From Academic Kids

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VAIO notebook

VAIO, an acronym for "Video Audio Integrated Operation", is a brand slogan for many of Sony's computer products. The branding was created to distinguish items that encompassed the use of consumer audio and video, as well as being conventional computing products. One example of this was the Sony VAIO W Series Personal Computer, which functioned as a regular PC and a miniature entertainment center.

The VAIO logo is a thoughtful design. It uses the letters V and A to represent a sine wave and the letters I and O to represent the numerals one and zero. The logo symbolizes the analog and digital multi-media capabilities of the product line.

Sony is expanding the use of the VAIO label. It can now be found on notebook and desktop computers and on their VAIO POCKET player, a harddisk-based audio player. Network media solutions by Sony have and will also carry the VAIO brand.

VAIO laptops are noted for their insanely varying product numbers and the almost total lack of firmware and driver updates for them within months of them going on sale. Typically, any given model will have three varying product numbers, one for the entry model, one for the medium level model and one the high end model. High-end model notebooks are usually shipped with Windows XP Professional, the other two with XP Home. Most recently, some models no longer ship with a Recovery CD, but a special partition on the hard drive is used for the recovery information, including operating system and all bundled software. VAIO users are prompted to create a set of recovery CDs or DVDs immediately after purchase.

Sony has been widely critiziced for not supporting its users to switch to other operating systems. This situation is gradually changing, with drivers becoming available on the website or a special folder on the harddrive, to allow for software upgrades- usually from XP Home to Pro.

On the plus side, VAIO computers feature a wide array of specially designed or bundled software, allowing the user to immediately use it for multimedia purposes. Those software products include, among many others:

  • SonicStage, a digital music manager similar to Apple's iTunes. It is integrated with Sony's Connect downloadable music service, and allows users to transfer music to Sony standalone music players, Template:Clie PDAs, or PSPs.
  • VAIO ZONE (in Europe and Asia), a one-stop GUI to listen to music, watch photo slide shows, watch TV (when a tuner card is present) or watch DVDs.

VAIO notebooks and desktops were also the first to feature a special coating on their screen, called XBRITE™ or ULTRABLACK in various markets, that will increase the brightness of the screen and will make the image more "lively". This is especially visible when watching a movie on the computer screen.

Other than the ubiquitous Apple notebooks, the movie Resident Evil: Apocalypse featured Sony computer gear, with the VAIO logo prominently showing. Screengems, which produced the film, is part of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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