After withdrawing to Japanese-only market, the brilliantly stylish Vaio laptop range is on its way out.
Sony used to be an underrated player in the laptops space back when it had its range of Vaio laptops on the market. However, in 2014, Sony rolled the brand back to Japanese shores and sold it off to Japan Industrial Partners. Now, after four years of being locked to a Japanese-only market, the Vaio brand is expanding its reach outside Japanese waters.
The first laptops to venture away from the safety of the Nippon marketplace will be the Vaio S11 and S13, a typically sleek and stylish work laptop. Unveiled at Computex in Taipei, Taiwan, both laptops have some suitably impressive specs and a reasonable price point.
Captured by German-based tech writer Roland Quandt, and shared on Twitter, the Vaio S11 and S13 will use 8th gen Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM and 128GB or 512GB SSD storage. Both devices also come with the option of a 4G LTE module for connectivity on the go and, what looks like, a built-in fingerprint reader. The major difference between the S11 and S13 is its display. The S11 will have an 11.6in Full HD screen, while the S13 boasts a 13.3-inch version of the same IPS screen.
The lid of both laptops also acts as support for the keyboard, lifting the device up to improve the angle for typing, a feature CNET writer Aloysius Low rather enjoyed. There’s also a LAN port, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, 3.5mm audio jack, SD card reader and – curiously – a VGA port. It’s a shame there’s no USB Type-C support, but it’s clear this is still aiming primarily at an Asian market.
I know you likely don't care, but holy shit do I want one of these. VAIO S11. They are looking to bring the brand back outside of Japan and I can't wait for it to happen. Waaaaaaant! pic.twitter.com/0kFM8ssqKU— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) June 5, 2018
Most interesting of all is that the entire package weighs just 850g for the S11 and 1.07kg for the S13 – making the S11 even lighter than a MacBook and the S13 only a shade heavier.
Pricing hasn’t been confirmed for any market beyond Japan, but with prices for the S11 starting at approximately ¥103,000 that makes it just a shade under £700. Not bad at all.
Unfortunately, it’s not yet known when we’ll see the Vaio S11 make its way to European shores. While the company say that it’s reaching further afield going forward, due to Computex’s focus on the Asian market all Vaio are prepared to say is that they’re bringing it to Hong Kong and Taiwan in mid-July and then to Singapore and Malaysia in August. Seeing as Vaio also occasionally sell laptops into the US marketplace, it’s likely the S11 and S13 will move across the Pacific and – hopefully – to European shores as well.