Vaio makes global comeback with US laptop launch

Vaio, the computer business formerly owned by Sony, is taking its first steps outside of its native Japan.

Sony sold the PC business back in February, although it does retain a minority five per cent stake, as a result of the declining laptop market, instead opting to focus on smartphone sales.

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However, Vaio continued to operate as an independent business, producing products that differed little from the laptops being sold prior to the split. Previously, these devices were only available in Japan, but now Vaio is set to launch its first product in the US.

US customers can register their interest in the Vaio Z Canvas 2-in-1 now, although it is not expected to be available for purchase until October. The device was launched in Japan earlier this year and comes with 12.3-inch display and boasts a detachable keyboard and stylus, allowing it to double up as a tablet.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Vaio chief executive Yoshimi Ota said that his company had plans for further releases in the States, including a “document-size laptop with cellular capability” and perhaps something more left-field.

“Whether it’s humanoid or dog-shaped, we plan to start making Vaio-branded robots in the near future,” Mr Ota claimed.

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Vaio has plans to target the Brazilian market next, and its US expansion is likely to benefit from customers already being aware of the brand name. However, industry analysts have doubted whether the company can succeed in the international laptop market. The business was sold by Sony due to it being unprofitable and it currently makes up less than one per cent of the Japanese market.