With all of the troubling news facing PC-makers
, many have rested their hopes on tablet-notebook hybrids as a way to maximize user experience on the upcoming Windows 8 OS. Sony, for its part, is trying something different: a 20-inch touchscreen, all-in-one portable desktop called the Vaio Tap 20.
CNet has given the Vaio Tap 20 a "Very Good" 3.5/5 stars
, calling the device "a compelling experiment in tablet-desktop hybridization."
At just $999, the Vaio Tap 20 comes with a few sacrifices to performance, but still offers a kind of value that other devices have not attempted in quite the same way.
Dimensions for the Tap 20 are 19.75 inches in width, 12.3 inches in height, and 1.5 inches deep at its thickest point. It weighs only 11.25 pounds, certainly heavier than most tablets, but still comfortable on the lap and easy to move around within a home or office.
The size and implied use of the Tap 20, based on its design, make it appear more amenable to the touch features introduced on Windows 8. Rather than reaching out to a desktop screen, it would seems more intuitive to use the Tap 20's touch capability on a lap or table, aided by an ample screen that calls more naturally for interaction.
Some are wary of the touch features so integral to many of the Windows 8 devices hitting the market in the coming months. Darrell Etherington at TechCrunch does not think it will end well
, but the Vaio Tap 20 is definitely different because of its size alone. As a desktop, the device takes up only 7 inches of space front to back, excluding the wireless mouse and keyboard.
Some of the drawbacks include Sony's use of an ultralow-voltage 1.7GHz Intel Core i5 mobile CPU, which despite saving battery life causes lower performance and limits the Tap 20's HD graphics. The device is without an optical drive or HDMI port, and the resolution is a modest 1,600x900 pixels, but it does contain 2 USB 3.0 jacks, an SD card slot, and an 800p/1 mp webcam.
For a full chart of the Vaio Tap 20's specs, check out the CNet review above.