Vaio has been slowly making its way back into the US after splitting off from Sony, and today it's taking a big step with the introduction of three more laptops targeted at pros — or, really, anyone who wants a higher-end machine. Of the three, the highlight is the Vaio Z Flip, which includes a 13-inch, 2560 x 1440 touchscreen display that can — surprise — flip around to be used like a tablet.
Vaio wants to take on Apple, not cheap Windows laptops
The Z Flip is an expensive laptop, and Vaio says it has the build quality and power to back it up. The laptop's top and inside casing is made of aluminum, and for whatever reason there is literal stone underneath the trackpad. Inside is either a Core i5 or i7 Skylake processor, 8 to 16GB of RAM, and a battery large enough to, supposedly, keep it running for around 11 to 12 hours, though Vaio says its battery estimate isn't final. It also includes a stylus. The Z Flip is very much Vaio's answer to the MacBook Pro. It's essentially trying to offer a comparably high-quality machine for people who want to run Windows. The Z Flip has already been on sale in Japan, but this marks the first time it'll arrive in the US. Pricing starts at $1,799.
Vaio is also introducing a slightly cheaper version of the Vaio Z Flip without some of its flashier features — namely, flipping. The Vaio Z Clamshell (technically, both of these laptops are just called the Vaio Z, but Vaio also refers to them as the Z Flip and Z Clamshell to differentiate them, so I'm doing that here) uses a very similar body, but it doesn't have a touchscreen and only uses a 1080p display. There is still stone beneath the touchpad, though, so at least you have that. It starts at $1,499.
As with the above two laptops, the third laptop Vaio is announcing today has also been on sale in Japan for a while now. It's apparently Vaio's best seller, too. It's called the Vaio S (but goes as Vaio Pro in Japan), and is a surprisingly nice-looking laptop that manages to feel like it belongs to the late-2000s thanks to the inclusion of both an ethernet port and a VGA port along one side. If you're still into iPods and 3.5-inch phones, this might be perfect for you. It'll start shipping to the US in early March, while the Z models will begin shipping in early February.