12-29-2013 02:24 AM
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  1. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    The Tap 11 is officially on sale with ship dates of next week. Also it came in $100 cheaper than I expected for the i5 Y-series processor so once you factor in the cost of a Type Cover it's actually a little cheaper than the 128 GB Surface Pro 2. If the lack of 'lapability' isn't a huge concern for you and then it's worth considering this device as well. Every device has its compromises but this one looks like it's going to be the one for me.

    While there is still an IR blaster and NFC it looks like, at least in the initial offering of models, there doesn't appear to be GPS and SIM card options so bummer.

    After noticing the i7 Y-series option can turbo boost to 2.9 Ghz compared to 1.9 Ghz of the Y-series i5 (and the 2.6 Ghz turbo boost of the SP2's U-series i5) i think i'm going to fork out the extra cash for the i7 even though it's only a dual-core chip. I was concerned about editing RAW photos with a Y-series CPU but a 2.9 Ghz turbo boost should make that much more tolerable.

    Also I've read that Best Buy will have these in stores so I look forward to trying it out before buying. While I like there being a physical Windows button so I can hold it in portrait mode without worrying about hitting a capacitive button supposedly the build quality of the button isn't the greatest.


    Reviews:
    Sony VAIO Tap 11 review | PC Pro
    Sony VAIO Tap 11 review: meet Sony's answer to the Surface Pro
    Sony VAIO Tap 11 Review - SlashGear
    Sony VAIO Tap 11 Review | Tablet Reviews
    Sony Vaio Tap 11 Review - Watch CNET's Video Review




    Laptop mag appears thus far to be the only reviewer that mentions heat problems on the pre-production model so hopefully that isn't par for the course. I'm interested in how the fan noise is as well but haven't seen anyone mention it yet.
    Last edited by thejoyofsobe; 10-16-2013 at 06:36 PM.
    Re1nout likes this.
    10-16-2013 05:39 PM
  2. Re1nout's Avatar
    Can you keep me updated when you receive it (or try it in the store)? My old laptop crashed today and I'm really interested in this one. Thx in advance!
    10-16-2013 06:09 PM
  3. Wufgang's Avatar
    I would rather the BIG screen of the VAIO SVT21216CXB. The Vaio Tap 21 addresses all the shortcomings encountered on its predecessor - the Tap 20. I have the latter and given the time space between the two, guess I should just have waited a little. I missed out on the Bluetooth feature especially. There's great review I stumbled upon on Squidoo that can aid in the comparison. Here's the link for those interested: Sony VAIO SVT21216CXB 21.5-Inch All-in-One Touchscreen Desktop. More than just a Full HD Display, Welcome to a Feature-rich Experience

    All in all, great all-in-one pc the Tap 21! From a personal point of view. And the sound by Sony, you don't need to be told about that!
    10-28-2013 06:36 AM
  4. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    Can you keep me updated when you receive it (or try it in the store)? My old laptop crashed today and I'm really interested in this one. Thx in advance!
    Talked to the folks at Best Buy and they should be getting them in stock sometime this week. if all goes well with the in-store try out it still may be a couple of weeks because i'm getting a custom configuration with the Core i7 that will take longer to deliver so it'll be a while until i have a real hands-on opinion after daily use.
    10-28-2013 09:48 AM
  5. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    Went to Best Buy today and tried out the $799 Pentium version they had on display. Unfortunately whatever Best Buy software they put on every machine killed the touch screen and stylus. I even had a blue screen of death after 30 seconds or so trying it out. Since they just did not respond at all even after restarting I can't comment on them.

    Build Quality
    The back of the unit is a soft-touch plastic that feels very sturdy
    No flex that I noticed in the body
    Physical Windows button was a little difficult to push but still better than a capacitive one that you could inadvertently hit in portrait mode.
    The flaps which cover the ports don't snap in tightly and inspire a lot of confidence that they'll stay closed. Biggest disappointment right there.
    Power connector will fit any direction and freely will turn 360 degrees but looks like it should safely pop up with any sheer force threatening to pull your tablet off the table
    Very light and comfortable to use in your hand or in your lap

    Kickstand

    Very firm and solid
    Using the stylus on the corner of the screen isn't going to displace this thing
    While holding the tablet in one hand the slightly extended kickstand can serve as a nice little handle for when you're using the stylus with the other hand.

    Screen
    Not super bright but pretty good
    Contrast, colors and viewing angles were all pleasing
    Seeing the physical size in person confirmed my decision to go for the 11.6" over other 10.6" tablets

    Heat
    The Pentium 3560-Y has the same max TDP as the Core processors and with the display unit running under Best Buy's custom demo power settings which looked ostensibly similar to max performance i only noticed some warmth at the top left where the fan is. Nothing uncomfortable or even annoying but I also wasn't exactly stressing the system either.

    Stylus
    Feels great in the hand but can't speak to its functionality since the digitzer and touchscreen were inoperable
    Takes AAAA batteries and Sony claims will last 18 months but i'd be happy with 6 months of regular use
    The clip on the left side holds the stylus firmly but makes the mini HMDI and USB 3.0 port flap inaccessible
    The clip however comes off with some deliberate sheer force so it's not a big deal to temporarily remove it

    Keyboard Cover
    Very comfortable to type on and not cramped at all
    Good range for the wireless functionality as I tried it out 20 yards away
    Multi-touch touchpad and i like the feel of the dimpled texture. Reminds me of my Thinkpad i have from work.
    The ability to turn off the touchpad is useful if you, as i do, intend to use it with a mouse when at home
    The magnets align the keyboard on its own but a little sheer force with pry it off. I would not expect it to really come off if you have it a bag because I think the magnets will pull it right back on.
    When using it strictly as a tablet there will be some awkwardness of where to place the keyboard while you're not using it if you don't have it in a bag



    Other items
    Curiously the demo unit was still running Windows 8.0 rather than 8.1
    I was happy to find the IR blaster app listed built-in support for a wide range of TVs, AV receivers and other devices with remotes
    Forgot to confirm the presence of GPS and to try out the NFC with my Lumia 920. I might drop by there tomorrow to give a try.

    Conclusion
    Overall it's just a beautiful device and the in-store hands-on experience confirmed my decision to purchase the Core i7 version online. The trade-offs are additional battery life, GPU performance and "lapability" compared to the Surface Pro 2 but this is much more comfortable for me to use both as a tablet and on a table which are far and away my two major use cases.




    Any questions?
    Last edited by thejoyofsobe; 10-29-2013 at 08:57 PM.
    HeyCori, Re1nout and spectre51 like this.
    10-29-2013 08:39 PM
  6. drachen23's Avatar
    I'm a Surface RT user who wants/needs to ditch Windows RT but I really love the form factor of the Surface RT device over the thick and heavy Surface Pro so I'm seriously considering the Tap 11. The big thing that is holding me back from pre-ordering this device is the keyboard. The magnets holding it on to the tablet when closed are weak allowing the screen to slip around, charging the keyboard makes the tablet useless and the keyboard is not physically connected to the device in any way. I am not a heavy lap user but it seems like the keyboard is useless in tablet configuration. I love that I can just flip the touch cover over and use the Surface RT like a tablet without worrying about the keyboard in any way. On the Tap 11 it seems like the keyboard won't be an effective screen protector because it slides around (and possibly even scratch the glass with that power connector) and that it will be inconvenient because I'll have to find a place to put down the keyboard before I use the tablet. There are rumors about a case to hold the tablet and keyboard together, but that would just add weight and thickness I want to avoid. In that case, I'd go with the Surface Pro 2.

    I'll probably end up pulling the trigger on the Tap 11 over the Surface Pro, but I have a feeling I'll just end up leaving the keyboard in my closet. Anyone else have thoughts about this?
    10-31-2013 08:56 PM
  7. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    The keyboard is one of the selling points for me because it's a standard keyboard without the weirdness of the Type Cover, it's wireless so i don't have to be right up to the device and because I don't even use my current laptop on my lap there's no loss there.

    Having held the device I don't have major concerns with the keyboard cover staying on in most cases. If keyboard cover starts to slide the magnets do an okay job of pulling the cover back on so if you're holding it in your hand or in a bag you should not have to worry about it falling off. Now if you drop it then i think it'll save the screen from the first impact but it'll probably pop off before any secondary impact. The power connector won't scratch the screen as I've slid it across the screen multiple times without the hint of a mark.

    With regard to the battery life of the keyboard Sony claims a 30 day battery life on a single charge. I don't necessarily buy that claim but even if it only lasts a few days you're going to have the cover on at some point during that time to charge so i'm not concerned with this at all.
    Last edited by thejoyofsobe; 11-02-2013 at 04:31 AM.
    11-01-2013 10:43 AM
  8. houkoholic's Avatar
    I think you would really have to assess how important the keyboard is to you and what is your general usage for this device is going to be. Are you looking for a companion tablet mostly but with occasional keyboard usage or are you looking for an ultra-portable which happens to convert to a tablet? For me I'm looking for the former (upgrading from my Thinkpad Tablet 2, long story short - Lenovo's support of the device is terrible after the 8.1 upgrade which is extremely disappointing) - so a powerful tablet which would be mainly used around the house for a full browsing and media consumption experience (I rip a lot of DVDs and BD to my NAS to stream around the house, so the FHD screen and 2x2 dual-band wireless N is important to me) more so than taking it outside as a ultraportable so I'm also attracted to the combined thinness and power of the i5 Tap 11 and ordered one a couple of days ago, the 5.5 hour or so of battery life shouldn't affect me too much. I think I'll be putting that keyboard away for the most part too. However if I was going to be looking for an ultraportable to replace a wide range of machines I think I would go for the Pro 2 due to the much better battery life, less hassle of a separately charging keyboard and the wide range of official cover and docking accessories.
    11-01-2013 03:53 PM
  9. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    FYI until November 9th Sony's online store is offering $50 off Core i3, i5 and i7 Tap 11's.

    Combined that with Sony's 10% discount for students/faculty/staff and 5% cash back from Discover it's looking like a pretty nice deal.

    With the Core i7 and Windows 8 Pro upgrades it comes to $1,214.99 before tax and $60 cashback from Discover.
    Last edited by thejoyofsobe; 11-01-2013 at 09:10 PM.
    11-01-2013 05:25 PM
  10. drachen23's Avatar
    I think you would really have to assess how important the keyboard is to you and what is your general usage for this device is going to be.
    I know exactly how I'm going to use it. It's going to be my go-to web and media consumption device and Windows mobile web test lab. If I need to do something that requires a lot of typing or the device sitting on a lap, I'll reach for my Macbook Air. I'm not concerned about the keyboard being useful. I'm concerned about it being a liability. The keyboard sliding around over the surface of the tablet potentially scuffing (as opposed to protecting) the screen is a big concern. Say I'm watching football with friends and we want to know other scores so I pop open the NFL app. With the Surface, I just flip the keyboard back and hand it to my friend to see. With the Sony, I'd have to take the cover off and put it somewhere. Even if I just put it back in the bag, it's a spare piece I have to manage when I put the tablet back in the bag. it just seems like a turkey of an accessory. I like the size and weight of the device but I have a feeling if I buy it, the keyboard will stay in the box.
    11-01-2013 06:40 PM
  11. houkoholic's Avatar
    In that case I think you should just pull the trigger and buy it seeing you already know exactly how it would fit in your life and you don't think you will be using the keyboard on this thing much if at all. Like you I'm seeing myself putting that keyboard in the cupboard and hardly ever going to use it and I'm mainly buying it for the form factor alone. The keyboard cover is a "nice to have when I need it" and since I'm buying directly from a Sony Store they are giving me a free carry case as well as a screen protector so in that sense I might get a bit more mileage out of the keyboard than I anticipate. What I really want for the Tap is actually a charging dock like the MS one with Gigabit Ethernet and HDMI, that way I can leave the dock connected to my TV and also retire my HTPC in the process, and in that usage case I would actually have a great use for that wireless keyboard.
    11-01-2013 11:52 PM
  12. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    In that case I think you should just pull the trigger and buy it seeing you already know exactly how it would fit in your life and you don't think you will be using the keyboard on this thing much if at all. Like you I'm seeing myself putting that keyboard in the cupboard and hardly ever going to use it and I'm mainly buying it for the form factor alone. The keyboard cover is a "nice to have when I need it" and since I'm buying directly from a Sony Store they are giving me a free carry case as well as a screen protector so in that sense I might get a bit more mileage out of the keyboard than I anticipate. What I really want for the Tap is actually a charging dock like the MS one with Gigabit Ethernet and HDMI, that way I can leave the dock connected to my TV and also retire my HTPC in the process, and in that usage case I would actually have a great use for that wireless keyboard.
    Have you given any thought to a Miracast receiver for your TV? Windows 8.1 natively supports pushing audio and video over Miracast so you can duplicate or extend your computer's monitor wirelessly.

    So for example here's a video of someone running the Windows 8.1 Preview on the original Surface Pro duplicating and extending their screen via Miracast. Once you're set up it looks like it's as easy as toggling settings in the Charms Bar.


    This is precisely what I'm going to do with my Tap 11 so it becomes my wireless HTPC and also another great use for the wireless keyboard. Moreoever the Tap 11 has an IR blaster to control your TV and sound system.


    Don't know if you intend to purchase an Xbox One but it has a Miracast receiver built-in.
    11-02-2013 04:45 AM
  13. houkoholic's Avatar
    Miracast is interesting, but from what I've read it's not quite as easy and reliable as it seems just yet. Maybe if I can find a cheap dongle I will give it a go. Good old cable is still less fiddling and more reliable at the moment (like Ethernet vs Wifi). I am planning to buy an XBox One, but as there's no Asia release date yet so it's going to be a long wait.
    11-02-2013 01:05 PM
  14. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    Miracast is interesting, but from what I've read it's not quite as easy and reliable as it seems just yet. Maybe if I can find a cheap dongle I will give it a go. Good old cable is still less fiddling and more reliable at the moment (like Ethernet vs Wifi). I am planning to buy an XBox One, but as there's no Asia release date yet so it's going to be a long wait.
    I'll let you know how Miracast goes with mine. I ordered it tonight and it has an estimated ship date of November 12.
    11-02-2013 10:18 PM
  15. robjared05's Avatar
    I was at my local Best Buy today and did try out the Tap 11. I came away disappointed and unimpressed with the fit and finish which for me is a large part of the experience of using a tablet. The keyboard was so light, it felt like a cheap piece of plastic. The body of the tablet itself is made of plastic with a faux metal appearance. The stand-out for me was the screen. The screen was sharp and perhaps too vivid- too saturated.

    I still find the the Surface Pro 1 and 2 to be the standard against which all Windows 8 tablets are to be measured as far as quality of manufacture and design.
    11-03-2013 03:01 PM
  16. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    Yep. The build quality of the Surface Pro sets the standard all Windows tablets should be judged against and the Tap 11 just isn't to that level. For lightness Sony opted for plastic and chose flaps to cover the ports which aren't exactly the most confidence inspiring. But the productivity of an 11.6" screen and thinness/lightness for hand-holdability trumped build quality for me. The physical Windows button is also nice so I can hold the tablet in portrait mode without having to worry about accidentally hitting a capacitive button. It's just too bad neither company did the right thing in making a thin, 11.6" tablet with magnesium chassis, full-length kickstand, GPS and LTE so we're left having to choose between the two non-ideal options. .

    The other side of the coin for the Tap 11 though is repairability as it does not seem to be difficult to do your own component replacements (especially as compared to the Surface Pro) on as evidenced by the following teardown video:
    11-03-2013 07:48 PM
  17. uopjo6's Avatar
    Is the Tap 11 waterproof too? Just wondering because it has a similar construction to the Z series. Waterproof may not appeal to most people but it's a engineering beast to be able to pull that off in such slim form factors (Z series again). It's also one less thing to worry about.

    Waiting out on the NL2520 though.....
    11-03-2013 07:56 PM
  18. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    Is the Tap 11 waterproof too? Just wondering because it has a similar construction to the Z series. Waterproof may not appeal to most people but it's a engineering beast to be able to pull that off in such slim form factors (Z series again). It's also one less thing to worry about.

    Waiting out on the NL2520 though.....
    Sadly no. It's not waterproof.
    11-03-2013 09:57 PM
  19. inteller's Avatar
    having seen this one at Best Buy I was ready to buy had I not already got a Yoga last month. Microsoft has got lots of reasons to worry which is why they signed a silly deal with Best Buy to not allow Sony to sell an i5 version there (was told by a Sony specialist who was on hand). This tablet has a great feel in the hand. The detached keyboard might take some getting used to as it doesn't quite replicate a laptop form factor like the Surface does.
    11-04-2013 07:38 AM
  20. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    I heard differently from the guy at my Best Buy that the Core i5 would only come later and that seemed to jive with the availability of the Core i3, i5 and i7 model's availability on Sony's website but people love to talk on things they don't know about so who knows if my Best Buy guy was just trying to sound like he knew was talking about. Interesting rumor though.
    Last edited by thejoyofsobe; 11-04-2013 at 09:09 AM.
    11-04-2013 08:54 AM
  21. inteller's Avatar
    Dude I didn't say it never would....just that RIGHT NOW IN THE PRESENT Microsoft has a slimy deal with Best buy to keep out SUPERIOR competition...probably through the holidays.
    11-04-2013 11:24 AM
  22. thejoyofsobe's Avatar
    no worries. it didn't read that way to me.

    i think you might have mistook my 'people love to talk on things they don't know about' as to mean you. i was referring to my Best Buy guy, not you or yours. My Best Buy guy also said they'd be getting Tap 11's in with 8 GB of RAM even though those just don't event exist. Hence why I was calling into question his authority on the subject.
    11-04-2013 12:21 PM
  23. houkoholic's Avatar
    ....or the much more plausible reason that the entire Japan had been hit with 4 massive typhoons in the past two months causing the shipments to be delayed. (My i5 Tap 11 is delayed as well, and I'm in HK, buying direct from the Sony Store).
    Seriously do you think if MS signed such an obviously anti-competitive deal with Best Buy which is so obvious that a lowly sales rep knows about but the Sony lawyers wouldn't do anything about it? They would be all over Best Buy and MS within seconds and suing for damages. And why only the i5 model instead of the entire Tap 11 series when the i7 model upgrade is only about a 150 bucks extra? It makes no sense. The Best Bay/Sony rep is talking out of his ***, I'd even wager he's like a PlayStation fanboy lol.

    Also the Tap11 is in no way superior to the Surface Pro 2 - they are just products with different compromises, the only area where it really wins out is the weight. The Surface Pro 2 is superior it in battery life (nearly 9 hours now with the recent firmware update doing serious work, compared with the 5 hours most test shows the Tap 11 is capable of), a higher quality built material (vapourmag vs plain plastic), has a much better selection of accessories, and Wacom digitizer vs N-trig.
    Last edited by houkoholic; 11-04-2013 at 08:10 PM.
    11-04-2013 07:34 PM
  24. houkoholic'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.
    11-05-2013 07:32 AM
  25. inteller's Avatar
    ....or the much more plausible reason that the entire Japan had been hit with 4 massive typhoons in the past two months causing the shipments to be delayed. (My i5 Tap 11 is delayed as well, and I'm in HK, buying direct from the Sony Store).
    Seriously do you think if MS signed such an obviously anti-competitive deal with Best Buy which is so obvious that a lowly sales rep knows about but the Sony lawyers wouldn't do anything about it? They would be all over Best Buy and MS within seconds and suing for damages. And why only the i5 model instead of the entire Tap 11 series when the i7 model upgrade is only about a 150 bucks extra? It makes no sense. The Best Bay/Sony rep is talking out of his ***, I'd even wager he's like a PlayStation fanboy lol.

    Also the Tap11 is in no way superior to the Surface Pro 2 - they are just products with different compromises, the only area where it really wins out is the weight. The Surface Pro 2 is superior it in battery life (nearly 9 hours now with the recent firmware update doing serious work, compared with the 5 hours most test shows the Tap 11 is capable of), a higher quality built material (vapourmag vs plain plastic), has a much better selection of accessories, and Wacom digitizer vs N-trig.

    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.
    11-05-2013 08:33 AM
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