You could reasonably feel skeptical about the Sony Vaio Tap 20. For a 20-inch all-in-one touch-screen desktop with no optical drive and a low-voltage Core i5 chip, $999 seems like a lot to ask. But thanks to a built-in battery and a semi portable design, the Tap 20 might be the most unique Windows 8-launch PC.
The appeal of this desktop-tablet hybrid is that it addresses a problem that has nagged all-in-one makers for years. A tablet or a laptop can do all of those things, often at a lower price, and more conveniently due to their smaller size. Those mobile devices also don’t require a power cable.
By shedding the cord, at least in 3-to-4-hour doses, Sony’s new PC can offer true short-range portability. It also brings with it a larger screen than you’ll find on most current mobile devices.
One key to straddling the line between desktop and tablet is finding the right display size. If the screen is too small, you might as well just make a laptop. Go too large and you hurt usability. The Tap 20 measures 19.75 inches wide, 12.13 inches high, and, at the thickest point of its tapered back panel, 1.5 inches deep. It weighs just less than 11.25 pounds.
The display itself is covered in glass, but the body is all soft, rounded plastic, with grip-friendly indents along the left and right edges on the back panel. You most likely won’t carry the Tap 20 around in a backpack or a briefcase.
When you set the Tap 20 on your lap like a tablet, or lay it down flat on a coffee table, the touch screen becomes the most natural way to interact with it. The power cable plugs into a port on the right side of the system, and leads down to a laptop-size power brick. Anyone with an aversion to cables will welcome the small power brick, although you can imagine an opportunity for wireless charging if the battery-powered all-in-one idea takes off.
looking down the Vaio Tap 20′s primary features list, you’ll see that Sony made some very clear sacrifices for the sake of portability and price. The 20-inch display makes sense as a way to keep the Tap 20′s size and weight down, and in order to manage heat and battery life, Sony chose an ultralow-voltage 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 mobile CPU.
Tap 20 is easier to consider as a tablet or laptop alternative. The screen also looks good enough and the hard drive is large enough that they don’t present huge stumbling blocks to the Tap 20′s functionality.
The absence of an HDMI input hurts. With that port, you could have connected the Sony to any video source in your home and used it as a secondary display. I got as far as the Tap 20 making an electronic trickling noise when it recognized the existence of another NFC device.
Other features include 800p/1-megapixel Webcam, an SD card slot, a pair of USB 3.0 jacks, and analog headphone and microphone inputs.
I mentioned the Tap 20′s small power brick earlier. It can be small thanks in part to this PC’s low-voltage variant of an Intel Core i5 mobile processor. Yes, low voltage means slower performance, and that’s reflected in the Core i5′s 1.7GHz core clock speed.
Its fast, it’s long-lasting and really a deal to bag, Sony yet again successfully surprises everyone with their new innovative product that offers bundle of facilities with all the components of Laptop, tablet and Smartphone in it.