Last February, Sony sold off its Vaio PC line – while always distinctive, it had lost a step with consumers. But now under the rule of Japanese Industrial Partners (JIP), Vaio is back in action with new hardware.
Announced this week, the Vaio Z (seen below) is the first of the fresh Windows laptops, and it’s a 13.3in ultrabook that can transform into a tablet with ease. Granted, while a pretty thin laptop, it’ll be a sizable slate, but at least the hinged lid makes it a viable option for touch input with a tablet-like form, plus you can rotate the screen to face out while in the laptop arrangement.
It’s only available in Japan – which appears to be Vaio’s sole market for now, at least – and has Intel Core i5 and i7 processor options within the aluminium carbon body, as well as an SSD and a whopping 15.5 hours of estimated battery life. The company calls it a “monster PC,” and it starts at about 190,000 yen (just over R18,000).
The other new Vaio is deemed a “monster tablet,” meanwhile, and rather than act as a single unit that shifts from one form to the next, the Z Canvas has a detachable keyboard that lets you swap forms in an instant. It has a 12.3in display with a Core i7 processor and up to 16GB RAM inside, as well as a 256GB SSD standard. Fewer details are available for this one, because unlike the Vaio Z that’s set to ship soon, the Z Canvas won’t be out until May.
Vaio released a couple of laptops – the Vaio Fit and Vaio Pro – last year after the Sony sale, but they had been created originally under the former owner. And Engadget says Vaio executives say the “Z,” while already the name of the flagship line, also stands for “zero,” as it’s the company’s fresh start.
Intriguing, indeed, but we’ll have to wait and see if these become available outside of Japan at some point.