Sony Vaio Tap 11 Hands-On Preview

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IFA 2013Sony unveiled the Vaio Tap 11 at IFA in Berlin. This will come with Windows 8.1 and a separable keyboard, making it proper competition for Microsoft’s Surface Pro.

Build and Design

Sony representatives claim this is the slimmest PC tablet in the world, which really is true at the moment when it comes to devices with Microsoft Windows — it is only 0.39 inches thick. Even when the keyboard is connected, it is still slimmer than Surface Pro.

Sony Vaio Tap 11Still, what is most striking is the tablet’s exceptionally contemporary design, which, after just a few seconds of using it, guarantees the experience of a supreme, premium device. With its body form and craftsmanship, the Vaio Tap 11 quite resembles Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z, the most elegant tablet with Android OS. In addition, the Vaio Tap 11 is fairly light, and after playing with it for ten minutes, I can conclude it offers the optimal ratio of diagonal luxury and mass.

Screen

The tablet comes with a Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution 11-inch Tri-Luminous IPS screen that provides an exceptional level of imaging sharpness, while colors are vivid and life-like.

The contrast in the dark part of the spectrum is praiseworthy, given that black tones really are shown very dark, but in the light part of the spectrum the display does not offer the best possible imaging — white tones seem a bit dirty. In the end, this results in somewhat poorer screen brightness and a bit poorer contrast sustainability under wider viewing angles. That said, these are the usual characteristics of displays featured on Sony’s mobile devices.

Keyboard

The keyboard requires compliments. It communicates with the Vaio Tap 11 wirelessly and connects to it with magnets, located at the bottom o the device’s front side — much like Surface Pro. When the keyboard is used, the tablet can be set up in the landscape position with the help of a stand which pulls out from its back side; however, this does not make it as stable as the Microsoft model. Still, the keyboard out tops Microsoft’s Touch Cover and Type Cover without a doubt — it is extremely comfortable, with a deep key punch and a highly useable touchpad. As if you were working with a real notebook from Sony’s Vaio series.

Stylus

Sony Vaio Tap 11Interestingly enough, the Vaio Tap 11 is available with an active Pen, used for writing notes on the display, which is an increasingly-requested function among 10-inch (and larger) tablet users. However, it is a shame that the stylus cannot be stored away in the tablet’s body — room for it was simply not envisioned.

Performance

The base version of Sony Vaio Tap 11 has an Intel’s Haswell processor, but those who want more powerful performance can have it with the latest Core i7 processor (which will sacrifice battery life, I suppose).

It is by all means praiseworthy that this device comes with 128 GB of SSD and 4 GB of RAM in the standard version, which can be expanded. It also has a USB 3.0 port, micro-HDMI port, and a microSD card slot.

Sony has not yet announced the price of Vaio Tap 11, but we should know that soon, as the tablet is scheduled to be available on the U.S. and European markets next month.

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