Tap 20 desktop solution is a not so portable 20-inch tablet for stationary use.
It is graced with a display measuring a full 20-inches across the diagonal and a paunchy 31mm thick. A weight to match – 5kg. Workmanship is immaculate. Looking at the vast expanse of screen real estate when the Tap 20 is turned off, its obvious design-wise this mega-tablet emphasizes the content over appearance; what sort of flourishes can a manufacturer add to a one-inch bezel around such a huge screen? That charcoal gray bezel is nevertheless well set off by jet black trim and the only other distraction is the Sony logo in the corner, sitting proudly like an artist’s signature on a masterpiece.
General computing tasks are carried out by the Core i5-3317U chip, supported by 6GB RAM, and pixel-painting is the job of the HD4000 GPU. That CPU is dual-cored, base clocked at 1.7GHz, and with Turbo Boost and Hyper-threading for a total of four execution threads. 5400rpm 1TB spinning disk is base storage, delivering read-write transfer at 82MB/s. The dual-band 5GHz WiFi outclasses its 2.4GHz sibling, and NFC is also supported.
For the screen the manufacturer has installed a 1600 x 900 pixel 20-inch display. The screen brightness reaches 232 nits, with a black value of 0.2 candelas, giving an overall contrast ratio of 1265:1.
A measly 1.3MP camera is plonked out front for your Skyping pleasure, and out back the Tap 20 is equipped with a 3MP version. Carrying this thing around for BBQ party pictures is kind of silly though.
A quick scan of benchmark performance speaks volumes. In Tomb Raider with low settings the Tap 20 chalked up 35fps at 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, and at this res and settings tuned to low, it managed a framerate of 58fps in World of Warcraft.
The 38W 3500mAh battery isn’t really sufficiently large for the amount of hardware it needs to service, but in any case the Vaio Tap 20 is intended to be used plugged in – its emphasis is on bigscreen touch functionality. Thus unplugged runtime lands up at just 2 hours of moderate use.
Not exactly a mobile piece of kit, more something to crowd round at home with the kids or as a mobile entertainment center on your travels – on holiday, say, or perhaps a brainstorming tool for the office where several people can contribute to a design project. Operating System is of course Windows 8, and in general use it files along, browsing, photo edits, You Tube clips.
READ: Windows 8 review
Vaio have included a 24-month guarantee free of charge. For about $900 asking price the Sony Vaio Tap 20 is a tempting new take on the desktop format. But we do have one gripe; we’ve seen a few big screen touch devices in the last couple of years, though others were usually aimed at the corporate sector; and they all had one thing in common – underpowered hardware. This is great for surfing and such like but gaming capability – Need For Speed and suchlike – shouldn’t mean lowering the settings to the max. Nor should Sony have included such a low-res camera for video calls; a 2MP sensor should have been the absolute minimum for a tablet this big. And a quad-core CPU should have been the baseline CPU. But whatever else can be said of the Tap 20, it’s pretty unbeatable as a Home Entertainment device for all the family.
Vaio Tap 20 AiO has the usual array of ports including two USB 3.0 ports, two audio jacks, Ethernet slot, and SD card slot. Dimensions are in the figure above.
Sony Vaio Tap 20 weighs about 11 pounds which makes it a desktop solution rather than a portable computer, whereas Dell XPS 18 AiO solution only weighs 4.87 pounds and could be logged just about anywhere. Dell’s 18-inch AiO offers great performance, portability and price ($999). It is already available for pre-order at Dell.com
Asus Transformer AiO is an interesting option as well. Much like Tap 20 AiO, it has a desktop dock running windows 8, while detachable tablet work Android Jelly Bean OS. Starting at $1299, Transformer All in One solution has better display of 1920 x 1080 pixels, much faster processor, clocked at 3.1GHz, twice the RAM, faster hard drive, and dual layer DVD.
Asus Transformer AiO (P1801-B037K) goes on sale today for $1299.
If this is too much money to spend on desktop,
Sony VAIO Tap 20 All-in-One for $875 is still a very nice touch screen desktop.
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