Vaio is still alive and reviving laptops in Asia?

Launched in 1996, Sony’s “Vaio” computer brand was for a time one of the jewels of modern computing … until its tragic end in 2014. Sony then resold it to a Japanese industrial group (Japan Industrial Partners).

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It took more than a year and a half for the brand to come back at the end of 2015 to the US market, probably for reasons of ease – a large territory, a language, etc. The brand has always been there.

Two and a half years later, Vaio returns to Asia at the Taipei Computex stands in Taiwan. The first Laptop is expected to arrive in Hong Kong and Taiwan in July 2018, and in August in Singapore and Malaysia. Nothing has leaked about a possible return to India.

A return that is noticeable only by the mentions “Vaio is back“, because of product side, the brand is discreet … and uninspired. Only two models of laptops are presented (the S11 and S13), against several tens at each of its competitors! The design is reminiscent of the latest Vaio Z – we will iron for audacity! – but the products look very well finished and are very light (850g for the 11 inches, 1.07kg for the 13 inches), one of Vaio’s historic trademarks.

A cautious start, without a prototype a bit crazy as only Vaio was able to launch – we think of Vaio P for example. Let us salute the perseverance and risk-taking of re-launching the machine in a market as competitive as Asia, proof that the brand has managed to survive its return to the US market.

The former boss still in command

If it is no longer in the purse of its creator – who still owns the rights to the brand and has invested 5% in Vaio Corporation – the company remains in the fold of a fund of Japanese investment. Reading the statutes of the company and business information about it we were able to discover that it is still Ryosuke Akahane who is at its head. We had the chance to meet Mr. Akahane during a Indian press trip to Japan in 2010, in the region of Nagano, the stronghold of the Vaio division.

After pointing out the mistakes of the brand in certain areas – preinstalled software, adapters sectors, lack of cohesion in installed software suites, etc. – Mr. Akahane explained to us at the time that “at Sony, there are many leaders.” Implied many heads of different divisions (software, semiconductors, electronics, etc ..) Influenced industrial choices, not necessarily in his sense …

Now at the helm of a division that has become a solo company that does not have to go through the arbitrariness of the decisions of an industrial giant, Mr. Akahane seems to have more latitude. Wish him good luck in the resurrection of this prestigious brand … a resurrection that will require a little more audacity than what we saw on the stands Computex.

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Vaio: The Japanese computer industry in tatters

From Toshiba to Fujitsu via Sony, the Japanese computer industry has suffered a tidal wave (Acer, Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, etc.) Chinese (Lenovo) literally swept away.
Sony is no longer a shadow of its own, Fujitsu has left the mainstream and Toshiba has just sold its division to Sharp … which now belongs to the Taiwanese Foxconn (yes, the giant who manufactures Apple products).

In February 2016, two years after its release from the Sony group, Vaio approached Toshiba and Fujitsu to create a new Japanese champion of personal computing. A story that will never be written. Two months later, the project was boring, burying the return to the forefront of the Japanese computer industry to whom we owe the first laptop (Toshiba, 1985), the prestigious Think-pad division of IBM, based in Kanagawa prefecture in Japan and Vaio, the most emblematic of Japanese brands. The only third-party machines that Steve Jobs would have accepted to run mac-OS!

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Omar Belkaab

Journalist Editor for TechGIndia. Although I am passionate about new technologies and the best Android devices, I remain very attached to the good old feature phones that have often left me in the lurch.