GeekStuff4U | Blog

Mar 26

Sony-made Vaio PCs going out of sale!

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Just as we were starting to enjoy the fact that Sony finally decided to name their computers things other than boring letters…

As you may know, Sony sold off its Vaio computer unit early last month, making the current batch of models in all its PC lines the very, very final Sony-made computers that will ever be available!

Sony just announced that they will stop accepting orders for order-made Vaio computers on the 20th of April, 2014 JST.  This means, of course, that GeekStuff4U will also be unable to provide Sony Vaio computers to you after this date; as such, if you’re considering ordering a Vaio PC, you’ll need to do this before the 19th of April!


A quick rundown of the computers currently available from Sony -

Vaio Pro, in its 11-inch and 13-inch flavors, available directly on geekstuff4u.com:

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Out of all the computers out from Sony, this is the computer that GeekStuff4U recommends.  It’s the lightest and thinnest ultrabook in the world, making use of a carbon composite to achieve its sub-1kg weight - lighter than the aluminum MacBook Air.  Even though it’s just an uninteresting-looking notebook-shaped computer, you can optionally choose to outfit it with a touchscreen, giving you an additional way of interacting with the elements on your screen!

Although this computer is available for purchase on geekstuff4u.com, feel free to contact us with any questions you have!  As per usual, our policy of maybe giving out spontaneous discounts to those who ask applies to the Vaio Pro.


Vaio Tap 11 slate plus keyboard

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Alhough reminiscent of the Microsoft Surface, these slate tablets are about 200g lighter, and over 3mm thinner, than the Surface Pro 2.  Unlike the Surface, the keyboard it comes with connects to the slate via Bluetooth, allowing you more freedom to adjust to your comfort!  Its 11.6-inch wide touchscreen runs at 1920x1080px, and you get to choose from three storage drive capacities - 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB SSDs - and four processors - Pentium 3560Y (1.20GHz), Core i3-4020Y (1.50GHz), i5-4210Y (1.50GHz), or i7-4610Y (1.7GHz) - not to mention three RAM sizes, between 2GB and 8GB.  It comes with an IEEE 802.11/a/b/g/n/ac antenna and Bluetooth 4.0, and boasts an SDXC card slot and microHDMI out, all in a package measuring 304.6mm x 9.9mm x 188mm (11.9in x 0.38in x 7.4in).  The battery on this slate is rated for eight hours, and Sony allows you to pick between a Japanese or US layout for the keyboard!

Since this computer isn’t available for view and purchase on geekstuff4u.com, you’ll have to contact us if you’re interested in buying - or if you have any questions.


Vaio Fit laptop/tablet hybrid

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News of this computer started floating around just after the release of Windows 8, when the world was upchucking ideas left and right for the perfect notebook/tablet hybrid in a world where apparently, the swivel-and-fold tablet PC form factor of the olde Windows XP Tablet Edition era was dead.  Keyboard docking stations with removable slate screens were the most obvious - and thus the most numerous; Dell’s Duo and subsequent XPS 11/12 introduced a swiveling screen inside a frame; and Panasonic and Lenovo both gave the world nightmares of laptop keys flying off the back of their reverse-folded laptop computers.  Still crazier ideas, such as putting two screens on the front and back, were universally laughed at.

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Sony tried its hand at a new form factor, which involved adding another layer behind the screen of the laptop computer, which would serve as a hinge to swivel the upper clamshell around to the outside.  The first thought to cross one’s mind would be the skepticism at the inevitable thickness of the resulting tablet PC, but manhandling the actual computer in tablet mode isn’t uncomfortable or awkward at all.  Of course, this tablet PC isn’t the lightest or the thinnest offering in the world - or even in Sony’s own arsenal - but if your computing habits require a proper laptop half the time, and a proper slate the other half, this is the one for you!

Walk into the Sony section of a computer store in Japan, and the first thing that you’ll notice about the Vaio Fits is that there are a frakton of screen sizes: there’ll be an 11-inch Fit next to a 13-inch Fit next to a 14-inch Fit next to a 15-inch behemoth Fit, all in various states of undress swivel.  EDIT: The 11-inch Fit has been discontinued by Sony.

Sony offers choices between Core i3-4005U (1.70GHz), Core i5-4200U (1.60GHz), and Core i7-4500U (1.80GHz) CPUs for all sizes, as well as an additional Pentium 3556U (1.70GHz) option for the 14-inch model (don’t ask why).  RAM goes up to 8GB for the 13- and 14-inch models, and 16GB on the 15-inch, which also has the option of a NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M graphics accelerator.  The 13-inch model comes with a 128GB SSD, 256GB SSD, 256GB high-speed SSD, 512GB SSD, or 512GB high-speed SSD; the larger sizes offer the standard SSD capacities, plus a 750GB or 1TB hybrid HDD (with 16GB of NAND flash memory), or avanilla 500GB or 1TB hard drive.  As a cost-saving measure, the 14- and 15-inch models allow you to take out the rear-facing webcam, leaving in the teleconferencing option on the same side as the screen; and all three sizes optionally come with a digital stylus pen, and a selection between a Japanese and US layout keyboards.

As with the Tap 11, this computer isn’t available for view or sale on GeekStuff4U, so feel free to shoot us an inquiry if you’re interested in buying this computer, or have questions about it!


Let’s all have a moment of silence for the long-enduring Sony Vaio.  Long bashed for its high price and its ridiculously flexible frame - in ways that laptops shouldn’t be flexible - these computers were finally approaching market norms over the last few years.  The confusing and unfriendly letter names - the S series, the Z series, the P series, et cetera et cetera - were replaced with more personable monikers reminiscent of the Pros and Airs and Minis of That Other Company; and we were recently treated with an anecdote that Steve Jobs once offered Sony licensing for Mac OS X to be run on Vaios.  My, to imagine how different the world would have been if Sony’d said yes!  Sony’s Vaios were definitely becoming better and better, potentially earning them a place near the top of the leaderboard of worldwide computer companies.

In any case, we’re seeing news that the new company being set up to take over Vaio production and sale intends to concentrate on the domestic Japanese market for the time being.  On the other hand, around 500 Sony engineers and other employees are rumored to be transferring to the new Vaio business, which suggests that the engineering and idea generation to come out of Sony in the last few years is unlikely to die out.  Either way, there is absolutely no information around the Interwebs regarding the new Vaio business; we could only engage in idle speculation based on what scant details there are.

GeekStuff4U is currently exploring the viability of preparing to offer The New Vaio computers for sale when they appear on the market.  Quality and cost effectiveness will, of course, be considered, including hands-on playtime by our squad of computer experts and computer newbs.  Keep a look out around our web presences for more information in the coming months!

Dec 06

Currently popular on GeekStuff4U: the Keyboard Quiet Cover, for those late nights with mountains of homework in your double-bedded dorm room or shared apartment.

Currently popular on GeekStuff4U: the Keyboard Quiet Cover, for those late nights with mountains of homework in your double-bedded dorm room or shared apartment.

Nov 22

Currently popular on GeekStuff4U: the Thanko Warming Mouse!
Get this and other gadgets to keep warm this winter!

Currently popular on GeekStuff4U: the Thanko Warming Mouse!

Get this and other gadgets to keep warm this winter!

Aug 06

idon'tknowwhattonamemytumblrblog: Remorse, Historical Lessons, and Legacies of our Ancestors -

The official stance of GeekStuff4U has always been that of complete neutrality - we’re Switzerland! - in matters of worldly events and social debate, such as homosexual marriage, NSA spying, religion, government oppression, and the cookie or filling on Oreos.

This reblog is an opinion piece written by one of our staff on his own personal time regarding some questions he has about the burden of responsibility of one’s ancestors’ actions.  He says he didn’t start with the intent of churning out such a controversy-stirring post, but it just turned out that way the more he wrote.

As a disclaimer, the views expressed in his blog post do not reflect the official stance or views held by GeekStuff4U.

terrykimura:

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Today is the sixty-eight-year anniversary of the Hiroshima A-bomb event during the final days of World War II, and the annual Peace Memorial Ceremony was held this morning at the Hiroshima Peace National Park, an expanse of land that includes the Genbaku Dome in central Hiroshima City. I was…

Jul 29

gs4u-danbo:

Danbo tuning a violin.
(I’m trying out watermarking, because the logo stickers I put on its forehead looked atrocious :( )

What this has to do with Japan, other than the location the photo was taken in (and, well, Danbo), we’re not absolutely sure.  Still, Danbo!

gs4u-danbo:

Danbo tuning a violin.

(I’m trying out watermarking, because the logo stickers I put on its forehead looked atrocious :( )

What this has to do with Japan, other than the location the photo was taken in (and, well, Danbo), we’re not absolutely sure.  Still, Danbo!

Jul 27

gs4u-danbo:

"And this is a battery charger that looks like me."
Get this limited edition 10400mAh mobile charger for your USB devices (including iPhones and iPads) from GeekStuff4U now!  Only three units available.  Plus, it has Danbo’s face on it :)

gs4u-danbo:

"And this is a battery charger that looks like me."

Get this limited edition 10400mAh mobile charger for your USB devices (including iPhones and iPads) from GeekStuff4U now!  Only three units available.  Plus, it has Danbo’s face on it :)

Jul 23

gs4u-danbo:

Welcome to GeekStuff4U’s new Danbo blog!  Watch us for sightings of our very own Danbo here in Japan.

GeekStuff4U just started a new Danbo photos blog!  So far, there’s only one photo, but that’s bound to grow soon.  Keep watching!

gs4u-danbo:

Welcome to GeekStuff4U’s new Danbo blog!  Watch us for sightings of our very own Danbo here in Japan.

GeekStuff4U just started a new Danbo photos blog!  So far, there’s only one photo, but that’s bound to grow soon.  Keep watching!

Jul 18

Star Trek Into Vending Machine.
So: should it be ‘Star Trek Into Vending Machine’, or ‘Star Trek into Vending Machine’?
Large ads on the sides of the JR East Water Business touchscreen vending machines now popular in Tokyo!  Unfortunately, they’re not 1:1-size.

Star Trek Into Vending Machine.

So: should it be ‘Star Trek Into Vending Machine’, or ‘Star Trek into Vending Machine’?

Large ads on the sides of the JR East Water Business touchscreen vending machines now popular in Tokyo!  Unfortunately, they’re not 1:1-size.

Jul 15

National Holiday in Japan

It’s Monday morning here in Japan, but it’s a national holiday so the office will not be operating!  Our website, of course, will still be accepting orders.

Jul 14

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Jul 06

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Jun 27

The Evolution of Design

Observe.

This is a mockup of the top menu-and-slides assembly on GeekStuff4U.com circa 2011.  You’ll notice that everything is flat - the black bar at the top, the slides, and even the half-transparent logo-and-menu bar gimmick looks visually on the same three-dimensional plane as the slides (and the black bar); not to mention the white background.  We received a couple emails from friends and acquaintances who each had their two cents to offer, the most oft-occurring of which was to blast the flat, uninteresting and visually unappealing look of the front page.

So we added shadows.

Well, shadows and a little pseudo-curved menu bar a la the iOS lockscreen clock.  Now it’s got depth!  It’s got pizazz!  You could almost reach out and feel the elements with your fingertips!  Later, we added the dark background to turn it into what you see today:


Then, then then thenthenthenthen, infuriatingly, Microsoft has to come and bring sexy flat back, punting the only good thing about Windows Vista - Aero Glass - into the deep, dark dredges of history.

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And, as we all know, Apple followed suit.

So, to recap, it turned out the when we thought the design of our website was backwards and full of shtako, we were in fact ahead of the entire design race!  Then, of course, we had to go and frack it up and devolve a few years worth of designy goodness.

For the time being, we’ve decided that the shadows and the pseudo-curved menu bar on our webstore are going to stay - although there may be a large redesign in the near future, the least of which is to enable a responsive design to accomodate smartphones, tablets, and other devices.  If you have any comments about the looks of our webstore, such as color schemes, element positioning, usability, or UX design, please feel free to let us know!  We love feedback.

Jun 14

GS4U Blog Reboot!

Welcome to the new, rebooted official GeekStuff4U blog!

This blog originally resided on tumblr.geekstuff4u.com, but we decided that the Wordpress setup that was originally here at blog.geekstuff4u.com has to go, and this old Tumblr blog that was lying around defunct was a good choice as any for the platform that takes its place.

Going forward, you’ll see news from GS4U’s Tokyo operations team, including news from the office, giveaways, sweepstakes, campaigns, note-worthy new products on our catalog, and interesting news from Japan! Keep your eyes peeled, because you’ll be served abundant helpings of word splurge and pictorial goodness from your favorite country! Whether you’re a Japan fan, a tech geek, or an anime nerd, you’ll find something of interest here.

Mar 11

Dec 31

Come Over for the GeekStuff4U Elecom 9nove Giveaway Contest!

GeekStuff4U is holding a contest for the best, most imaginative, most hilarious, or most thoughtful response to the question:

What would a person with a nine-computer setup use it for?

The winner will win an Elecom 9nove Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, which can retain pairing with up to nine computers without needing a manual re-pairing every time you want to switch PCs!

(Source: blog.geekstuff4u.com)