Sony VAIO Tap 11 review: meet Sony's answer to the Surface Pro
At $800 with a keyboard included, the Tap 11 seems tempting. However, to hit that aggressive price, Sony compromised on build quality and also settled for weak starting specs.
- Thin and light designBright display, wide viewing anglesSturdy kickstandPen input works well Keyboard and pen included
- Some build quality issuesFinicky touchscreen (a fix is coming)Starts with a Pentium CPU
It wasn't until I was in a meeting with Sony, getting hands-on with its holiday lineup, that I realized something: the company didn't have a proper Windows 8 tablet. Yep, that's right: for all the experimentation PC makers have been doing around Win 8, one of the biggest names in consumer electronics had never attempted a simple Windows tablet. Even crazier: Sony instead placed its bets on the slider PC, of all things -- a design that presents more than a few ergonomic challenges.
Finally, though, Sony is giving the ol' slate form factor a shot: the company recently announced the Tap 11, a tablet seemingly designed to blow the Surface Pro out of the water. Like Microsoft's tablet, it has a kickstand, USB port, pen-enabled display and a thin keyboard case that attaches to the device magnetically. Unlike Microsoft, however, Sony is throwing in the wireless keyboard at no extra charge -- kind of a big deal considering Ballmer and Co. are selling the Type Cover for an additional $130. Even better, the Tap 11 starts at $800, undercutting the new Surface Pro 2 by $99 (and that's not even counting the keyboard). So, what's the catch?