Carbon: bad for the atmosphere, good for new VAIOs

We’ve been showering Sony’s TX series of laptops since it launched more than a year ago. Little surprise, then, that we were falling off our gadget se

We’ve been showering Sony’s TX series of laptops since it launched more than a year ago. Little surprise, then, that we were falling off our gadget seats in excitement at a new, fingerprint-protected and carbon-armoured edition.

Touching down next month, the TX3 is a handsome and tiny thing with a wee 11.1 display. The carbon part of the equation is the carbon fibre laminate used to reinforce the screen, much like Sony’s X505, the record-breaking, ‘world’s skinniest laptop’ from three years back.

The fingerprint reader is slightly less cutting edge, as any boring bloke with a suit and an old IBM Thinkpad will tell you. It is, however, quite a cool way of keeping thieves out of your files if the laptop gets pinched.

Spec-wise, there are five incarnations of the TX3 with different amounts of RAM and varying processor speeds. Several employ Intel’s new Core Solo Ultra-Low Voltage processor, which is still a rarity in the laptop world; the upshot is battery life of seven hours on some of the models.

Elsewhere on the features hit list are such stalwarts as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (2.0, natch), an 80GB hard drive, 512MB-1 gig of RAM and – the cherry – a Dual Layer DVD burner for fat data back-ups and movie-writing action.

There’s no word on pricing yet, but they should be arriving next month.