As big fans of Sony's previous VAIO Z Series models, such as the VPC-Z13M9E, we had high hopes for the VAIO VPC-Z21V9E.
With its Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor, ultra-thin body and unique docking station, it does everything right on paper. But did it meet expectations, and how does it compare to the competition?
As expected, the Sony VAIO VPC-Z21V9E smashed the competition when it came to performance. You've got enough power to run any software you can think of, and you certainly won't need to upgrade any time soon.
Thankfully, portability doesn't suffer. Almost four hours of battery life when watching movies is a tremendous result, while the slim and ridiculously light frame will slip into almost any bag.
If you're not on the move, you can connect the Sony VAIO VPC-Z21V9E to its docking station. This gives you loads more ports, a slot-loading DVD drive and a dedicated AMD graphics card, so you can play the latest games.
Both games and movies look incredible on the 13.3-inch TFT screen, which is sharp, bright and vibrant. The lack of gloss means you can work outside, without being hampered by reflections.
The keyboard has the shallowest travel of any laptop we've tested, with the keys barely moving when hit. However, aside from this it's a well-designed board that's comfortable to use. The touchpad is cramped, but sensitive.
Our only other gripe is the design. After using glamorous portables such as the Samsung 9 Series and Apple MacBook Air, we were uninspired by the plain black design of the Sony VAIO VPC-Z21V9E. The lid is also rather flimsy.
With its incredible combination of power and portability, this is the best ultra-portable laptop of recent times. It may lack the glamour of some of its rivals, but the Sony VAIO VPC-Z21V9E is worth its high pricetag.