Life after Sony: Vaio shows off hybrid laptop prototype

Lenovo proved that its possible to buy an unwanted business (PCs) from a giant company (IBM) and turn it a massive success. After buying Sony's portable PC business, Vaio is hoping for the same and just revealed its first prototype: a 12.3-inch hybrid tablet that would cost at least 200,000 yen ($1,800). This is the first prototype it created without any Sony influence (though it still sells Sony's current models) and the Japanese company has shown it's taking a completely different tack than Lenovo.

Rather than compete in a crowded market -- which sunk Sony -- Vaio is courting illustrators, photographers and other pros. That would explain the price and specs: a 12.3-inch 2,560 x 1,704 (3:2) pen-enabled display, stylus and Intel Haswell quad-core CPU with Iris graphics. Vaio told the WSJ that it's following Panasonic's lead in Japan by offering high-end, durable models that the right users are willing to pay for. It's going to test that theory soon, but in Japan only for now -- the first all-new products are set to arrive in May of next year.