Sony Tap 20 review: A Windows 8 all-in-one that’s equally a humongous tablet
As we would guess, this modern Windows 8-based Sony all-in-one isn’t a average AIO. Inside the small outdoor beats the heart of a Ultrabook, nevertheless it also offers a ten-point multitouch screen along with a built-in power. So you are able to either think of the Tap 20 (sometimes known by the sexy name SVJ20215CXW) because a smallish AIO or perhaps a absolutely big pill. In fact, it’s a small of both.
Sony’s newest desktop effort is 1 cool illustration of the experimentation inside shape factors we’re beginning to find with Windows 8 hardware. Yes, producers is shipping stock clamshell laptops plus average desktop PCs with ten-point multitouch because an alternative, plus PCWorld is reviewing many because they come out. But if Windows 8 is to be really effective, treatments like Sony’s Tap 20 is key.
In placing the Tap 20 by its paces, I began with a small photograph modifying about its decidedly smallish (at minimum for an AIO) 20-inch, 1600-by-900-pixel show. It became a constraining experience, compared with all the more expansive displays I’m utilized to using. Then I unplugged the device, took it upstairs, laid it flat about my dining-room table, plus played Pinball FX 2.
Notice the smudges found on the Sony program inside the pic above. Fingerprints about glass can become a lifestyle, because it happens to be with general pills. As more touch-enabled PCs arrive, accessories like cleaning cloths is a hot item for those consumers whom detest fingerprints.
Under the hood
Sony has built its modern AIO about mobile PC development, including the same 1.7GHz Ivy Bridge ultra-low-voltage Core i5-3317U CPU utilized inside several mainstream Ultrabooks, with a Turbo Increase as much as 2.6GHz whenever required. The program also offers 4GB of program memory plus utilizes Intel’s own HD 4000 integrated images to take care of show tasks. Storage jobs fall to a 750GB mobile difficult drive without SSD cache, thus the storage performance is a small poky. No optical drive is made in; either we receive a movie or sound content through the network, or we attach an outside optical drive.
Although the 1600-by-900-pixel resolution appears a small low for a 20-inch all-in-one, Sony utilizes an IPS panel, thus the color fidelity plus movie saturation look very advantageous, plus watching angles are good. Sony additionally integrated the same Bravia video-rendering engine it utilizes inside its Bravia HDTVs, thus video looks nice—when there are it to run. The condition with movie inside this case isn’t the hardware however, Windows itself, that no longer plays back MPEG-2 content, either DVD or high-definition. Sony must consider bundling some sort of MPEG-2 playback tool going forward. WMV high-definition movie looked very appealing found on the IPS screen, but, because did high-resolution pictures.
The Tap 20 has the robust set of connectivity choices, including Bluetooth four.0, gigabit ethernet, plus 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity. Surprisingly, the program sports just 2 USB 3.0 ports, though 1 provides sleep-and-charge functionality. Additionally included is an SD/Memory Stick slot, and also an sound input plus output jack. The program lacks monitor inputs plus outputs, however—you won’t discover HDMI ports, or any alternative movie connectors.
To relieve several USB port congestion, Sony supplies a wireless keyboard plus mouse. They’re competent, though the keyboard looks plus feels more like a Chiclet-style computer keyboard, right right down to the shallow keystroke plus shortage of sculpting.
Loyd CaseWireless keyboard plus mouse
The stand is big plus U-shaped, installed to the device through hinges. You are able to change the tilt, yet not the height. The stand will turn parallel to the program, permitting we to lay the machine completely flat about a tabletop or different surface.
This flexibility lets you utilize this Sony program because a flat surface for interactive gaming, shared art, or presentations. Angling the stand for setting the program up inside portrait mode is equally potential, yet the machine isn’t pretty stable because mode.
To facilitate employ inside the shared tabletop mode, Sony has integrated a 5000 mAh power, that could run the program for about 3 hours sans energy cord, depending found on the brightness setting plus employ mode.
Since the Tap 20 carries an ultra-low-voltage mobile CPU, the performance is somewhat lacking compared with which of different all-in-one PCs. PCWorld is within the procedure of building the hot WorldBench 8 suite for Windows 8 testing, yet it isn’t very prepared yet. We were capable to run PCMark 7, including storage tests, and startup occasions. In comparison with earlier tested AIO systems running Windows 7, the Tap 20 is really deficient inside sheer CPU performance: Although you are able to utilize the program for movie modifying or gaming, those escapades are certainly not its sturdy suit.
For illustration, found on the workplace efficiency test, the Tap 20 garnered a score of only 730, lower than half the mark of Lenovo’s ThinkCentre M92z. And the Sony’s image-editing test took 596 seconds, vs 157 seconds for the Lenovo, inside average use situations. Many of the performance issues are attributable to the slow, 5400-rpm laptop-style difficult drive.
On the alternative hand, the energy use is low. The idle energy of the Sony Tap 20 is only 23 watts, regarding half the 41W idle force of the Lenovo all-in-one.
Using the Tap 20
I set up the Tap 20 inside my house workplace, installing certain more software plus getting employed to the touch-enabled show. After a time, I noticed which I was utilizing the mouse less, even inside the Windows desktop, though several operations inside desktop mode were nevertheless simpler with a mouse. The interface was sensitive plus smooth. When I ran Office-style applications, or surfed the Internet, both Firefox plus Internet Explorer appeared effectively behaved, even with several tabs open. Web-based movie playback was largely clean plus stutter-free.
However, in the event you plan about composing or modifying longer documents, you might desire a different keyboard. The Sony keyboard’s keys are somewhat textured, nevertheless nonetheless slippery, plus I found me creating more mistakes whilst typing than I commonly do. Non-touch-typists could not encounter the same issues.
Using the program untethered is an interesting experience. At effectively over 11 pounds along with a 20-inch width, this machine is not anything we sit about the lap. It does create for a quite cool Xbox SmartGlass device. I set it up about my coffee table inside front of my entertainment center, in convenient reach. Even though SmartGlass remains inside its infancy, the development has the possible to turn a device like the Tap 20 into a effective adjunct to the house entertainment setup, when Microsoft keeps improving it.
I furthermore laid the machine flat plus played about with a few of the games, like Xbox Taptile plus Pinball FX2. These titles show off really a small of the potential of the program because a shared gaming device. Here’s hoping which more board-game ports come to the Microsoft Store, because we’ve watched with iOS games; I’d love to find Ticket to Ride, Elder Sign, or Alien Frontiers about this program.
While video standard (what video you might play) turned out effectively, sound was anything of the mixed bag. I noticed which the sound standard varies depending found on the surface the program sits about. If it’s about a difficult desktop, the sound standard is much better than should you plop it down about a tabletop covered with a tablecloth. Even in the number one case, the sound standard is limited by the speaker size; the device produces small audible bass content, though Dolby Home Theater v4 spreads out the sound stage a bit without adversely affecting sound standard. Should you program about utilizing the Tap 20 to observe a great deal of videos, or because a music playback device, outside speakers will be a wise decision.
The Tap 20 is an unusual product. It’s fairly underpowered because a desktop program, however its sturdy suit is because a shared family PC, with all the ability to be moved conveniently about the house. And its possible because a shared gaming device is impressive. Unfortunately, it isn’t because sturdy found on the efficiency side, as well as the deficiency of MPEG-2 playback—more a Windows 8 condition than Sony’s—makes it an imperfect entertainment program.
In several methods, the Tap 20 showcases both the advantageous as well as the bad of Windows 8. Its seamless integration with all the Windows 8 interface shows off Microsoft’s hot running program at its ideal, yet the deficiency of abilities which consumers have come to anticipate, including MPEG-2 playback, is oddly jarring. If you use this machine with Windows 8-native apps, it excels, however the uninspired keyboard plus mouse create desktop utilize more of the chore than it should be. The Tap 20 is undeniably cool, however, a few of the details have to be fleshed out. Still, at regarding $ 880, it’s not all which pricey, very in the event you consider which it’s both a tiny all-in-one along with a truly big pill.
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