Vaio outs Japan-only hybrid for creative professionals
Vaio has provided a look at its first hybrid system to be announced since the company’s split from Sony earlier this year. The prototype, which has yet to receive a name, would be targeted specifically at creative professionals, and carry a hefty price tag.
The new hybrid consists of a tablet with kick-stand, wireless keyboard and active stylus. It’s a similar setup to Microsoft’s Surface products or HP’s recently announced Envy x2, though the keyboard on Viao’s machine doesn’t physical attach to the tablet as seen in those systems.
Rather than attempt to cater for low and mid-range users, Vaio is pitching its hybrid at high-end creative professionals such as photographers and graphic designers, with the goal of allowing them to continue with their work away from the desk.
To cater for this, the machine is powered by a quad core 4th generation Intel H line processor with Iris Pro graphics, giving it the necessary muscle to cope with intensive software such as Adobe’s Photoshop and Illustrator programs. The hybrid is also fitted with a 2,560 x 1,704 display (with a 3:2 aspect ratio), translating to 250 pixels per inch (PPI) – comparable to the iPad Air’s solid 264 PPI offering.
Aside from packing capable internals, the new tablet is also well equipped from a connectivity point of view, offering dual USB 3.0 ports, both HDMI and Mini DisplayPort out, as well as an SD card reader.
The pre-production prototype was revealed at an Adobe conference in Los Angeles this week. According to the Wall Street Journal, Vaio plans to start selling new products in Japan starting May 2015, and if the professional-grade hybrid were to make it to market, then the company claims it would carry a hefty ¥200,000 price tag (about $1,840).
That’s a similar cost to the upper tier models of Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, but with those systems packing some very capable internals, it remains to be seen just how well Vaio's new hybrid would match up. At the very least, the reveal provides an early look at what to expect from a post-Sony Vaio.