CNET First Look
Sony's big-screen Vaio Flip 15 hybridThis slim 15-inch laptop transforms into a kiosk and an almost-slate.
-I'm Dan Ackerman and we are here taking a look at the Sony Vaio Flip 15. This is yet another PC that attempts to enter the age-old question released a year or so, "How do you perfectly merge a clamshell laptop with a tablet?" We've seen a lot of hybrid attempts at this. This is another one. I'll just show you right now what Sony does. They have a switch right here that says either lock or release. You move it to release and then this screen here folds up like this or flips up if you take the flip name literally, and it kinda goes like that. There's a little hinge right here, and you can turn it all the way around and that gives you that kiosk mode that we're seeing on so many systems these days, and then you continue to fold all the way down like this and then you have a fairly flat tablet-like device. I say tablet-like rather than actually a tablet because even in this folded down mode, there's a little gap right here. It's not entirely flat. If you have it sitting on your lap or on a table in front of you, you probably won't even notice it, but it is sort of awkward to carry and hold, so it's not really a full flat slate, which is an interesting way to approach it. There was an Acer that had a similar sort of body that had the same problem. I found that annoying as well. If you ignore that, you can actually just use this as a high-end, fairly thin mid-sized laptop. This version has a Core i-7 processor in it. You can get low-end versions, you get a high res screen, you get this free graphics in it. I do like that its sort of a brushed metal aluminum design here on the back and then continues inside on the keyboard tray with these light silver colored keys and touchpad and background for the keyboard to get a very monochromatic look. That's a lot different from kinda the dark greys and blacks, I mean with the contrasting keyboards that we see these days. As 15-inch laptop, I think it's really good. As the kiosk mode fold system, I think it's pretty sleek, you'll like that. Folded down into a tablet, that's probably where it's at its weakest. I will consider this a 75% of the time laptop, maybe 20% to 25% of the time tablet at best. If you need a more full time tablet, look somewhere else. I'm Dan Ackerman, and this is the Sony Vaio Flip 15.