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Sony displays VAIO tablet prototypes; future Windows 8 hardware?

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Sony displays prototype laptops and tablets, which we anticipate will run Windows 8.

Gallery Photo: Sony VAIO tablet with sliding keyboard prototype
Gallery Photo: Sony VAIO tablet with sliding keyboard prototype

If you blinked while watching our Sony live blog, you likely missed Kazuo Hirai teasing of a few prototype VAIO laptop and tablets. Well, luckily, Sony's displaying them behind glass at its booth. To me, the most interesting of the two is the tablet that slides over a detachable keyboard. It's a lot like the Series 7 Slider Samsung showed last year (it never came to market), but the tablet separates from the base and also has a stylus. There's a short video of it behind glass below, but if I had to guess this really seems like a perfect fit for Windows 8. (VAIO is Sony's Windows-only brand, its tablet is part of its mobile group.) That said, I ran into a Sony executive at the booth, who said these are really just prototypes, and that they are merely to show Sony's design prowess.

Sony's also showing a smaller tablet with rounder edges. The tablet itself looks like a beautiful piece of hardware, and the keyboard dock seems to be just a flat piece of metal. Pretty crazy stuff, but it'd be even crazier if Sony surprised us by bringing these to market soon.