Vaio unveiled its latest post-Sony product this week: a 12.3-inch tablet with a wireless keyboard. The so-called “monster tablet” comes with an electronic stylus pen and a 200,000 yen ($1,825) price tag, if it ever goes on sale.
Vaio says it plans only a limited release for the monster tablet in Japan, according to the Wall Street Journal. The device is part of a larger push among Microsoft Corp. and its partners to count graphic designers, photographers and illustrators among its customers. Creative professionals have long been one of Apple Inc.’s most loyal enterprise customer markets, which Microsoft hopes to break into.
The high-resolution, 12.3-inch Vaio will eventually run Windows 10, and buck the low-end trend that has proliferated among computers, both in the U.S. and abroad. The MM Research Institute says that in Japan, where Vaio plans to launch its monster tablet, the average selling price of a computer fell to 69,000 yen ($637) in 2013.
Vaio is hoping that a high-price, high-margin enterprise niche will allow it to become profitable, following Sony’s sale of all but 5 percent of its foundering computer business to Japan Industrial Partners. Vaio says it will attempt to imitate Panasonic, which has become popular for its higher-priced computers, known for their ruggedness and long-lasting batteries.
Vaio’s touchscreen tablet – which does not physically connect to its wireless keyboard, like Microsoft’s Surface tablets or other hybrid devices – was unveiled this week at a Los Angeles conference held by Adobe Systems. The software company is known for Photoshop, Illustrator and other programs made for visual design.
Vaio said the monster tablet would be available in Japan next May. The unveiling was accompanied by a series of announcements by Adobe, which plans to offer a "better" Photoshop for touchscreen devices. "Go ahead, give it a spin, and try it on Windows," Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said, according to CNET. “I'm sure you'll be really excited to see what's happening.”