The time has come for each Windows PC manufacturer to announce its unusual and frequently convertible offerings for the launch of Windows 8 at the end of October. Sony's announcement of new Vaio laptops and desktops puts a square focus on touch and multipurpose use, with two brand-new desktop and laptop products, the Vaio Tap 20 and the Vaio Duo 11, as the centerpieces.
There are other, less exciting revisions as well: the E Series now offers a touch-screen aluminum E Series 14P, and the Vaio S Series now comes in burgundy red. We had a chance to test and review some truly interesting products, a quartet of Sony's latest PCs. Read all about them below.
Sony's weird, and somewhat wild, gigantic 20-inch multitouch all-in-one PC is also a battery-powered tablet. Do you use it on your desk, or in your lap? Yes, and more. This 10-finger multitouch PC has its own stand, but is also made to lay on a table for group use. The oddest thing of all is this: the $999 Tap 20 actually works.
Sony's eyecatching sliding-convertible Windows 8 ultrabook glides open into keyboard mode, or folds down into a 11.6-inch touch-screen tablet, complete with its own pressure-sensitive stylus. Under the hood it's a Core i5 ultrabook, but at $1,200 it's priced at the top of a crowded category. While there are certainly things to like about the Sony Vaio Duo 11, the design gets in the way of enjoying them.
The Vaio T ultrabook released this summer now has a touch-screen counterpart, which costs $899 for the updated touch display but otherwise functions similarly to the T we already knew. Does 2GB of extra memory and a Windows 8 touch display change the equation?
Sony Vaio E (17-inch)
No sir, there's no touch or crazy folding going on in this 17-inch Vaio: instead, this is a desktop replacement-type 17-inch laptop priced below $1,000. There weren't any 17-inchers in Sony's midrange line of E series laptops before, but this quad-core i7, AMD graphics-toting machine could be a good pick-up for some students.
All of these systems will be available at the end of October, in time for the launch of Windows 8.