus which gives the user a natural writing experience.

Vaio S

The Vaio S is a more traditional laptop, and it offers a 13.3-inch screen with a full HD resolution.

It has a magnesium alloy chassis, and some neat design touches such as the same keys designed for quiet typing as used on the flip model. The keyboard also tilts when the notebook is opened to give the user a better and more ergonomic typing position.

Ports include an HDMI output, LAN port, and three USB 3.0 ports, plus Vaio notes that there is no bloatware on these machines, either. Another little extra is a USB port on the laptop's charger, to allow you to hook up your phone and charge that.

Vaio is pushing these notebooks out in the US, with pre-ordering kicking off on February 8 for the Vaio Z flip, and in early March for the other notebooks.

The Vaio Z flip will start at $1799 (around £1260, AU$2540), with the Vaio Z clamshell starting at $1499 (around £1050, AU$2120), and the Vaio S at $1099 (around £770, AU$1550). As you may be aware, Vaio currently only peddles its wares in the US and Japan (and also Brazil).

Of course, you'll likely remember Vaio as a Sony brand, but the latter sold off its PC division back in 2014, and it's now a standalone company based in Japan.