No longer part of Sony, the Vaio brand makes its return to the U.S. with the Vaio Z Canvas, a 12-inch Windows 10 tablet. Aimed at creative professionals with deep pockets, the tablet, which starts at $2,199, will come with a Bluetooth keyboard and active stylus with 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity.
Made of machined aluminum alloy, the Vaio Z Canvas has a fold-out kickstand in the back, allowing users to prop up the tablet when it will be used like a laptop, or lower down, where it can be used more like a drawing pad. It comes loaded with a 12.3-inch 2560 x 1704 WQXGA+ IPS touchscreen, an Intel Core i7-4770HQ Haswell processor and Intel Iris Pro graphics 5200. At its starting price ($2,199), the Vaio Z Canvas features a 256GB SSD and 8GB of RAM; doubling both increases the cost to $2,599, and upping the storage to a 1TB PCIe SSD brings the price to a whopping $3,099.
The tablet will come with Windows 10 Pro, and also bears the Microsoft Signature Edition label, meaning it will be clean of bloatware. It will have two USB 3.0 ports, HDMI, and a miniDisplayPort, so that it can output to two 4K monitors at once. Additionally, it will have 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Ethernet, an 8MP rear camera, and a 0.92MP front camera.
Weighing 2.67 pounds and measuring 11.85 x 8.39 x 0.54 inches, the Vaio Z Canvas is on the heavier side for a tablet, but not overly so given its size. (Its keyboard adds another 0.75 pounds.) However, that's more than a pound heavier than the iPad Pro, which has a larger and sharper 12.9-inch, 2732 x 2048-pixel display. Then again, the Vaio Z has much greater computing power, as well as storage capacity, and its screen should be able to show nearly 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color space.
The real competition with the Vaio Z could be the upcoming Microsoft Surface 4. While not much is known at the moment, Microsoft's newest tablet is rumored to have Intel's latest Skylake processors -- a generation newer than that in the Vaio Z -- but probably won't pack the same graphics power.
Although pricey, the Vaio Z Canvas is targeted at a fairly specific group: graphic designers, illustrators and photographers who need a portable device on which to touch up images and illustrations. To that end, it could find a very receptive audience.