If we had to pick two kinds of computers that have become incredibly popular in the last few years, we’d choose all-in-one PCs and tablets.
All-in-one PCs have almost as much power as a full-size desktop PC, but integrate a big LCD screen — sometimes touch-sensitive too. Tablets are portable, convenient, and easy to use.
The Sony VAIO Tap 20 bridges those two worlds — it’s an all-in-one PC, but it can be detached from its stand, keyboard, and mouse. Once you’ve got the Tap 20 out of its cradle, it’s effectively a super-sized tablet.
Running Windows 8, the VAIO Tap 20 can be used as a traditional Windows PC — Windows 8’s Desktop mode works just like Windows 7’s, and with Start8 installed it’s nearly indistinguishable.
But Windows 8 is built around a new interface — the Modern UI — which makes it much easier to use a touchscreen. With the VAIO Tap 20 in tablet mode, you’re able to browse the Internet or run your apps using a touchscreen keyboard and your finger as a mouse cursor. In this way, the VAIO Tap 20 is equally well-suited to working as a tablet as it is as a sit-down desktop PC.
As the name might suggest, the Tap 20 is built around a 20-inch LCD screen, with 10-point multitouch. The system runs an Intel Core i5-3317U ultra-low-power CPU, with a 500GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM. Built-in Wi-Fi and a bundled wireless keyboard and mouse make it easy to separate the Tap 20 from its desktop stand and take it to the couch.
The Tap 20 has an integrated battery that’s good for 2.5 hours of use — that’s a feature-length movie, or a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones. You can also buy an additional battery that’s good for 3.5 hours of use, which is basically an entire evening in front of the TV.
We're keen to get our hands on the VAIO Tap 20 to give it a proper run-through. It's out now around Australia, and costs $1,499.