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The Vaio Tap 20, Sony’s Massive Tablet/Desktop Hybrid

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If you are shopping for a new computer, and you are torn between getting a new PC or a tablet, then you are the exact consumer Sony is targeting with the Vaio Tap 20. This new device takes full advantage of the new features of Windows 8, like touch interface, and is just mobile enough to move around.

With 4GB RAM and a 750 GB hard drive, the Vaio Tap 20 has enough power to do almost anything a regular desktop can do. Although, it may fall short for high end gaming and media rendering with a 1.7GHz processor. The Vaio is larger than a typical tablet, boasting of a 20-inch touch screen (20″x12″ in total size), and with a 1,600×900 pixel HD display, you will be sure to see everything clearly. These features will appeal to anyone who has always longed for a tablet with a larger screen, and does not mind carrying around an eleven pound device.

Two common desktop components that you will not find with the Vaio Tap 20 is an optical (CD, DVD) drive or an HDMI port. It is likely that Sony left these out to keep the computer slim enough to qualify as a tablet; it is 1.5″ at its thickest point. The Vaio does include two USB 3.0 ports that can be used to plug in a variety of external devices, including a USB optical drive, but the exclusion of an HDMI port takes out the option to easily use the Vaio with a projector, monitor, or tv.

Sony has designed the Vaio Tap 20 to function well as both a tablet and desktop. As a tablet, the Vaio transports nicely with rounded edges made out of soft plastic that is meant to provide users with an easy grip. The Vaio is small enough to fit securely on your lap, and the low voltage Intel Core i5 processing chip will keep the device from overheating. The size may be a handicap, seeing as it is a bit too large to fit inside a carry-on bag and take everywhere. As a desktop, the Vaio has a stand in the back that folds out and only takes up 7 inches of desk space. And for a full desktop experience, the Vaio includes wireless keyboard and mouse.

Here is a rundown of additional features and specifications for the Sony Vaio Tap 20; you will notice the device has some decent horsepower under the hood.

Intel HD Graphics 4000 graphics processor

  • 800p/1-megapixel webcam
  • Near Field Communication networking with a Wireless N-135 adapter
  • 3.75 hour battery life with video
  • A user-replaceable standard lithium ion battery
  • 1 SD card slot

As with any innovative product, the Vaio Tap 20 will have to win over new consumers to find a home in the marketplace. The Vaio may lack mobility and power to win over hardcore tablet and desktop users, but it may find a new group of enthusiastic buyers with people who are looking for a larger and more powerful tablet, and do not the carrying around the extra weight.

Sony will release the Vaio Tap 20 on December 10, 2012. Priced at a cool one grand, the Vaio will perhaps appeal less to desktop users (you can buy a lot of PC power for $1,000), and more towards people shopping for powerful tablets. Compared to Apple’s newest iPad, you get a lot more bangs for the buck with the Vaio. Whereas the biggest iPad has 64GB with a 9.7″ display for $700, the Vaio comes with 750GB, a 20″ display, and the full Windows 8 OS, for only $300 more.

What do you think? Are you are adding the Sony Vaio Tap 20 to your holiday shopping list? Or do you think the Vaio is a rather silly product? Share your opinions in the comments!