The Vaio Z Flip is a feature-packed work machine for a premium price. The $1,799 notebook has a special folding hinge that lets you use the device like a large tablet. The feature also provides a nice tilted angle for jotting down notes with the included active stylus. Additionally, you get powerful performance and long battery life. But the Flip Z's keyboard and high price point will make it a hard sell for most workers.
Most 2-in-1 laptops either have a keyboard that folds back a full 360 degrees, à la Lenovo's Yoga 900, or a display that detaches completely, as with Microsoft's Surface Pro 4. The Vaio Z Flip offers up a third way, with a display that can be flipped around on a stationary hinge. From there, you can rest the bottom of the display against the keyboard to provide an angled writing surface, or close the lid with the screen facing up to enter tablet mode.
Business users will appreciate the included active stylus, which can detect 1,024 levels of pressure. That helps make writing on a digital display feel more natural, since you can vary your line weight and feather your strokes. The Vaio Z Flip's stylus also has a unique rollerball-like tip, so it feels a lot like a regular ballpoint pen. There's no place to stow the pen on the notebook when you're not using it, though, so it could easily become lost.
Other hardware highlights include strong performance: The Vaio Z Flip outperformed rival notebooks like the Yoga 900 in our benchmark tests. It also lasts an impressive 9 hours on a charge, which blows away competing Windows laptops, including the Yoga 900 and Microsoft Surface Pro 4.
Unfortunately, the Z Flip's keyboard leaves a lot to be desired. The keyboard has a shallow design, and the individual keys don't offer much feedback on each stroke, creating an overall typing experience that isn't very comfortable.
Check back for a full review of the Vaio Flip Z very soon, or check out our picks for the best business laptops currently on the market.