Sony’s former computer arm, Vaio, is expanding its reformed business outside of its native Japan for the first time.
The Japanese electronics giant sold its Vaio business in March of last year amidst sliding profits. The stand-alone company swiftly returned to market with some familiar-looking laptops, but as a small PC maker operating exclusively in Japan.
Now Vaio is stepping out of its home country as an independent company for the first time, having announced that it’s launching in the US.
As Vaio’s chief executive Yoshimi Ota told The Wall Street Journal, the company will begin selling its laptops at Microsoft retail stores in the US in October.
The first laptop to be made available will be the Vaio Z Canvas 2-in-1 that it announced in Tokyo back in February. It’s a 12.1in laptop/tablet hybrid with a completely detachable 2,560 x 1,704 screen. US customers can register their interest now.
Vaio also plans to launch “a document-size laptop with cellular capability” in the US, as well as some desktop PCs.
In the interview, Ota also revealed that the company has plans to expand into Brazil, with a local manufacturer set to make and distribute its laptops in the up-and-coming country.
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Vaio remains a tiny operator in a flatlining PC market, but it intends to succeed on its own terms through building exclusively high-end, niche devices. You won’t find these machines discounted in your local supermarket (not least because they’re not available in the UK).
Rather, Vaio will target the kind of high-end professional users – graphic designers, photographers and the like – who currently use Apple Mac products.
Check out our Microsoft Surface Pro 3 video review for an indication of what the Vaio Z Canvas is up against: