Last year, Vaio was part of Sony's massive catalog of products, but the brand was sold off to Japanese company Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), and at that point, there wasn't much hope of seeing Vaio reemerging in the U.S. market anytime soon. Now its own company, Vaio is back and is offering a unique tablet PC called the Vaio Z Canvas.
The Canvas gets its name from, well, a canvas, in that it is an object used to create content. The new Vaio Z Canvas is aimed directly at photo editors, graphic designers, illustrators, web designers and artists of all types, offering a tablet PC designed for mobility with powerful hardware in its thin and light chassis.
The Vaio Z Canvas will come in three different models:
|Vaio Z Canvas Model||VJZ12AX0311S||VJZ12AX0211S||VJZ12AX0111S|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-4770HQ||Intel Core i7-4770HQ||Intel Core i7-4770HQ|
|Memory||8 GB Onboard (Not Expandable)||16 GB Onboard (Not Expandable)||16 GB Onboard (Not Expandable)|
|Storage||256 GB SATA 6 Gb/s SSD||512 GB PCI Express x4 SSD||1 TB (2 x 512 GB) PCI Express x4 SSD|
Judging from these specs (and prices), it doesn't seem Vaio has the budget-oriented consumer in mind. And that's totally okay. The target demographic (artists) is used to higher-priced devices that meet the demands of their workflow, and these new Vaio Z Canvas PCs don't hold back.
The powerful Intel Core i7-4770HQ quad core processor should provide excellent mobile multitasking performance, clocking in at 2.2 GHz with a 3.4 GHz Turbo Boost. The onboard Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 offers some of the best embedded graphics performance Intel has to offer, and is a noticeable step up from the standard Intel HD Graphics. A maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 at 60 Hz is possible using an external display via the device's single HDMI 1.4 port or a mini DisplayPort.
The only differences between each model are their storage and memory options, which can range from 8 GB of RAM with a 256 GB SATA 6 Gb/s SSD to 16 GB of memory with 1 TB (2 x 512 GB) of PCIe x4 SSD storage. Memory configurations are not expandable, and the remaining components in the rest of the system are identical.
The Canvas tablet PCs also feature a 12.3-inch (2560 x 1704) capacitive LCD touchscreen display, offering high resolution, a 3:2 aspect ratio and support for an included Digitizer stylus. The screen is completely free of the included wireless keyboard and can be laid flat for better comfort while using the stylus.
Internet connectivity is provided by a Gigabit LAN port or wirelessly via IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. In addition, the Canvas sports two USB 3.0 ports (one with a recharging function) and an SD card slot, and it also features Bluetooth 4.1.
The new Vaio Z Canvas tablet PCs definitely have an artsy vibe to them. The company is positioning these new devices as direct competition to Apple's MacBook Pro series, claiming to be faster, thinner, lighter, more efficient and more affordable than its competitor. That's an awfully boastful claim, and may or may not be true, at least until Apple reveals new Skylake offerings. After that, it may be hard to make such a claim.
The Vaio Z Canvas series tablet PCs are available now at Vaio's online store, the online Microsoft Store (opens in new tab), and retail Microsoft stores, and they will ship with Windows 10 Pro 64-bit.