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Vaio returning to the U.S. with a truly ‘monster’ tablet

TechSpot reports that Vaio chief executive Yoshimi Ota told the Wall Street Journal that the decision to launch with a premium offering was so that the independent Vaio does not end up in the same situation as the loss-leading Sony Vaio brand. The company is staying away from cheap, unprofitable devices to concentrate on creating high-quality, high-value offerings, moving away from Sony’s old focus on market share.
With that in mind, Vaio is releasing a “monster tablet” as its first new device for the U.S. market since it was sold by Sony. The company has released a few devices in its native Japanese market since but this is its first trip back to the States.
Called the Z Canvas, the tablet has a 12.3-inch 2560×1704 display powered by an Intel Core i7-4770HQ and 8GB of RAM. Storage should satisfy even the most power-hungry user as Vaio has thrown in a 256GB SSD as standard.
However, if those specifications just aren’t quite good enough, you can beef it up even more by opting for a 512GB SSD for an extra $600. For those who are really demanding on their hardware, or just want one of the most expensive tablets money can buy, you can go to 16GB of RAM and two 512GB SSDs for a total of 1TB of storage and a price tag of $1250 more than the base model.
The tablet has a stand on the back that it lets it rest on a table or other surface. A detachable keyboard and stylus completes the package and makes it all rather similar to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.
Vaio certainly isn’t making a quiet entrance with those kind of specifications though. The Z Canvas looks set to be one of the most powerful tablets on the market at launch and a direct competitor to the Surface Pro 3 that it will be sold alongside. The company has a deal with Microsoft that lets it sell its devices at US Microsoft stores from October.
Overkill components that give desktop computers a run for their money don’t make for a cheap tablet though. The Z Canvas will retail from $2,199 while the goliath range-topper with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage will set you back $3,300.
Pre-orders start from mid-September for delivery from October 5. Potential purchasers should note that hardware specifications and prices mentioned in this article are based on the versions of the tablet that are currently sold in Japan. There may be some changes for the U.S. market before release.
In the long-term, Vaio has broader ambitions instead of just building premium monster tablets. It wants to create wearables, communication devices and consumer entertainment robots and is apparently planning a public stock flotation or sale to another company in 2017. Those companies are said to include Microsoft and Apple as well as, for whatever reason, Sony. The brand is currently owned by Japan Industrial Partners.

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