There’s a lot to be said about Windows 8, mostly unflattering ones. But that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from convincing you that the platform is ok. The upcoming major update seems hell-bent on answering much of the complaints about it. If that’s not enough, MS delivered a one-two punch by lowering the price of the Surface tabtops.
Third-party manufacturers aren’t bumming around either, given the amount of products showcased in the recently concluded IFA. I did find Sony‘s offerings via their VAIO line are absolutely interesting, and they may trump MS’s Surface as the tabtop to get.Their Tap Series is closer to the MS Surface concept-wise. The meat of the product is an ultrabook in tablet form. The new ones come in either 11.6″ or a gargantuan 21.5″. The former, called the Tap 11, comes with a keyboard dock that doubles as a flip cover that connects to the unit via magnets. It also comes with a digitizer pen, a 128GB SSD for storage, and features an IR blaster, enabling it to function as a multimedia hub.
Its bigger brother, the Tap 21, on the other hand, is a minor upgrade of their Tab 20. It has a slightly larger 21.5-inch display with a native resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels (up from 1600 x 900 px), yet it’s 50% thinner and 30% lighter than its predecessor.
Another more interesting addition, however, is their VAIO Flip PC series. It’s differentiated from the Tap Series by employing a different method of transforming into a tablet. The keyboard component is permanently attached to the unit via a thin rubber membrane which acts as a dual hinge that allows the display to flip up and around to face away from the backlit keyboard. It’ll come in 13-, 14-, and 15-inch models. The first one will make use of SSD, while the larger ones will employ good ol’ standard HDDs.
There’s no pricing nor availability info for any of these products yet, but I’m assuming they’ll be out just in time for Windows 8.1 to come out. Until then, we’ll be on the lookout so that we can inform you ASAP.