Vaio brand relaunches, laptops return in Japan

Back in February, Sony sold its Vaio brand and associated operations to a private investment fund called Japan Industrial Partners. Today, JIP relaunched Vaio as a separate company and introduced two new laptops with it. Sadly, it doesn't appear that the new products will be sold outside of Japan. 

The new Vaio Corporation is a small company, with only 240 employees. In a statement on its website (Japanese PDF), the company promises to "inherit the Vaio DNA," which apparently means producing products that embody "productivity, creativity, and ease of use." I'm probably missing something, though. Google Translate is only so much help. 

The new Vaio Pro.

With its relaunch, the company is offering two new notebooks, the Vaio Pro and Vaio Fit. As their names imply, these systems are targeted at the business and consumer markets, respectively. The Vaio Pro is an ultra-thin laptop with a carbon-fiber chassis and IPS display, while the Vaio Fit appears to be a standard consumer machine. Given the exclusively Japanese website and press materials, it seems unlikely that we'll see these in North America anytime soon.

Comments closed
    • dragontamer5788
    • 6 years ago

    I actually like the Vaio Fit offerings. They were a good laptop at a good price for once, competing with Asus on price / performance / features. (1080p screen, i5-U for like $700 or so).

    • Gippy
    • 6 years ago

    The Sony Vaio Pro 13 is probably the greatest or second-greatest ultrabook ever made (The NEC LaVie Z at $2800 is also a #1 contender). It’s the only ultrabook that beats the Macbook Air in battery life AND weight. Unfortunately, not too many people want the best of the best. Every other ultrabook has some sort of compromise: the Asus UX303 is my personal second-place laptop but it has a much worse battery life due to its touch screen. The Asus UX32VD is still good if you need discrete graphics.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 6 years ago

    omg I just realized something: that is the smallest spacebar ever.

      • slowriot
      • 6 years ago

      Whoa…. didn’t notice it was that tiny either, nice catch. That would be awful!

    • ThorAxe
    • 6 years ago

    My wife and I have a VAIO Pro each and it has been a pleasure to use. They have fantastic 1080p Triluminous displays, PCI-e SSDs that I have benched at 1GBps, and a decent keyboard. They are also lighter than MacBook Airs.

    If they can maintain the quality of the Pro then I sincerely hope that they bring the brand back to Australia.

    • Archer
    • 6 years ago

    The world’s most unpronounceable brand name rises from the dust.

    Yay!

    Er, yaio!

      • colinstu12
      • 6 years ago

      people had problems pronouncing VAIO?

      news to me.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]The world's most unpronounceable brand name[/quote<] Puhleeze! -- Asus

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        Ass us.

        Not so hard

    • Chrispy_
    • 6 years ago

    My favourite VAIO model was one from about ten years ago – a [url=http://cdn1.vox-cdn.com/entry_photo_images/9800735/P_verge_super_wide.jpg<]Z1[/url<]. We had a "fleet" of a dozen of these things and I got sick of people breaking them by snapping the motherboards. At first I assumed people were dropping them but then I did it myself one day. Picked it up at one corner and the laptop's own weight flexed the chassis and broke the board. If that was a one-off Sony reliability and stupid-desing issue, we'd have carried on buying them but it was just one of many complaints. I still have to repair Sony laptops to this day and they're all suspect in ways that could so easily have been avoided if someone had thought to user-test the design a little more carefully.

    • Flying Fox
    • 6 years ago

    Wish they won’t inherit the overpricing DNA from Sony.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 6 years ago

    Vaiohazard.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      And if the insulation on the power brick wears through: VaioShock.

        • 5150
        • 6 years ago

        And if Pauly Shore makes a terrible movie about them: VaioDome

          • internetsandman
          • 6 years ago

          And if doctors start using them: AntiVaiotic

          • Welch
          • 6 years ago

          LOL in IRL for real ahaha.

      • Laykun
      • 6 years ago

      I think the states need to intervene, it sounds like ViaoTerrorism to me.

        • stdRaichu
        • 6 years ago

        These puns are all Vaiol.

          • Voldenuit
          • 6 years ago

          Do you know what this is? This is the world’s smallest VAIOlin, playing for just the sony haters.

          /Mr Pink.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 6 years ago

    There was a brief window were viao was a good brand. But Sony was oblivious to good design. The paring of hardware and case design was just bad the last several years.

    • Welch
    • 6 years ago

    KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!!!!!!!!

    Worst lineup of laptops ever (except when they first came out). The things always overheated, had hardware reliability issues. Some of the worst piece of junk I’ve laid my hands on. Almost as bad as HPs.

      • Synchromesh
      • 6 years ago

      I agree about them being crap. Had run-ins with older models (I fix laptops sometimes) and they were horrible designs. I wish Sony would just let this idea go.

        • DreadCthulhu
        • 6 years ago

        Sony did let that idea go, and as the article states, sold off its Vaio division to a private investment group.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 6 years ago

        They did let it go. RTFA?

        • MadManOriginal
        • 6 years ago

        I will nitpick a bit here on your choice of wording: Sony laptops generally have very good industrial designs, but not technical designs. Sony, not Apple, pioneered the ultra-thin laptop for example. Sony’s technical design which directly leads to reliability is where they fell short.

      • albundy
      • 6 years ago

      its was a sony baloney moment! of course it was junk! they stopped building quality electronics when their proprietary schemes failed time after time.

      • Mr. Camel
      • 6 years ago

      If you think HP laptops are bad, which PC laptop vendor is good?

        • Laykun
        • 6 years ago

        If we’re talking premium level consumer models then pretty much most companies offer better models than HP’s rubbish laptops.

        Apple, Dell, ASUS, Razer, MSI, Gigabyte, all off the top of my head provide a much better premium product that you’d actually want. I’ve tried HP many times, and every time there’s always some serious flaw with the product. Seriously, Beats audio?

          • slowriot
          • 6 years ago

          Hahaha….

          Have you actually ever owned/used an MSI? My $1500 MSI gaming laptop’s build quality is [b<]terrible[/b<]. It seriously pales in comparison to my HP dm1z, which was $450 new. The same goes for Asus budget laptops, which often times literally make plastic creaking noises.... a lot like my $1500 MSi laptop does. But this is stupid. We're talking only anecdotes. Fact of the matter is I've seen bad laptops from all of those brands. Every brand that makes ultra cheap laptops produces bad laptops. They're all plastic messes that feel like they could snap in half in held wrong. Oh, and Apple makes the least comfortable to use laptops on the planet but they still get tons of praise.. For reference, laptops I've owned in the last 6 years... Dell XPS M1330 Apple MacBook 13" Lenovo Thinkpad T420 HP dm1z MSI GE70 Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro

        • Welch
        • 6 years ago

        Generally speak (Walmart models aside), Asus, Toshiba, certain Lenovo. Lots of the Lenovo laptops have a thin plastic feel but hardware wise have been reliable.

        HP had a stats released on them years back and about 30% of their laptops returned to the factory for repair within the first 3 years. Asus and Toshiba being the least around 4-6% in the same time period. Nothing about HP is quality these days (speaking generally). I’ve taken apart too many HP laptops to think otherwise.

        I’m not saying Sony as a brand is a failure, just their laptop division. They have been struggling to be seen in the market for a long time. The last Sony I owned was a VIAO back in 1999, had a desktop VIAO and a laptop right before it (333mhz processor ftw!) Both survived and still work to this day if I wanted to use them. The only other Sony product I own today is a Sony A230 DSLR camera.

      • Meadows
      • 6 years ago

      What if that’s the reason why the brand needed a new (proper) team behind it? Let’s not bury these laptops just yet.

      • NeelyCam
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<]KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!!!!!!!![/quote<] In Charlie Land, [url=http://semiaccurate.com/2010/12/27/my-sony-vaio-just-caught-fire/<]Vaio kills [i<]you[/i<] with fire[/url<]

        • UnfriendlyFire
        • 6 years ago

        And if it doesn’t, then their customer support will kill you with apathy.

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 6 years ago

      Now now, there’s no need for vaiolence.

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        You’re on fire today!

          • ssidbroadcast
          • 6 years ago

          It’s killing me.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 6 years ago

            [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7tkK-1-fFM[/url<]

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