Sony Vaio Tap 11 ReviewSony Vaio Tap 11 8
The chief compromise one has to do with the Vaio Tap 11 is battery life. Such a thin tablet doesn't leave much room inside for a large battery pack, and Sony quotes about 5.5 hours of endurance from the 3800 mAh pack, despite the frugal Haswell processors. It is still pretty good for such a thin and light standalone Windows tablet, but Android and iOS slates are usually running twice as long, and the same goes for most current Windows convertibles with Haswell, so there's a price to pay for the Tap 11's footprint.
Vaio Tap 11 is one of the most evolved instances of the new device breed that became possible with Microsoft's touch-friendly Windows 8, coupled with the frugal Haswell processor family of Intel. It is incredibly thin and light for an 11” Windows slate, and still manages to pack some punch, giving you access to legacy programs and a million of peripherals.
Moreover, Sony supplied the tablet with an excellent 1080p display, and added more value with two additional input methods like the slim magnetic keyboard cover and the Active Pen stylus, without adding bulk in the process. Such a compact footprint, however, comes with a major tradeoff in battery life, which is much less than what we are used to with a Haswell-based machine. If you aren't bothered by the 5-hour endurance, and can afford to splurge a bit more for a better performance with the Core-i5 version of the tablet, Sony Vaio Tap 11 comes as one of the best Windows tablets of the season.
Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 is a direct competitor here, and its 128 GB version with a keyboard cover is about the same price as the Core-i5 Tap 11. Sony's tablet has a larger screen, and is much thinner and lighter than Microsoft's slate, whose thicker chassis, however, will offer you almost twice the battery life. If you aren't firm on the whole keyboard-screen part separation, you can also look at the Sony Vaio Duo 11 slider with 1080p display - it is much heavier than the Tap 11, and even the Surface, but at least you can prop it to watch movies on the plane without fatigue, for instance.
Alternatively, if you don't need legacy Windows program support and aren't going to use any wacky peripherals that need Windows drivers, you can always get the feathery iPad Air, or a slim Android tablet like the Sony Xperia Tablet Z for half the Tap 11 price, though with much less storage capacity.
- Slimmest, lightest design of a full-size Windows 8 tablet
- Very good 1080p display
- Included Active Pen stylus and magnetic keyboard cover
- Battery life is on the short side for a Haswell device
- Thin kickstand only lets you prop the tablet on a desk
Sony Vaio Tap 11 Review - Battery and Conclusion