IFA: Sony’s VAIO Tap 20, VAIO Duo 11 and Xperia Tablet S

By Geoff Bowen,

As ever, Sony had a huge range of new products and product revisions at this year’s IFA. However, the standout products for us were the Xperia Tablet S, the VAIO Duo 11 and the VAIO Tap 20 ‘tabletop’ PC.

In size descending order, first up is the VAIO Tap 20. This supersized tablet sits between an all in one and a more conventionally sized tablet. Appearing to defy physics, the product’s relatively hefty (5.2kg) body is supported by a stunningly small pop up stand. The angle of the Tap 20 can be altered by applying a small amount of pressure to the top of the screen.

Once detached from the mains, the Tap 20 has a 3 hour battery life and its fold-flat stand allows it to be used as a large tablet. The 20” display offers a wide angle of view and the 10-point multi-touch allows multiple people to join in simultaneously with multi-player games and apps. The Tap 20 comes with a Mobile Bravia Engine 2 display and 2.1ch speakers with ClearAudio+ mode. The Tap 20 will be shipped with a wireless keyboard and mouse and will come with a choice of the i3, i5 and i7 processor. In terms of memory, the device can handle between 4 to 8GB of RAM and a 750GB or 1TB 5400rpm hard drive.

Next up is the VAIO Duo 11, a sliding laptop-cum-tablet, not dissimilar to the Toshiba 920t that we reported on yesterday. Sony’s 11″ device combines a full featured ultrabook with the convenience of a tablet and comes with a precise writing stylus. The 11.6” (29.4cm) OptiContrast panel provides full HD (1920×1080) resolution.

The Duo 11 weighs in at around 1.3kg and is 17.85mm thin. The standard Vaio Duo 11 is expected to ship with an Intel i5 processor for around £1,000 while the Pro version will come with an i7 at around £1,500. The device will come with WiFi, Bluetooth, USB 3.0, two full HD web cameras and stereo speakers with XLOUD.

The ‘baby’ of the group (from a size point of view) was the Xperia Tablet S – a revision/upgrade to Sony’s existing tablet. It maintains the tactile wedge shape of its predecessor while having a slimmer and lighter form. The tablet’s aluminium body is now splash proof, which is ideal for those using it in the kitchen or with small children.

The Tablet S features a 9.4″ (1280 x 800) IPS OpitContrast display, 16-64GB of storage, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, 2 cameras and a 6000 mAh battery providing up to 10 hours of internet browsing or 12 hours of video playback. The device weighs in a t 570g for the Wi-Fi model or 585g for the 3G model.

The Tablet S also comes with ‘guest mode’ which lets you create individual profiles for your family and friends. In addition to customizing things like the icons, apps and wallpaper – it also allow you to limit access to features such as internet browsing, which could be ideal for those with children. The tablet can work as a universal infrared remote control (with new macro functionality) and also supports broadcasting, or ‘throwing’, of your pictures or video to a DLNA compatible TV.