It was a year ago this month that Sony sold its VAIO PC business to investment firm Japan Industrial Partners Inc., thus signaling a likely end to the VAIO brand in the U.S., at least on computers. Is that still the case? We're not sure, though in Japan, a pair of new VAIO Z convertible laptops is launching.
The VAIO Z represents a new start for the VAIO brand -- the "Z" stands for "zero." It's not clear what this new start will mean for markets outside of Japan, but in the immediate future, the forthcoming VAIO Z and VAIO Z Canvas are a couple of interesting looking laptops.
Sony's VAIO Z is the top dog out of the two. It sports a 13.3-inch display (which can flip and fold on top of the keyboard to turn it into a tablet), is powered by a 5th Generation Intel Core i7 processor, and includes a high-speed solid state drive. It's tough to make heads or tails if you can't read Japanese, though Engadget has the skinny on a few additional details and a cornucopia of pics.
The VAIO Z is made from an aluminum-carbon chassis to measure a scant 16.88 and weighing in at 1.34kg. Despite its thin and light stature, there's enough room inside for a battery that's supposed to keep it running for 15.5 hours.
As for the VAIO Z Canvas, it sports a detachable keyboard, leaving you with a 12.1-inch tablet with a 2560x1704 resolution. Storage options will scale to 1TB, though other than that, details are incredibly light.
The VAIO Z Canvas will ship in May for a price that's yet to be determined, while the VAIO Z will go up for pre-order today for around 190,000 yen (around $1,600).