Sony VAIO Tap 20 review
Let nobody accuse Sony of a lack of ambition with its initial Windows 8 devices. The slide-out VAIO Duo 11 convertible was bold, if a little Heath Robinson for our liking. The VAIO Tap 20 is even more daring, adding a battery pack to a standard desktop all-in-one.
Now, let’s be clear right from the start: the 3,500mAh lithium-ion battery secreted behind a removable panel at the back of the device doesn’t make this a tablet you’d want to carry any further than the dining room table.
Not only does its 5.1kg weight make it about as portable as bag of cement, but that battery lasted a mere 2hrs 27mins in our light-use battery test. Although the option to shift the unit from room to room without trailing a power cable around the house is a bonus, this is no iPad rival.
It is, however, a wonderfully versatile all-in-one. That kick-stand at the back folds flush into the casing, allowing to position the Tap 20 to be positioned at any angle, from almost upright to flat on the desk (or even your lap).
We’ve seen some braver souls on rival magazines even attempt to stand up the device in portrait mode, but it’s patently not designed for this – don’t come complaining to us when it smashes into the desk at the merest prod. Nor is there any means of elevating the screen off the desk (besides commandeering a couple of encyclopaedias), which means you could be left hunched over the device when working.
The screen itself is a zinger. The 1,600 x 900 resolution is a tad meagre for a 20in panel, but there’s no questioning its image quality. Skin tones are perfectly accurate and bright colours pop off the screen without veering into over-saturation.
Videos deliver pleasing levels of contrast, and viewing angles are exemplary from the IPS panel – although you may want to draw the blinds, as the glossy screen does nothing to minimise reflections. Our colorimeter tests backed up the experience of our own eyes, with an overall contrast ratio of 1,104:1 and perfectly acceptable scores for colour accuracy.
A Windows 8 all-in-one lives or dies by its touchscreen performance, and here the Tap 20 lives up to its name. It’s perfectly responsive to a swish of the finger, with no evidence of the stuttering that marred the Toshiba LX830.