VAIO returns: coming to a Microsoft Store near you this October

When Sony announced that it was spinning off its PC business, many mourned the passing of the premium -- but not quite best-selling -- VAIO series. The company was reborn in Japan, focusing on far less PC models (only two at the start), and a Made In Japan ethic that stretched from design to manufacturing. Now the company says it plans to start selling its newest machines outside of its homeland. VAIO's Z Canvas PC will be available both online and some Microsoft stores across the US starting this October. Prices will start at $2,200, depending on specification options. In an interview with the WSJ, the new CEO Yoshimi Ota added that the company plans to sell a slimmer laptop with cellular capability-- a feature that occasionally appears in niche laptop models.

Ota added that VAIO, as a company, will also branch out into more communication devices, wearable gadgets and, perhaps oddly, factory-automation machines with artificial intelligence. The company will also start to create its own line of robots. VAIO's factories are already building bipedal robots for a separate company using spare capacity from Sony's biggest foray into bots: Aibo.