Sony Vaio Tap 11 is a hybrid tablet / notebook, elegant and convincing answer to the Microsoft Surface 2 Pro. So far lacked one of the biggest names in the world of tablets. Sony had never proposed a tablet based on Windows 8. It experienced another form factor, a tablet-convertible Ultrabook with sliding screen based keyboard and touchpad, the charming but not properly managed Sony Vaio Duo 13.
Finally, almost coinciding with the launch of Windows 8.1 and the second generation of Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, Sony has closed the gap with its proposal for the high end of the tablet market. Aesthetically, apart from the unmistakable style from the Vaio line, we do not find anything new: pull-out easel on the back, wide availability of connection interfaces, multitouch screen that uses a stylus as a pointing device, external keyboard that also works as a cover.
The real advantage of the hybrid Sony Vaio Tap 11 is the wireless keyboard and the stylus included in the box, and not optional as for the Surface 2 Pro which is a direct competitor. Finally, the hybrid Sony also has a final price very attractive, especially for the basic configuration and for the intermediate to capacity SSD.
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Sony VAIO Tab 11: Design
Aesthetically, we are faced with one of the finest and most stylish hybrid constructions. The tablet is thin and light with a thickness of 9.9 mm and a weight of only 780 g, the results achieved by the chassis made of aluminum alloy and magnesium. Not for nothing Sony hereby declares that this is the most handy tablet with Intel Core. Only the width Sony Vaio Tap 11 exceeds the Surface 2 Pro, but it must be remembered that the latter has a screen of 10.6 ” while the Sony is equipped with a 11.6-inch panel.
Unfortunately, not everything that glitter is gold. In order to attain a result of this caliber and at the same time contain the final price, keyboard and stylus included, compromises have been made. We noticed a quality not up to the name Sony Vaio lids that close the doorway microHDMI and the slot for the microSD card.
Other details are not convincing at all as we would have preferred the Start button with tactile feedback and not so hard to press. The back support deserves criticism and praise: despite being very thin and not guaranteeing greater stability on uneven surfaces, it is easier to open than the equivalent Microsoft, in addition to supporting any degree of inclination in contrast to only two of the hybrid Redmond. In addition, the rubberized coating makes it very comfortable to hold in your lap, even for a long time.
Sony VAIO Tab 11: Keyboard and Stylus
The Sony Vaio Tap 11 also differs for the wireless keyboard connected to the tablet via a magnetic connection, with charging function on the lower-right edge of the latter. The connection between the tablet and the cover is secure and is done in a completely natural way, with the keyboard driven into place.
Similarly, it is easy and immediate disconnect it from the main body. There remains connected when using the keyboard. It is our opinion that a solid connection with the main body, especially when we operate in environments with limited space or in your lap, it would be preferable, provided a great deal of freedom in its placement in any other situation.
With the Bluetooth keyboard, you are immediately at ease, because replication in all respects the ergonomics and speed in typing equivalent that you can find on a Sony Vaio Ultrabook. Not only, the size and key travel and spacing between them make us feel like at home, but we also have some goodies like the power switch and a couple of LEDs that inform us if the keyboard has been paired successfully to tablet.
Under the keyboard, there is placed a traditional touchpad, generously sized and appropriately sensitive and accurate. Unfortunately, the limited space available has reduced to the essential dimensions of the bottom two buttons, making it a little easier on their drive.
An additional method of control is represented by the supplied stylus is pressure sensitive, with two tips to choose whether to use it for writing notes (1 mm) or simply to the selection of files or folders, in addition to having two buttons that replicate those of the mouse and one additional to erase what you have just written or drawn. Accomplice an ergonomic shape and a limited weight (20 g), it becomes the perfect companion when using the Vaio Tap 11 when we can do without the keyboard in professional or recreational.
The basic version of the Sony Vaio Tap 11, the one on trial here and available on the online store about $999, is equipped with an Intel Pentium 3560Y (1.20 GHz, 2 MB L3 cache), 128 GB SSD, 4 DDR3L GB of RAM, Intel HD Graphics integrated graphics and Windows 8 operating systems. A configuration is therefore, sufficient for personal productivity. If you want more, you can configure the hybrid Sony with Intel Core processors, belonging to the series Y generation Haswell.
In daily use, while remaining in a professional environment, performance is still more than satisfactory, with good management of the available power. It follows a tablet and quiet with a very limited warming trend during the playback of multimedia content that can be appreciated when you hold it in your hand or on your lap.
The combination of Intel processor and a 3,800 mAh battery is not the most successful, due to the limited capacity of the latter. In any case, connected to a Wi-Fi network, with display brightness set to 60% and heavy usage (browsing the web, update social profiles, personal productivity, multimedia), the Sony Vaio Tap 11 nearly six hours of battery life, a result which, although more than adequate. It is below average.
Whatever the configuration chosen, the Sony Vaio Tap 11 has two cameras, one front and one rear (1.3-megapixel Exmor R and 8-megapixel Exmor RS), wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi class n with DLNA support and Miracast, Bluetooth 4.0 HS), microHDMI output, USB 3.0 port, microSD card slot, NFC and GPS antenna.
The screen used on the Sony Vaio Tap 11 stands in the tradition, in other words, we are talking about an IPS panel 11.6″ Full HD resolution and excellent image quality displayed, in addition to a high viewing angle. Thanks to technology Triluminos, inherited from the world of TV Sony Bravia LED. Fidelity and vibrancy of the colors reach results difficult to beat in the mobile world, making it a joy to behold and enjoy photos and high-definition video.
The display is responsive and sensitive to the multi-touch gesture, confirming it to the top in every area analyzed. Unlike the video industry, the sound is the only average tablet of the same category, but we would not have expected better from the small stereo speakers, although we enjoyed the loyalty and the fullness of the sound being played.
Sony has proven with this Sony Vaio Tap 11 as it may be lightweight, easy to handle and a beautiful hybrid tablet equipped with Windows 8.1 and a processor Intel Core series. From the point of view of style, ergonomic and distances, itself from some other proposals, bulkier and heavier.
While not shining for operational autonomy and bringing with him some shortcomings in the design – finishes improvement, slender back support, keyboard is not locked to the main body – this Sony Vaio Tap 11 is definitely an attractive solution for the professional on the go who want a hybrid, nice and pleasant to use, as well as highly customizable hardware configuration.