Sony's latest VAIO laptops, Windows 8 touch models launched

Updated 08 November 2012
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Sony's latest VAIO laptops, Windows 8 touch models launched

Modern Electronics Company Ltd. (MECL), a subsidiary of the Al Faisaliah Group and Sony, a major consumer electronics brand, yesterday unveiled its latest VAIO range of laptops and touch models for Windows 8 in Riyadh yesterday.
The new VAIO line-up from Sony puts touch right at the heart of one's personal computing experience. Purpose-built to make the most of the new Windows 8 interface, Sony's industry-leading touch range includes the VAIO Duo 11 and the VAIO Tap 20.
Prince Mohammed bin Khaled Abdullah Al-Faisal, president and CEO Al Faisaliah Group, launched the new products in the presence of Samir Noman, managing director, Microsoft Middle East and Africa; Bader Al-Swailem, managing director MECL/SONY; and Kazuteru Makiyama, director of sales and marketing MECL/SONY.
Speaking to Arab News, Prince Al-Faisal pointed out that during the past few years there was a dramatic growth in the tablet market. He pointed out that there has been a common complaint from the users that tablets are more useful for reading and do not fulfill the needs of users doing serious and intensive work.
With new ways to combine work and play, the new VAIO touch models have been built to make it easy to switch from a productive workday to pure entertainment, he added.
Speaking at the press conference, the prince said the VAIO Duo 11 puts touch and handwriting right at the heart of one's Windows 8 computing experience. Write, sketch and interact with media and applications on the responsive, touch capable, super-bright, and Full High Definition OptiContrast Panel are among its features.
"A unique pressure-sensitive digital stylus gives the satisfying, expressive feel of handwriting directly on the touchscreen. Make notes, sketch diagrams or highlight key points on your PowerPoint presentation with accuracy and speed. Smart text recognition even lets you quickly convert handwritten notes to text for easy archiving and searches."
Despite its compact size, the VAIOTM Duo 11 is ready for business use with a full complement of ports and interfaces, including Bluetooth Smart Ready, USB 3.0, HDMI, Ethernet and VGA video ports. One won't be slowed down when one is in a hurry with Quick Boot that gets one up and running in seconds.
The prince indicated that a road show is also planned to showcase these latest products beginning Nov. 21 through Dec. 14 in selected major shopping malls in the three main cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and Alkhobar. He added that both the VAIO Duo 11 and VAIO Cap 20 are currently available in the market.
Showcasing the power of Windows 8, the brand new VAIO models make work and play beautifully intuitive - whether one is relaxing at home or on the move. Stylish notebooks, an innovative slider hybrid, a family-friendly PC and an elegant Ultrabook, make up the 10-point multi-touch screens in the new VAIO collection.
Slim and light, VAIO Duo 11 weighs approximately 1.3 kg and features an 11.6-inch screen and is hand-built in Japan with quality craftsmanship that only Sony can deliver pick up the VAIO Duo 11 in one hand and use in tablet mode to browse the web or enjoy music and videos while traveling.
In the office, slide out the keyboard and maximize your productivity with a fully-featured PC powered by the latest 3rd generation Intel Core processors.
Marrying the tablet and conventional desktop PC, the new VAIO Tap 20 transforms home computing into a fun, engaging experience. Featuring a large, fully adjustable 20-inch touchscreen and integrated battery, the VAIO Tap 20 offers new usage opportunities for individuals as well as the entire family.


Exxon faces setback in Iraq as oil and water mix

Updated 20 April 2018
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Exxon faces setback in Iraq as oil and water mix

  • Exxon’s talks with Iraq on water project hit problems
  • Losing the contract could deal a blow to Exxon’s broader Iraqi plans

LONDON: Talks between Exxon Mobil and Iraq on a multibillion-dollar infrastructure contract have reached an impasse, Iraqi officials and two industry sources said, in a potential setback to the oil major’s ambitions to expand in the country.

More than two years of negotiations on awarding the US firm a project to build a water treatment facility and related pipelines needed to boost Iraq’s oil production capacity have hit difficulties because the two sides differ on contract terms and costs, the officials and sources told Reuters.

Unless the differences can be resolved, the project could be awarded to another company in a tender, the officials said, without elaborating on the points of dispute.

Losing the contract could deal a blow to Exxon’s broader Iraqi plans, as it would be handed rights to develop at least two southern oilfields — Nahr Bin Umar and Artawi — as part of the deal.

Exxon declined to comment.

Further delays to the project could also hold back the oil industry in Iraq, OPEC’s second-largest producer; the country needs to inject water into its wells or risk losing pressure and face severe decline rates, especially at its mature oilfields. As freshwater is a scarce resource in Iraq, using treated seawater is one of the best alternatives.

The Common Seawater Supply Project (CSSP), which would supply water to more than six southern oilfields, including Exxon’s existing West Qurna 1 field and BP’s Rumaila, was initially planned to be completed in 2013 but has now been delayed until 2022.

“The CSSP would be expensive and challenging but there’s opportunity here (for Exxon) ... to get access to resources on a very large scale and to achieve something and really make a difference to its own business,” said Ian Thom, principal analyst at consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

Many of the world’s biggest oil companies, such as BP, Total, Royal Dutch Shell and Eni, have operations in Iraq, where a low-return environment and strict contract terms have squeezed returns in recent years.

With total oil production at West Qurna 1 at around 430,000 bpd, Exxon’s presence in Iraq is small compared with dominant player BP whose Rumaila oilfield accounts for around a third of the country’s total production of about 4.4 million bpd.

While the Texas-based firm is looking to grow in Iraq, its geographical focus remains on the Americas, including US shale fields and Brazil, in contrast to rivals such as France’s Total and Italy’s Eni who have been significantly expanding their activities in the Middle East in recent years.

The talks between Iraqi authorities and Exxon are still ongoing, according to the industry sources and officials from the Iraqi oil ministry.

However the state-run Basra Oil Company (BOC), which is overseeing the project, said it could now tender the project this month in a parallel process with the aim of completing a first phase by 2022.

“We have this one approach but we can have another approach as well,” Abdul Mahdi Al-Ameedi, head of the Iraqi oil ministry’s licensing and contracts office, told Reuters.

Iraq chose Exxon to coordinate the initial studies of the CSSP in 2010. At the time, Baghdad aimed to raise its oil production capacity to 12 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2018, rivalling Saudi Arabia. That target has been missed and been cut to 6.5 million bpd by 2022 from around 5 million bpd now.

Negotiations with Exxon fell through in 2012 due to red tape and cost disputes. In 2015, the company re-entered talks with the oil ministry, this time in partnership with China’s CNPC and with the CSSP folded into a much bigger development project known as the Integrated South Project. 

CNPC did not reply to a request for comment.

For Iraq, going down the non-Exxon route raises two major concerns: How to integrate the project between the water treatment facility and the oilfields and how to finance the project, Thom said.

Two Iraqi oil sources told Reuters that taking the non-Exxon path would raise financing concerns for Iraq.

Projected costs of the scheme have not been disclosed, but engineering studies have put the cost of treating 12.5 million bpd of seawater transported to six oilfields at $12 billion.

The capacity has been revised downwards, with the first phase set to have a 5 million bpd of water, and in the second phase an additional 2.5 million bpd of water will be added for additional fields.