First laptops from Sony’s offloaded Vaio business unveiled in Tokyo

2 Jul 2014

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The Vaio Pro and Vaio Fit laptops

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When is a Sony laptop not a Sony laptop? When it’s the first of the Vaio range to be released since the Japanese company sold off its ailing PC business to cut its massive losses.

Sticking solely with the Vaio brand, the new Vaio Pro and Vaio Fit laptops bear little difference to the devices announced under these same titles by Sony at last year’s IFA expo.

The Vaio Pro is a carbon fiber model housing a fourth-generation Intel Haswell chip, available with either an 11.6-inch or a 13.3-inch 1080p HD touchscreen.

The Vaio Fit is a hybrid tablet-laptop transformer and features an Intel Core i7 4500U processor, up to 8GB of DDR3L SDRAM and Intel HD Graphics 4400. This laptop is available in three full-HD screen sizes: 13.3-inch, 14-inch and 15.5-inch.

These Windows 8 laptops are the first to be released since Vaio became separate to the Sony brand to which it had long been attached. Sony’s own Vaio Fit 11A was its last addition to the range but these units were recalled in April following the discovery of some faulty batteries.

At Sony’s most recent earnings call in May, the company reported its losses had tripled to US$1.26bn. A significant chunk of its losses – US$566m, to be exact – were attributed to its PC business.

Sony had announced earlier in the year it would sell its struggling laptop business to private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners for up to US$489m. Newly created company Vaio revealed its first laptops in Tokyo and the company as yet has no plans to sell outside of Japan.

By cutting the Vaio albatross from around its neck, Sony hopes for improved financial results in 2015, buoyed by its growing mobile and gaming businesses.

Elaine Burke is managing editor of Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com