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12-29-2013 02:24 AM
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  1. houkoholic's Avatar
    I was told of the MS/BB deal by a dude wearing a Sony shirt and claiming to represent Sony in store. I don't think a guy like that would risk his job by slandering MS/BB if the deal wasn't true.
    He risks nothing really, sales people talk such BS all the time if they are desperate to make a sale. Just because he is a Sony rep doesn't mean he is honest about what's going on inside Sony, in fact he probably has huge incentive to convince a person to NOT buy that Surface which is sitting right there with stock available but instead wait for a Tap by talking some BS. Again if this is true, Sony's army of lawyers would be all over BB and MS. Also it would be a massive PR bonus for Sony too which they wouldn't miss the opportunity to promote themselves. Imagine all the headlines which reads "Microsoft afraid of new Sony product and blocks its sale at BB with underhanded tactic", it would generate HUGE interest in seeing what is so special about this Sony product. F**ing awesome free marketing really.

    So yes, I'd say the typhoon caused shipment delay is WAY more likely. We are talking about typhoons that caused the Japan government to evacuate entire towns with hundreds of thousands of people and flooded many major cities all over Japan here.
    11-05-2013 08:55 AM
  2. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    Well I got a surprised call from Sony Store today during work - telling me my Tap arrived and I can pick it up. So that's what I did and now I have the black i5 version here next to me, downloading the 8.1 update after about 60 windows 8 update first. Will see how everything goes after I get things up and running.
    awesome. look forward to hearing how it performs given that all i've had my hands on is a Pentium in Best Buy with the stylus but non-functional dual digitzer and another Pentium in a different Best Buy with no stylus.

    EDIT: My order status changed from Processing to Manufacturing Started. can't wait

    EDIT 2: Manufacturing Complete.

    EDIT 3: Shipped from China
    Last edited by thejoyofsobe; 11-08-2013 at 01:01 PM.
    11-05-2013 12:39 PM
  3. Kosmeetik Kolja's Avatar
    Wondering here, is Pentium 3560Y still better option than bay trail atom cpu devices?
    11-05-2013 12:54 PM
  4. drachen23's Avatar
    Just out of curiosity, where have you guys seen the Tap 11 in Best Buy? I'm in New York, and I've been to 3 Best Buys so far this week and haven't seen the Tap 11. (I've already ordered mine, should ship in a week or so. I just want to feel the device in my hand.) Then again, the Best Buy stores around here aren't great. At the store on 86th, the Surface table was empty except for one lone tablet: a Surface RT. I have no idea how that place stays open. Here's the sequence of events When I tried to buy a Macbook Air at Best Buy last year because they were $100 cheaper than the Apple Store:

    I walk in and wait in front of the Macbook table for a salesman for 15 min and one finally approaches.
    Me: "I want one of these." (I point at the 13" Air.)
    He picks up a display card to see the model number.
    Me: "No, this one. For the 13" Macbook Air." (I hand him the correct display card.)
    He walks me over to the checkout counter, but I ask for the USB ethernet adapter for the Macbook.
    He walk away for 5 min and comes back with a PCIMCA wireless ethernet card.
    Me: "No, the USB adapter for *wired* networking."
    He walks away for another 5 min and comes back with a Cat 5 ethernet cable.
    Me: "No, I have a cable. I need the Apple USB ethernet adapter."
    He walks away for another 5 minutes, but has a guy with an Apple shirt in tow.
    Apple guy: "What do you need?"
    Me: "The USB to ethernet adapter."
    Apple guy: "We're out of stock on that. You should be able to get one at our Prince St or Grand Central locations."

    It took 2 seconds for the Apple guy to answer out what took the Best Buy guy 15 minutes to figure out he needed help. It says volumes about the training and motivation they give their employees.
    11-05-2013 09:30 PM
  5. houkoholic's Avatar
    So I spent about 4 hours updating the thing yesterday (my internet connection is slow, so YMMV), and now today there's more driver updates, yayz. Anyway so even though I haven't got it completely setup to have all the stuff I need on the thing last night I at least got it up to be able to play some movies and the tablet streamed 1080p BD rips, including some 10bit mkvs, without any issues, so I'm fairly happy with that. However I have to say the stylus holder is in the worst position that Sony could come up with - this is not only because it covers up the USB and HDMI port, but being on the left side it really gets in the way for normal usage by a right-handed person ie you want to hold the tablet with your left hand along the left edge and interact with the tablet with your right, but with the stylus docked it is not comfortable to hold. Sony should have put the stylus holder along the top edge where it would be completely out of the way.
    11-06-2013 06:53 AM
  6. inteller's Avatar

    So yes, I'd say the typhoon caused shipment delay is WAY more likely. We are talking about typhoons that caused the Japan government to evacuate entire towns with hundreds of thousands of people and flooded many major cities all over Japan here.

    except these aren't made in Japan....
    11-06-2013 08:35 AM
  7. inteller's Avatar
    Wondering here, is Pentium 3560Y still better option than bay trail atom cpu devices?

    Yes, but not great when compared with the other i5 tablets this thing is really meant to compete with.
    11-06-2013 08:36 AM
  8. houkoholic's Avatar
    except these aren't made in Japan....
    Ah yes now I have this it says made in China (little bit disappointed in that)
    Except that would mean not only the 4 typhoon which hit Japan hard which started off the coast of south east Japan and went north east along the Japanese east coastline , but also another 4 which originated off the north east of Philippines and went north west along the south coast of China too! The commonly used Chinese shipping routes on the Pacific Ocean were hit hard with typhoon this year, we've never had this many typhoon (30 and still counting) in a year for 19 years.

    So yeah, typhoon delayed shipment even more obvious reason then before.
    11-06-2013 10:43 AM
  9. inteller's Avatar
    they deal with it....it does not explain why a lesser model of the tap 11 is in BB when the competitive model is not, except the MS exclusivity agreement does.
    11-06-2013 11:27 AM
  10. wpclimber's Avatar
    Hi everyone,

    I am really interested in this device, but I have a couple of questions that makes me doubt about tap 11 and surface pro 2. I would like to use this tablet to substitute my old laptop and for hand drawing works, so the digitalizer must be very accurate. One user said that wacom technology is an advantage over tap 11 digitalizer technology, is really there such big difference?

    On the other hand I am concerned about the processor performance when working with large images or videos. I usually work editing videos and pictures with Adobe Premiere and Lightroom. I don't know if it would be enough with i3 or I should go to i5 or even i7...

    I am waiting for good reviews about tap 11 and some video comparisons with surface pro 2, but there is not yet, there is only hands on and first look reviews...

    Could you give me some advices about these questions?

    thanks in advance
    11-06-2013 12:22 PM
  11. Joe Acerbic's Avatar
    N-trig used to be really unreliable, incompatible and inaccurate but some are saying that it has improved a lot. Wacom has been great like, forever.
    11-06-2013 04:30 PM
  12. houkoholic's Avatar
    they deal with it....it does not explain why a lesser model of the tap 11 is in BB when the competitive model is not, except the MS exclusivity agreement does.
    Yeah the logistic companies deals with typhoons.... by delaying their shipping or re-route their routes to ones which takes longer time.
    Also other reasons could be a delay in shipment and/or shortages of just these new i5 Haswell chips compared with the old Pentium ones causing less of the i5 models rolled off the production line, BB (or even Sony themselves) mistakenly thinking that a cheaper device is an easier sell in the US price concious market so they stock more of the entry model instead of the higher spec one (a thinking which plauges many PC OEM, not just Sony BTW). Allocation of stocks to specific markets over US (Sony IS focusing more on domestic market than US afterall, see how they just pulled out of US mobile phone space for example, and we also know that mobile device of Sony was doing really poorly). Any of these are more plausible than a shady deal which a rep knows but the entire company with an army of lawyers didn't act on (which Sony would certainly win too AND win lots of browny points off the tech media, whom are always ready to put MS on a stake and burn them). Really dude, take off your tin foil hat which that Sony rep gave you.

    EDIT: Also FWIW, you cannot buy the Pentium model in HK or Japan - it is simply not available for purchase, lowest model available is the i3 version. So perhaps that was Sony's strategy all along too - they made the cheapest model only for the US due to the market's price concious factor over spec comparison and wants to push that one and prioritize the stock of high spec ones for the other markets where they are received much more warmly and has a strong brand awareness like Japan and other Asian countries.
    Last edited by houkoholic; 11-06-2013 at 08:25 PM.
    11-06-2013 07:29 PM
  13. drachen23's Avatar
    Just read the review of the Tap 11 on The Verge and the review is pretty awful. I don't mean that the reviewer gave the device a low score. I mean that the reviewer doesn't really know much about the product he is supposed to be reviewing. One of the most mind-boggling is that he thinks that the keyboard is supposed to act as an external battery for *the tablet* and complains that it's silly to recharge the tablet by covering it with the keyboard. Second, he complained that the stylus acted like a mouse pointer instead of acting like a finger swipe. I don't think he really understands the purpose of an active stylus. Most bizarrely, the author complains about the desktop icons and menus being too small in desktop mode. He changed the resolution Windows was running at to "fix" this rather than adjusting the scaling level for the icons and text. He also takes the time to complain that the Verge website looks silly as a narrow column surrounded by whitespace on the device. Uh... that's how your website is designed. You might want to talk to your web design people before blaming that one on the Sony. Pinch to zoom still works on the desktop version of IE with touch enabled. Oh wait, he's using Chrome, which he thinks is energy efficient.

    The Verge is known as a very Mac-centric publication, but I really wish they would get someone besides just Tom Warren who knows anything about Microsoft products. He makes some valid points about the hardware but is clueless about the software.
    11-07-2013 09:09 PM
  14. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    I had the same thoughts about the Verge review. unhelpful and misleading.
    11-08-2013 07:20 AM
  15. internalaudit's Avatar
    11-08-2013 01:19 PM
  16. houkoholic's Avatar
    Today I had a chance to take my Tap out for some mixed work and private usage and I've noticed some things that I think is worth sharing:
    * the form factor of the Tap really is quite nice, especially the weight. I was carrying the machine as is without any bags and it is almost as effortless as carrying any other ARM based tablets. The machine is really sleek (getting some curious stares from a few at the coffee shop where it was filled with hipsters with Macbooks lol) and the back is surprisingly resilient to scratches and is non-slippery which is really important because due to the kick stand this thing won't be inside a protective case for most of the time. I've been a long time supporter of the convertible tablet and had used several Windows tablet before (since XP Tablet Edition actually, where we are talking about tablets convertible laptops which weighs nearly 2kg but with only enough battery for 2 hours) and I think this year with the Haswells (and Baytrails, from some initial impressions of the Dell tablet) we are finally getting really close to getting there when it comes to a combination of weight, performance and battery life for a true hybrid device. If only the Tap have 7~8 hours of solid battery life like the Surface Pro it would almost be perfect due to the confidence of knowing that it would last almost a full workday without having to carry the charger.

    * the keyboard - being wireless is actually quite liberating, and the size of it makes for a good typing experience, though just using it a little I think Sony missed a really obvious way to solve at least 90% of the "extra lose piece" problem during usage - they should have put magnets on the back as well so you can dock the keyboard on the back and still use it as a full tablet.
    11-13-2013 05:18 AM
  17. melte's Avatar
    Hi Houkaholic, thanks for the very helpful posts. It must be great knowing that Windows users are cool for once :P
    Did you get the black or white version? I think I will get the colour which attracts more attention!

    The big pluses of the Vaio Tap 11 as I see it:
    (i) thinness and weight. It's surprising that mac fans gush over the ipad air, yet this machine gets so little attention.
    (ii) 11.6" screen: this looks like the most appropriate size for productivity (10" surface pro just too small for me).

    I am hoping if anyone can answer the following questions:
    (i) battery life: most reviews say it lasts 4-5 hours. Will it last 4-5 hours of video playback? I will be mainly using it to play videos.
    (ii) keyboard: for me this usually stays in the cupboard. If I do use the keyboard however then it might be for extended hours on end so I am hoping if anyone has actually tested how long the keyboard lasts on a full charge?
    11-13-2013 07:39 AM
  18. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    Got mine in last night and the power went out during my download of Windows 8.1 so I'm not fully up and running yet and i'll have to try the download again after work.

    Like houkolic said the form factor is awesome. I bought it with the understanding that the kickstand would kill all lapability but i've found i can use it in my lap by putting the kickstand on one leg and slightly lowering the other leg. It's pretty solid. Moreover the kickstand makes one-handed use A LOT easier. I can have my palm flat against the back of the device with the kickstand between my fingers and use the stylus with the other comfortably.

    It's quiet too.

    My only complaints thus far is that mine shipped with the old-style stylus holder which is super hard to remove as opposed to the new style i tried out in Best Buy and the known issue of the microSD slot being hard to remove a card from as in break out the tweezers kind of hard.

    Once I'm up and running I can't wait to compare the performance of my new i7-4610Y and my old laptop's i5-540M when running RAW photos through Canon's HDR program.
    11-13-2013 08:56 AM
  19. islanderhash's Avatar
    Congratulations to those of you who have a Tap 11 in your hands. I am, unfortunately, a flight away from the nearest store where I could inspect one personally. If you have a moment, could you answer one or more of the following questions which I can’t seem to resolve through online searching?

    Is the back of the *tablet* plastic or metal? (more than one “hands on” review has claimed that it magnesium)

    Have you been able to discern if there is an onboard GPS through device manager and/or navigation or mapping programs?

    Have you gained any information about the SIM card slot in the included instructions or through the operation of the tablet/device manager (GSM-only? Is it active? Other modem details?)

    Color Choice & Build Quality. From what I can see online, it looks like the black tablet has a “sleek” look with very little visual contrast, perhaps being the conservative option. The white model has a flashier appearance due contrasting shades and the silver stripe along its waist. I’m wondering if the build quality was better/worse than you expected and has made you reconsider the color tablet you purchased. For the white model in particular: do you think the color amplifies any flaws, does the silver stripe detail appear low or high build quality?
    11-13-2013 04:11 PM
  20. houkoholic's Avatar
    Personally I find the styling to suit the black better (that's why I bought the black version lol). The white is shiny and probably makes the machine look more plastic than it is, plus I'm not confident regarding the white material being able to resist scratch marks on (unless Nokia makes this with their nice grade polycabonate material). I'm not sure what the material of the back is - it feels rubbery, almost like Lenovo Thinkpad materials, so instinctively I would think it is plastic....
    islanderhash likes this.
    11-13-2013 08:04 PM
  21. drachen23's Avatar
    Got mine yesterday and ended up having some free time to upgrade to Windows 8.1. It's a bit sluggish sometimes to wake from sleep, much slower than my Surface RT. Often, when I wake the device up for a full sleep state, the DPI settings get whacked out. Instead of getting 3 lines of tiles on the start screen, I get 6. That's also the point at which the device stops allowing me to change the brightness manually. It's fine after a reboot (which is lightning quick). I'm hoping that is just a video driver thing and that Sony will release an updated driver soon, but it's seriously annoying. Have any of you guys found the same problems after upgrading to Windows 8.1? I've seen some very odd issues.


    So far, things I like about it:
    - Amazing form factor. Without the keyboard it's bigger than the Surface RT, but almost the same weight and waaaay more powerful. Picking up my Surface RT now, the Sony makes it feel "dense".
    - The screen is beautiful.
    - I've noticed very little fan noise at idle or just surfing, but it was definitely audible doing work, like tons of update installations.
    - I like the back. Some have complained that it's not aluminum or magnesium but I love the matte plastic because it has a nice, grippy feel and it's not a fingerprint magnet.
    - The keyboard layout and keys are pretty good considering it's size, but I'm still going to leave it in my bag much of the time
    - The power adapter has a USB charge port on it, comes with an attached velcro tie to wrap up cables and is laptop-style with a brick and a figure-8 cable so it doesn't block up more than one power plug.
    - The pen feels very high quality. I don't use pens for anything, so I can't really judge the digitizer performance
    - The kickstand is great. I can see that people who use the device as an on-lap laptop would not like it, but I've used it in a prone position in a lounge chair and the kickstand works beautifully for standing the device up on my abdomen. Way more comfortable than the Surface's wide one-position stand.
    - The speakers are stereo, good quality and nice and loud
    - The start button is physical it's hard to push accidentally (it's also hard to push on purpose). I never use the button and always have to warn people about accidentally hitting the button when I hand people my Surface RT, so this is a good thing.


    Things I don't:
    - The screen seems a bit finicky. It registers "ghost" taps at the end of swipes every once in a while (my Surface RT and iPad don't, so it's not how I swipe) and I even had one incident where the charms bar started coming in and out by itself at high speed. Might be a hardware issue on my device.
    - The keyboard is a fingerprint magnet, both the magnesium back and the plastic palm rests. The switch to turn on the keyboard is way too easy to switch to "touchpad disabled" as opposed to "on". The touchpad itself is on the small side has an upleasant texture and the buttons take too much force to push down. Luckily it supports tap and double-tap gestures so you don't have to deal with them.
    - The magnets holding the screen on do an admirable job holding the screen on, but slide around with sideways pressure. I may try to get a slipcase for it for my bag.
    - You can't really do anything with the keyboard when the device being used as a tablet other than find somewhere to put it. You also can't use the tablet while the keyboard charges.
    - The power brick isn't as compact as the Macbook Air or Surface and only has a three-pin US power cable for some reason.
    - The power jack is a little fiddly to get into the device and doesn't seem all that secure. There's no charge indicator on the jack itself, but there is on the top of the tablet. I wish they would move to a magnetic jack.
    - I have the old-style stylus holder and it's absolute garbage. It feels like I'm going to rip it apart to get it off.
    - The covers over the USB/mini HDMI ports and the microSD slots aren't great. The USB port is by far the more annoying of the two. The cover doesn't want to get out of the way of the USB. It doesn't twist enough. They aren't as bad as some reviews say, but I'd rather the ports be open. I can deal with them.
    - The bugginess described above, which I'm sad to say is fairly typical with Sony. They have a lot of proprietary drivers and software that can't be replaced by updated OEM versions. The video driver is already quite out of date and can't be replaced by the new one on the Intel site. For those of you not familiar with owning a Sony device, this is the killer part.


    Overall, an amazing, ground-breaking tablet with a bunch of questionable hardware features and some sketchy driver software. In other words, a pretty typical Sony Vaio product. I think the Surface Pro 2 is a better all-around device. It has a more convenient keyboard, better power connector and it isn't cluttered with extra Sony software. But for my mobile devices I go for the lighter and thinner devices and compared to the Tap 11, the Surface Pro feels like a brick. So far, I'm happy with it and prefer it over the Surface Pro.


    @islanderhash: The back of the tablet is a rubberized plastic, not metal. There does not seem to be a GPS in the Windows Device Manager. There is a device called "Windows Location Provider", but there is on the Surface RT as well so YMMV. There is no SIM slot that I can find on the device and no documentation about any such thing, at least the North American model. Can't say about the white version of the device, but on the black version the brushed metal on the sides is very subtle. you don't even notice it's there unless you look closely at the texture.
    HeyCori and islanderhash like this.
    11-13-2013 10:50 PM
  22. melte's Avatar
    Thanks to all for posting very helpful opinions. I agree with drachen23 that the Sony Vaio Tap 11 is the preferable device notwithstanding that the Surface Pro 2 is probably the better all around device in the end. The chunkiness of the Surface Pro 2 is just not going to work for me as a tablet. I am hoping that when the Vaio Tap 11 ships in my country it is already loaded with Windows 8.1 so don't have to deal with the driver issues.

    Regarding the fan, I saw a teardown video on youtube where someone basically took apart the whole thing- the fan looked really tiny so wasn't expecting it to make any noise at all!

    For those of you who own the device, which cases or accessories are good to go along with it? I wonder if there are any good slip cases for it with some padding to protect the screen- particularly if I want to leave the keyboard at home.
    11-14-2013 10:01 AM
  23. melte's Avatar
    Here are a couple more new reviews:
    Sony VAIO Tap 11 Review - ComputerShopper.com
    Sony VAIO Tap 11 review | Laptops and netbooks Reviews | TechRadar

    I can't say there is anything in these reviews that would make me change my mind though... still think this is the device to beat.

    edit:
    One more review here:
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2427135,00.asp
    Last edited by melte; 11-14-2013 at 12:46 PM.
    11-14-2013 10:30 AM
  24. houkoholic's Avatar
    @drachen23

    I had the problems with the tiles and screen size going off when waking from sleep as well. I think I fixed it by unchecking the settings syncing function in Windows. If you have multiple Windows 8.1 machine it may not be respecting the show more tiles toggle (I suspect it was reading some of my settings from my desktop PC). That, or one of the updates fixed it (I kept manually checking for updates).

    Ghost touching is a bit of issue I have as well. I tried turning the double-click speed to fastest but not really noticing much improvements, I guess we may be at the mercy of Sony drivers then.

    As for the power jack, I think it is not sturdy by design. I think it was designed to pop right off in the chance of when you forget to unplug it so it would just come right off when you want to pick up the tablet and go.
    11-14-2013 07:11 PM
  25. drachen23's Avatar
    @houkoholic: Glad I am not the only one that saw the DPI problem. I have two other Win 8.1 computers, a Surface RT and a desktop with a 2560x1600 main monitor. It makes sense that sync might try to stomp all over the Tap 11's DPI settings, although I never had problems with the Surface (screen too low-res maybe?). I'll let you know if turning off sync works. Thanks! Looking through Sony's support forums, the brightness issue is relatively common across different models.

    I know that the power jack is supposed to come out by design, but it just feels awkward.

    For those looking for sleeves, bags and cases, I just went to the Apple Store this afternoon and checked the Tap 11 against the Macbook Air 11". They're the exact same size when the Air is closed. The Air has more rounded corners and is tapered at one end, but the dimensions are basically identical. The thick end is about as thick as the Tap 11 with the keyboard attached. It's very likely that Macbook Air 11" sleeves, bags and cases will fit the Tap 11. As always, your mileage may vary. I'm going to pick up one of these sleeves from Waterfield and test the theory. They make sleeves with more padding and won't hesitate to make a custom sizes. They're a bit on the pricey side, but I would not hesitate to recommend them for quality and customer service.
    11-14-2013 09:18 PM
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