Sony VAIO Tap 20 All-in-One Touchscreen Computer and Tablet Review
An AIO and Tablet Design
When new and interesting architectures and technology are developed, it enables system designers to build creative designs and systems for consumers. With its renewed focus on power efficiency as well as performance, Intel has helped move the industry towards new form factors like the Next Unit of Computing and the evolution of the All-in-One design.
Today we are taking a look at the new Sony VAIO Tap 20 system, an AIO that not only integrates a 10-point touch screen on a 20-in 1600x900 resolution display and an Ivy Bridge architecture ultra low voltage processor, but also a battery to make the design semi-mobile and ripe for inclusion in high-tech homes.
Check out our quick video overview below and then follow that up with a full pictorial outline and some more details!
This isn't Sony's first foray into all-in-one PCs of course but it is among the first to combine this particular set of features. In what is essentially an Ultrabook design with a large screen, the Tap 20 combines an Ivy Bridge Core i5 processors, 4GB of DDR3 memory and a 750GB hard drive. Here is the breakdown:
|Sony VAIO Tap 20 System Setup|
|CPU||Intel Core i5-3317U|
|Memory||4GB DDR3-1600 (1 x SODIMM)|
|Hard Drive||750GB XXRPM HDD (2.5-in)|
|Graphics Card||Intel HD 4000 Processor Graphics|
|Display||1600x900 20-in touch screen (10 point)|
2 x USB 3.0
SD / Memory Stick card reader
Headphone / Mic connection
|Operating System||Windows 8 x64|
The display is pretty nice with a 1600x900 reoslution though I do wish we had seen a full 1080p screen for HD video playback. As with most touch screens, the display quality is under that of a non-touch IPS monitor but even up close (as you tend to use touch devices) you'll be hard pressed to find any imperfections. Viewing angles are great as well which allows for better multi-person usage.
On the left we find the power connection and a hard wired Ethernet connection that compliments the integrated 802.11n WiFi.
The stand on the Sony Tap 20 is top notch and allows for basically any viewing angle and any activity. For standard computing you can tilt it up for use with a mouse and keyboard but you can very easily push it down for use on a kitchen counter when you are looking nearly straight down on it. Sony also purportes that you can lay it flat for multi-user and on the lap tablet usage, but that depends on how comfortable you are with a 12 pound monitor resting on you.
Sony has included NFC support on the Tap 20 and while that is neat, I don't know how many use cases there are for it. If your phone has some software that also has a PC component it could be kind of cool to transfer contacts, notes you took remotely, etc.
Opposite of the power connection you'll find the other IO options that include the SD / Memory Stick reader, two USB 3.0 ports and headphone / microphone jacks.
When pressed flat, the Sony VAI Tap 20 is about 4 inches off the table and Sony is hoping that families will take advantage of multiple user games (board games like Monopoly come to mind) and the modest battery to move around the house.
The back side of the Tap 20 comes off without any screws and reveals a handful of panels.
One of them reveals the 2.5-in hard drive bay that our model included a 750GB in. You could upgrade this yourself or upgrade to an SSD down the line if you choose not to pay for it upfront.
The only other upgradeable portion of the Sony Tap 20 is the memory - ours shipped with 4GB of memory but there is an empty SODIMM port for another module.
Of course the system ships with a matching keyboard and mouse though both are lower quality than I would prefer to use myself. The keyboard is decent and has some handy functions for shortcuts but the mouse is way too light and seems pretty cheap.
Obviously the main interface device for this machine should be the touch controls that give the Tap 20 its name and in that area it does very well. The normal issues of fingerprints and smudges still apply and if you are going to be using this with multiple people or keep it in the kitchen, the screen cleaning ritual may have to become even more regular.
Now, let's see how the hardware of the Sony VAIO Tap 20 performs!