CES 2020: NEC comes back to the U.S. with new LaVie laptops, all-in-one PC

While NEC Personal Computers, a joint venture between NEC and Lenovo, has been producing PCs in Japan since 2011, its systems haven't reached American shores for some time. The new LaVie lineup of two laptops and an all-in-one desktop will change that when they become available this March.
Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor

NEC LaVie Home All-in-One

LaVie Z ultra-lightweight notebookOnce a fixture among the U.S. business laptop market, NEC bailed out of American retail a few years ago, choosing to concentrate on its home Japanese market instead. But as the new decade begins, NEC Personal Computers -- a joint venture between NEC Corp. and Lenovo that's been producing PCs since 2011 -- has decided to venture once again into the U.S. marketplace with a trio of new systems.

The last time NEC launched a new PC for American buyers at CES was in 2015, when it rolled out the LaVie Z ultra-lightweight notebook. Flash forward five years, and it's back with the LaVie brand. This time around, the laptops are called the Pro Mobile and the Vega, both sleekly designed and with premium price tags.

At under 2 pounds and just 0.62 inches thick, the Pro Mobile puts an emphasis on the mobile, thanks to materials like racing-car grade carbon fiber and magnesium lithium alloy. Despite the extreme portability, the Pro Mobile doesn't compromise performance, squeezing in an Intel Core i7-8565U quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB solid-state drive, and a 13.3-inch full HD display into its Bordeaux colored chassis. At a $1,600 starting price, the Pro Mobile isn't compromising on price, either.

That's even more apparent with the Vega, which starts at $500 more than the Pro Mobile and is bigger and heavier (4 pounds) due in part to its larger 15.6-inch display. For the additional cost, you get increased performance from the beefier i7-9750H six-core CPU and the 32GB of Intel Optane memory, along with increased resolution from the 4K OLED screen. Other premium specs include Yamaha stereo speakers, two Thunderbolt ports, and Gorilla Glass back cover.

Keeping with the luxury pricing of the NEC laptops, the LaVie Home all-in-one PC is in the same range of an iMac rather than most Windows all-in-ones. Centered around a 27-inch full HD white screen, the LaVie Home features a Core i7-10510U processor, 8GB of RAM, a 3TB hard drive and 256GB SSD, and even a DVD rewritable drive. One thing it lacks is touchscreen functionality, which you might expect from a system costing $1,800. As with the laptops, the LaVie Home will be available starting in March.

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