Expensive hybrid tablets are a tougher sell nowadays than they were a few years ago. The success of the iPad Pro and Surface Pro 4 have put downward pressure on prices for hybrid tablets across the board.
The Vaio Z Canvas is a great device that might be able to compete in this tough market despite a hefty price tag if it can attract the right audience.
Design & Aesthetics
Like the Microsoft Surface Pro, the Vaio Z Canvas is a large tablet with a detachable keyboard and a stylus. Protected by a sturdy anodized aluminum housing, this 12.3-inch tablet is a fairly hefty customer at nearly 0.55 inches thick.
There’s a 2560×1704 WQXGA display, a 720p webcam, an 8MP rear lens, stereo speakers and the obligatory microphone. Last but not least, the Vaio Z Canvas has a built-in adjustable kickstand.
Internal Computing Hardware
This Vaio tablet is powered by the Intel Core i7-4770HQ, which features an Iris Pro Graphics 5200 GPU. While the standard clock speed is 2.2GHz, it can achieve 3.4GHz via Turbo Boost. By default, the stock Z Canvas comes with 8GB of RAM and can be bumped up to 16GB.
Storage starts out at 256GB of space accessible via a SATA connection. Pricier models come with either 512GB or 1TB of storage.
Installed Software & UI
Every Vaio Z Canvas comes with Windows 10 Pro 64-bit and not a whole lot else. Unlike traditional tablets running Android or iOS, there are very few apps that can’t be found online or run on a typical desktop PC.
As a Windows tablet, the Z Canvas comes with all of the usual Microsoft apps installed by default. OneNote in particular works especially well with the included proprietary stylus.
Unless you pop in a mobile broadband dongle, the Vaio Z Canvas is strictly a Wi-Fi machine. There’s also the expected Bluetooth 4.1 for interacting with a variety of handy peripherals.
As far as ports go, there’s an SD card slot, two USB 3.0 connections, a Mini Display Port, HDMI and an Ethernet jack. One input option worth mentioning is the integrated trackpad that comes with the Vaio Z Canvas’s detachable keyboard.
Performance in the Field
The Vaio Z Canvas is a beast when you consider the fact that it’s a glorified tablet. In many benchmark tests, it compares favorably with the MacBook Pro 13.
If you’re running intensive apps like Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Cinema 4D, you’ll be amazed at the render times that it can deliver. The display is capable of covering 95% the Adobe’s RGB spectrum. Battery life clocks in at about 8 hours.
Vaio Z Canvas Pros & Cons
On the one hand, the Vaio Z Canvas is a powerful machine that can double as a laptop for workers in the field. It’s a convenient way to belt out animations and graphics if you’re a designer or an artist.
That should make it popular with a very specific niche of users. Finally, the Z Canvas is a well-built device. The only problem is the $2,100 starting price.
Final Thoughts on the Vaio Z
Without a doubt, the Vaio Z Canvas isn’t for everyone. Office workers that need to be highly mobile would probably be better off with a Surface Pro or an iPad Pro. Anyone working in a creative industry where stylus input paired with a powerful hybrid tablet would be beneficial should check out the Vaio Z Canvas.
If you can get your company to pay for it, all the better.