Sony’s Shape-Shifting, Windows 8-Powered VAIO Duo 11 Caught In Leaked Images

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Microsoft’s Windows 8-powered surface tablet may be nabbing all the headlines (at least partially because some of Microsoft’s myriad hardware partners were miffed by the company’s decision to make it in the first place), but a newly-revealed convertible device from Sony seems like it may be able to give the Surface a run for its money.

PocketNow managed to score some images of the forthcoming Sony VAIO Duo 11, a Windows 8 tablet with an awfully familiar-looking gimmick — the (reportedly 11-inch) touchscreen slides up and latches into place, revealing a full-size, back-lit keyboard.

The eagle-eyed among you may note some distinct similarities between the VAIO Duo and the Eee Pad Slider that Asus released towards the end of last year. While I really dig the fact that the keyboard base actually seems to have some weight to it (imagine trying to use the Surface’s floppy physical keyboard on your lap), there is of course one major downside: it’s going to be a hefty little convertible. It’s a natural side-effect of including a physical keyboard that’s worth using, but the end result may well be a device that’s more cumbersome than the competition when used in tablet mode.

You can bet that Sony’s going to try and downplay that size issue, and in fact they already are. In some photos it almost looks like the Duo is lying flush on that table, but the side view (above) reveals a much different story — the device’s bottom actually curves up to meet the keyboard. To round out the package, there’s a capacitive stylus featured prominently in the images, but there’s no word on whether it’ll come with the Duo or if it will be sold separately. Sadly, there’s little in the way of juicy details right now — the spec sheet, release date, and Sony’s pricing plans are all still shrouded in mystery, but IFA is just around the corner and it wouldn’t be a shock if one of these things appeared on the show floor.