Tag Archive | "sony"

Tap 11, Surface Pro 2, Venue 11 Pro Head-To-Head

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three2-in-1 (1)

Three of the hottest convertibles around at the moment are all available with full Core i5 processors. They’re netbook size and weight but offer laptop-class processing with 5+hrs of battery life. I’ve analysed the Sony Vaio Tap 11, Microsoft Surface Pro and Dell Venue 11 Pro and written an article over at Ultrabooknews that highlights the prices and specification differences. Of course if you’re interested in lower-cost and good-enough processing power you can get the Dell Venue 11 Pro in a Baytrail version which is thinner and lighter that its bigger brother. It goes head-to-head with the ASUS Transformer T100 which is doing well in the sales charts. All are available to order at Amazon.com right now. Latest prices shown below.

Sony Vaio Pro 13 Video Deep-Dive. At 2.2 pounds with Core CPU this is high-powered mobility

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I’ve got a Sony VAIO Pro 13 here thanks to Intel. It’s the lightest touch-enabled 13.3-inch  Ultrabook there is and at 1KG / 2.2 pounds it beats all of the the 2-in-1 options. This isn’t a cheap subnotebook but it’s got enough power to be a desktop PC for most people.

Sony Vaio Pro 13 _5_

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Sony Vaio Tap 11 vs Microsoft Surface Pro

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If there’s one device in the market that messes with my head it’s the Sony Vaio Tap 11. It’s a 11.6-inch tablet built on an Ultrabook platform so I write about it at Ultrabooknews. It’s also a 780gm Windows tablet running core so therefore an Ultra Mobile PC! Argh!

Sony Vaio Tap 11 (2)

Pricing for the Tap 11 makes the issue even harder because it starts at a tempting 799 Euros.

All the Sony Vaio Tap 11 specifications are now in the database along with new images, my hands-on video and links to other articles. I’ve also detailed some of the other pricing and done some Pro 2 vs Tap 11 analysis in a new article over at Ultrabooknews.

The key thing here is that the Vaio Tap 11 is lighter which helps in a lot of consumer tablet scenarios. I’ve had the 760 gram 11.6-inch Samsung ATIV 500T for a while so I know it’s a comfortable tablet in sofa-mode. In addition the 11.6-inch screen will aid productivity.

Sorry for the two-site switch everybody!


Our UMPCPortal forum is alive again! I’m slowly promoting and linking-in. Feel free to head over and start a discussion. It’s Tapatalk enabled too so you can access it easily, and ad-free, on your mobile devices.


Sony Vaio Tap 11. 780gm…with Core. Groundbreaking!

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Sony Vaio Tap 11 (19)

The Sony Vaio Tap 11 has got an 11.6” screen which really puts it outside the ‘handheld WIndows’ category. On the other hand it weighs only 780gm, comes  with a super light, but very usable keyboard, offers full Core-level performance and has a digitizer. It is, in my opinion, a benchmark for 2013 and 2014 Haswell-based tablets.

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How to Turn Your UMPC into a DIY AirPlay Receiver

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My Sony Vaio UX180 ultra mobile PC spent many years as the center of my mobile world. However, since the rise of the consumer smartphone, it hasn’t seen much field use lately. While the latest mobile devices are wonderful in many ways, they still lack the amazing software/hardware compatibility which comes with a full-fledged Windows-running x86 PC. I hung onto the UX180 knowing that it would be able to fill some role at some point down the road thanks to that compatibility. A few days ago I finally uncovered the perfect role for it — my UX180 is now back in active duty as an AirPlay receiver and it gladly plays my music, videos, and photos to my big stereo system and big TV. Here’s how you can turn your old ultra mobile PC into an AirPlay receiver!

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Sony Appears to be Working on a New U-series Hybrid Tablet With Windows 8

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Back during CES, Sony was showing off a hybrid tablet with Windows 8. This was a sliding design that could function as a tablet with the screen down, or the screen could slide up screen up to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard.

Image credit: Engadget

We’ve seen a similar approach from Samsung, but despite an official press release about the product, it never made it to market (perhaps they were waiting for Windows 8?). Asus launched the Eee Pad Slider last year using the same concept but with the Android and ARM platform instead of Windows. The Asus Slider was highly anticipated, but didn’t seem to make a major splash within the Android market.

Sony’s concept hybrid device was decidedly a prototype as shown off at CES, but a purportedly leaked advertisement,  spotted by Pocket Now, shows a very similar device that looks much closer to a retail launch. The ad also places the hybrid tablet under the U-series, which Sony has always reserved for it’s most portable computers. Cousin of the U-series is the UX-series under which Sony offered it venerable UX UMPC.

In the ad you can see a USB port on the right side of the device, a front facing camera at the top right of the bezel, a home button of sorts on the left side of the bezel, mouse buttons in front of the keyboard (with the middle key likely for scrolling), and a nub-mouse in the center of the keyboard.

Prior to Windows 8 I would have been less enthusiastic about a hybrid device from Sony, but now that Windows 8 has a chance of providing a good tablet experience, the hybrid design is much more appealing. Hopefully we’ll hear more about this device as Windows 8 gets closer to retail launch.

Hands-On With the Sony Tablet P Android Clamshell

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From Sony Tablet P

Thanks to Al Sutton of Funky Android at Droidcon NL in Holland this week I got a lot of hands-on time with a retail version of the Sony Tablet P that has just arrived on the shelves in the UK. It’s the Psion 5-like dual-screen Android clamshell that I found quite exciting at IFA in Sept. It may look strange but there’s some nice mobile usability features tucked inside. Sony have done a reasonable job of optimizing Sony apps and gaming capabilities for the screen but there are some issues with standard apps and text input which mean the Sony Tablet P may only be interesting for people wanting the Sony media and gaming experience.

Obviously the clamshell form factor brings a natural screen protector into play which improves ruggedness. There’s also an interesting 12wh removable battery, a fantastic screen, a fast processor, Honeycomb build (with possible, not promised, upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich) and a useful 5-row on screen keyboard.

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From Sony Tablet P

In terms of size and weight it feels a little bit dense but it’s about the same weight as a Samsung Galaxy Tab. It fits into most pockets for short term transport but it’s very thick indeed. Its design certainly doesn’t shout ‘manly’ either.

Although there’s a gap between the screens I found myself ignoring it when reading content. It was great to see a full readable version of Carrypad across the screens and the Tablet P could make an interesting page-per-view reading device. The split screens bring a little issue when dragging across two screens. When the contact is lost the dragged item gets dropped.

From Sony Tablet P

Thumbing is possible in portrait or landscape but I didn’t find it as easy as the Galaxy Tab in portrait mode and the sharp corners dig into your hand. Angling the screen closer to 90 degrees allows a level of table-toppecking but there’s no haptics and its a little hit-and-miss. You certainly won’t enjoy inputting large amounts of text in this way. Again, I find a 7″ portaint-mode Thumbing experience to be much more comfortable.

From Sony Tablet P

I tested a number of apps and was impressed with the amounts of content being presented to me but many apps default into a single screen view. Using Honeycomb’s stretch feature apps are encouraged to spread across with screens. This isn’t always successful though. Google Reader refused to expand and crashed at every attempt. I saw other apps doing this too. This is a critical problem.

From Sony Tablet P

Having a removeable battery is a real advantage to the ultra-mobile user. Battery life looked, after a few hours of testing, very similar to that of the Galaxy Tab 7 – 6hrs screen-on usage over an active period of 12 hrs. It’s not quite all-day capable if you’re relying on this for some productivity.

From Sony Tablet P

Other notes:

  • The Sony Tablet P is not phone-capable but 3G version (4Gb storage) is just under 500 UK pounds
  • Speaker quality is very poor
  • Brightness and viewing angles on screen are excellent
  • No games tested – this is a key feature of the device.
  • Content catalogue not available from on this UK model tested in NL – This is another key feature of the device.

Summary

The Sony Tablet P is an interesting mobile device with some unique and useful features but text input was a little clumsy due to an uncomfortable thumbing grip and lack of haptics. Desktop-pecking is possible, but not efficient.  It seems that gaming could be the only serious unique feature here and I haven’t tested it. If that part of the device works well it’s the entertainment user that is the only type of user that really needs to take a close look at the Sony Tablet P. The reading experience was good and the Tablet P is easy to hold but the weight needs to come down a bit to match some of the best reader-capable tablets. Others looking for a more mobile all-round Android experience may find more pleasure in the Samsung Galaxy Note or 7″ Android slates.

 Gallery

Sony Tablet P

Top 12 Tablet Weights Compared — At 595 Grams, Sony’s Tablet S is the Second Lightest 10” Tablet on the Market

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Though Sony’s Tablet S has been known about for months now, today they finally unveiled official specifications for the device. While weight isn’t the spec that everyone jumps at immediately, it’s certainly an important factor for a large 10” tablet. Sony says that their Tablet S is just 595 grams, which makes it the second lightest of the top 12 tablets, right between the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Apple iPad 2 (with the Tab 10.1 being the lightest) – quite impressive considering that the Tablet S design isn’t as thin as many of the other tablets on the market because of it’s interesting folded shape, though it should count itself lucky to be considered a 10″ tablet when the screen is actually only 9.4″. Have a look at how the top 12 ten inch-category tablets compare:

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I would love to be able to say that tablets are getting lighter as time goes on, but as you can see, there are four Honeycomb tablets that were released after the first (the Xoom) that are actually heavier (though the Eee Pad Slider sort of has an excuse!).

tablet s leverage

The Tablet S is only about 1% lighter than the iPad 2, but Sony designed it with that funky shape specifically to make it feel lighter in one hand by grouping the weight on one side and reducing leverage again your hand. I’d be curious to see how much torque the iPad 2 puts on a hand vs. the Tablet S.

Sony Tablet S Available 9/16, Starts at $499; Trade in an old Tablet and Save $100

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sony tablet sFollowing the official unveiling of the Tablet P and Tablet S (formerly the S1 and S2) at IFA this morning, Sony now has official pricing and release dates available online. Right now you can go to SonyStyle.com and pre-order the Tablet S (the single-screened one) in its 16GB flavor starting at $499 (to match the iPad 2, no doubt), while the 32GB version goes for $599.

Sony is running a promotion through October 1st which will provide you with $100 off of the Tablet S if you’re willing to trade in an old tablet.

On this page you can enter your old tablet’s details and see if Sony considers it valid for the promotion. At the moment, Sony lists the following tablet manufacturers as those which would be valid:

  • Apple
  • Archos
  • Dell
  • HP
  • Motorola
  • Samsung
  • Viewsonic

Once you select a brand you need to specify the model, so not every old tablet may work, but it won’t hurt to give it a try if you want to trade up to a newer device.

Pre-ordering reveals that the device will become available on September 16th, a little more than two weeks away. It’s nice to finally see Sony get their tablets to market, but I don’t think they represent the bar the Sony had once set for handheld devices.

The dual-screened Tablet S is not immediately available for pre-order alongside the Tablet P, and the release date has not been indicated on Sony’s site.

Sony Tablet S and Tablet P Image Gallery

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