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Don't Call It A Comeback: Vaio Returns To US Markets With Z Canvas 2-In-1

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 ModelVJZ12AX0311SVJZ12AX0211SVJZ12AX0111S
ProcessorIntel Core i7-4770HQIntel Core i7-4770HQIntel Core i7-4770HQ
Memory8 GB Onboard (Not Expandable)16 GB Onboard (Not Expandable)16 GB Onboard (Not Expandable)
Storage256 GB SATA 6 Gb/s SSD512 GB PCI Express x4 SSD1 TB (2 x 512 GB) PCI Express x4 SSD
Price$2,199$2,599$3,099

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, and retail Microsoft stores, and they will ship with Windows 10 Pro 64-bit.

Follow Derek Forrest @TheDerekForrest. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • uglyduckling81
    $3000 Tablet.... pass
    Reply
  • Kridian
    Anything over $1,000 for a tablet is laughable. Not in this economy! Try again Sony.
    Reply
  • Blazer1985
    You serious? Is this thing only a tablet for you?
    Did you even read the article and the specs?
    This thing has the specs of a 13"mbp.
    Reply
  • pasow
    i would love something like this, but the price tag is way to high. may as well go for a Wacom Companion at this pricing. it will have far better software support and is cheaper...
    Reply
  • er0shima
    As an IT engineer, Vaio products are very "squishy", sure they look very nice, appealing and kind of luxury but they surely don't last long. I have 2 Vaio devices sitting on a table, gathering dust for almost 3 months already. Both devices had a very light use and out of the blue they just stopped working. Needless to say they just won't power on at all. Now they're trying to sell another device at such an expensive price tag? hmm... good luck with that.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    $3000 Tablet.... pass

    It may be "just a tablet," but it out-specs most of the desktop computers I've built for clients this past year.
    Reply
  • ragenalien
    Love the specs but I'm a little concerned about battery life. Using broadwell or waiting for skylake would make it much more attractive.
    Reply
  • Snayperskaya
    It's not a tablet to play Angry Birds. It's for professional use, hence the pricetag. Seems rugged and hardware specs are nice (no paltry Atom and nice RAM).
    Reply
  • ragenalien
    Love the specs but I'm a little concerned about battery life. Using broadwell or waiting for skylake would make it much more attractive.
    Reply
  • Snayperskaya
    It's not a tablet to play Angry Birds. It's for professional use, hence the pricetag. Seems rugged and hardware specs are nice (no paltry Atom and nice RAM).
    Reply