Sony announces new Windows 8 products, including a Surface Pro-like tablet

Microsoft may be prepping to launch a new version of its Surface Pro tablet in the near future, but Sony has already announced plans to release a Windows 8 tablet that appears to be highly similar to Microsoft's product. It's called the VAIO Tap 11 and it's the first Windows 8 tablet that Sony will release to the public.

Sony's reveal, as part of its IFA announcements, states that the VAIO Tap 11 will have an 11.6-inch display with a small but built in kickstand. It also comes with a keyboard that magnetically connects to the VAIO Tap 11, just like the Surface Pro, and also serves as a cover for the tablet. The VAIO Tap 11 also comes with a digital stylus, again just like Microsoft's Windows 8 tablet.

While Sony's press release lacks some hardware details, Engadget reports that the display on the Sony VAIO Tap 11 has a resolution of 1920x1080. It can come either with an Intel Pentium or fourth-generation Core processor inside and a choice of between 128GB to 512GB SSDs. The Sony VAIO Tap 11 will come either in black or white colors. No pricing or a release date were announced.

Engadget reports that Sony also announced the successor to the VAIO Tap 20 all-in-one PC that was released in 2012, called the Tap 21. As the name implies it has a large 21.5-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1920x1080. Sony claims that the Tap 21 is 50 percent thinner than the Tap 20 and weighs just eight pounds compared to 10 pounds for the older product.

The Tap 21 will have the option of Intel's fourth-generation Core i5 or Core i7 processors inside, and consumers can choose to put in an SSD or a hybrid hard drive for storage. There's no word on if the Tap 21's battery life when used as a tablet has been improved; the original Tap 20 had about two hours of use while on the battery.

Sony has yet to announce a launch date for the VAIO Tap 21 and as far as pricing the company is saying that it will be "comparable" to the launch price of the Tap 20, which started out at $880.

Finally, the company revealed a new Windows 8 tablet-notebook hybrid, the VAIO Flip. Much like Lenovo's Yoga lineup, the VAIO Flip has a touchscreen that can be moved to several different positions. Sony states:

In an instant your VAIO Fit transforms effortlessly into a responsive touchscreen tablet. Sketch notes and ideas, enjoy apps or browse the web on the Full HD1 panel with all the freedom and fluidity of Windows 8. Found something interesting? Flip the screen again to stand VAIO in viewer mode: then show off your stuff in razor-sharp detail and vibrant colour thanks to TRILUMINOS Display for mobile. Pushing resolution even higher, there’s also an Over Full HD (2880x1620) screen option for selected models.

The Sony VAIO Flip will be released in 13-, 14- and 15-inch screen sizes, will have up to 512GB of SSD storage, and will naturally have Intel's Core processors inside. As with the other two new VAIO PC reveals, Sony has yet to announce a price tag or release date for the VAIO Flip.

Source: Sony | Image via Sony

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Am I the only one around here who would love to see one of the new Bay Trails in this? I mean a 7.5W quadcore Z3770 with a max clock of 2.4GHz would suit me wonderfully.

I'm a gamer, so I'm always going to have a powerful desktop...but I would love the flexibility of x86 CPU with ARM-esque battery life in my tablet.

On track but, this looks great - something ill consider instead of the SP2.

separate, non attached kb makes me wonder how this is going to work out for people.
And no Wacom digitizer, so it makes it bordeline usefull in apps like Photoshop and alike.

Sony already has Windows 8 tablets so I assume this line: "and it's the first Windows 8 tablet that Sony will release to the public" is meant to say Windows 8.1

If it is on par/better with/than Surface Pro 2 (yeah I realise it is not out yet) then they have a chance otherwise it is a niche product.

ians18 said,
hopefully the tap 11 can be a sub $500 price range compared to the surface pro

Doubt it. First this is a high quality product. Second its a Sony product. Forget a sub $500 price range.

Only way to get that device close to the price your are looking for is if you purchase the low end version of the tablet - Pentium based with a low resolution screen, and low storage capacity.

High quality, and good design does not = sub $500 get used to this. If you want sub 500 look at some of the off brand OEMs

ians18 said,
hopefully the tap 11 can be a sub $500 price range compared to the surface pro

I bet the top of the line version with 512GB SSD is going to be $1500.

GP007 said,

I bet the top of the line version with 512GB SSD is going to be $1500.

I bought Sony products in the last few years, and they are nice devices.

Here is my rule on Netbooks, and I consider this tablet a netbook because of the type of CPU and what it can do; if I want a device like this, I will purchase the higher end model because device like this one cannot be upgraded. Plus it should provide you additional years of usage - barring any accidental damages.

Netbook itself is barely upgradable.

would this exist if microsoft didnt make the surface pro? i would bet my house, no.

in saying that, this looks very nice,almost same thickness as a surface rt,but battery life is apparently 6 hours,which for this type of device is pretty damn good. if it was the same thickness as surface pro, i bet it would get in the 8-10 hour range. hopefully thats what surface pro 2 brings. haswell has brought it.

According to Thurrott, the Surface Pro 2 will have a battery life of about 7 hours, up from the 5 of the original Pro

Browsing and playing vids dont nessesarily tax the system. Reviews I have been reading, and those that I have at work, are getting 4-4.5hrs. I guess it depends on what you are using the device for.

no ****.playing a heavy game will kill your battery in less in an hour. heavy workload consumption isnt how these figures are compared.

techbeck said,
Kickstands are nothing new and neither are removable KBs. As for battery life, I saw on TheVerge that the Surface Pro 2 is supposed to have 2hrs longer battery life. So I the Pro is getting 4hrs now, then it will probably be getting 6 on the new version.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/9...haswell-better-battery-life

True, but the OP has a point.

The Surface Pro is a direct Slate form factor that has been around for a long time. The concept of a tablet has been around for a long time. A Windows based tablet has been around for a long time as well with TabletPCs. The use of a high resolution Stylus has been around for a long time too.

However, the size of the device, and specifics of the build quality are NEW to the Windows Tablet world.

One could argue that we would have seen these devices with the introduction of Windows 8, as we saw a couple head in this direction with Windows 7.

The difference is in the details of what Microsoft brought with the Surface Pro as a 'reference design'.

There is a rather long and detailed 'technical' list of features that Microsoft set as the 'expected' and 'standard' for this type of form factor. Things like a newer touch/digitizer technology for a more responsive screen, the importance of a Stylus, a high durability frame and shatter proof screen, etc.

There are a lot of tiny details into the design of the Surface that did change the OEM market for the better, and this product incorporates all of them.

exactly,and people wondered why microsoft would build a device "to compete" with OEMS. for reasons like this. Sony brought a very beautiful device to the market,and i have my doubts that this device would be here if the surface wasnt created.

techbeck said,
Kickstands are nothing new and neither are removable KBs. As for battery life, I saw on TheVerge that the Surface Pro 2 is supposed to have 2hrs longer battery life. So I the Pro is getting 4hrs now, then it will probably be getting 6 on the new version.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/9...haswell-better-battery-life

Let's not kid ourselves. There is only one reason this tablet looks like it does and that is Surface.
Sony made good hardware before Surface but their designs were fugly and when they designed something really nice, they priced it too high.

vcfan said,
no ****.playing a heavy game will kill your battery in less in an hour. heavy workload consumption isnt how these figures are compared.

I love how defensive you get and how you resort to swearing when someone has a different opinion towards yours. Fact is, for a lot of people, the Surface Pro is not a viable replacement until it gets good battery life under a good amount of work load. Right now as it stands, people at work use it for a few hours then have to put it on a charger. It should last the whole work day, but it does not. And until that time, it is not used as the soul/main device in our company and for many others. It may not be how you compare battery life and it may suit your needs, but the world does not revolve around you. A lot of experts have issues with the battery as well. Also, give me more than 128/256gb as that again does not suit many of the users out there. I like the surface...but it has a ways to go.

We have about a dozen surface in production/testing at my company. Number one complaint, battery life. Just doesnt cut it. When you walk from meetings to meetings, buildings to buildings, and have to carry a charger around all the time and plug it in. That is not ideal/convenient.

BajiRav said,

Let's not kid ourselves. There is only one reason this tablet looks like it does and that is Surface.
Sony made good hardware before Surface but their designs were fugly and when they designed something really nice, they priced it too high.

I was referring to the features/specs. Sure how it looks wouldnt be around if not for the Surface, but again...the features are nothing new and not anything that hasnt been around. I am not knocking the device at all and I like the surface for what it is. Give me better battery life and more HD space and I will be all for it. Oh, and make it easier to use on a non flat surface.

techbeck said,

snip

before you have an aneurysm, i am merely explaining that when you read battery life comparisons on tech sites like anandtech,or when that figure is given in the marketing material, it is a figure calculated from doing light common tasks such as web browsing,or playing video. No device even gets close to its rated battery life figure when doing heavier tasks. No laptop,tablet or phone, either x86 or ARM.


vcfan said,

before you have an aneurysm, i am merely explaining that when you read battery life comparisons on tech sites like anandtech,or when that figure is given in the marketing material, it is a figure calculated from doing light common tasks such as web browsing,or playing video. No device even gets close to its rated battery life figure when doing heavier tasks. No laptop,tablet or phone, either x86 or ARM.

Funny, you are the one getting upset and telling me not to have an aneurysm? I tried to have a convo and you started swearing to prove your point. But ok then.

And do a little research and you will see there are laptops with around 10 hours of battery life and lasts all day long. Hell, browsing with my nexus 7 tablet I get more battery life than the Surface. (yes, diff for factors but you said no tablet has better battery life). I browse the internet, look at videos, download pics...and yes, there are reviews out there stating the exact same thing.

MS has some great products, but the world does not revolve around them.

Edited by techbeck, Sep 5 2013, 1:56am :

techbeck said,

Funny, you are the one getting upset and telling me not to have an aneurysm? I tried to have a convo and you started swearing to prove your point. But ok then.

And do a little research and you will see there are laptops with around 10 hours of battery life and lasts all day long. Hell, browsing with my nexus 7 tablet I get more battery life than the Surface. (yes, diff for factors but you said no tablet has better battery life). I browse the internet, look at videos, download pics...and yes, there are reviews out there stating the exact same thing.

MS has some great products, but the world does not revolve around them.

I wasn't swearing at you. I said no "doodoo", but that word that starts with "sh" is blocked. its a pretty common term to use when someone says something obvious. its like saying "really?" sarcastically.

about the rest of what you said, if you are getting the rated battery life,that means you are doing comparable light tasks as the ones used in the benchmarks. congratulations. you are not using physics defying technology.

vcfan said,

about the rest of what you said, if you are getting the rated battery life,that means you are doing comparable light tasks as the ones used in the benchmarks. congratulations. you are not using physics defying technology.

Fact is, when I do the exact same things on my laptop/tablet compared to my Surface at work...my laptop/tablet lasts a heck of a lot longer. That is undeniable. No matter if I am doing light or heavy work.

So saying no **** is like saying really sarcastically? Umm, ok...

Believe what you will and what others tell you or what you read on a website. I am talking real world usage/experience. And I am not the only one out there. Deny it all you want. Battery life on the Surface just isnt there yet and like I said before, not for everyone who wants to use it as a replacement for their current system. And yes, some are comparable tasks but again, I get better battery life than the surface and something you said no other tablet/phone/laptop would get. Brush it off with sarcasm all you want. Doesnt make it true.

And thats all I have to say on the subject. Every convo I have with you it is MS this, MS that. MS is not the end all be all. They have great stuff. Some of their products others cannot touch, while some of their products others are better.

Have a good evening.

what are these tasks that you are speaking of that you are doing the same across these devices? we already have comparables such as web browsing and playing videos. if you mean things like running office,sorry it doesn't count. you don't have office on your nexus 7.

sigh....one more reply and then i am seriously done here....

I said tablet AND laptop. Meaning, what I do on my tablet beats the surface and what I do on my laptop beats the surface. Different tasks on laptop/tablet. And yes, I have all 3 (Surface is a work machine). I didnt just say tablet. My tablet/laptop will last all day. My Surface does not with the same usage/tasks.

Stop trying to confuse things.

Edited by techbeck, Sep 5 2013, 4:38am :

you just admitted that you have to use 2 devices to beat the surface pro. that in itself validates the reason for the existance of the surface pro.

Yes, I use two devices. But my laptop alone beats the Surface pro. I was just giving my tablet as another example. Stop trying to twist what I say around to develop an argument against what I said. It is sad and pathetic. I understand, you love MS so much that you cannot live without them. But others have different experiences than you and different uses for their devices. You only see what is in your own little world and anyone else who has a different experience, they are wrong.

Edited by techbeck, Sep 5 2013, 4:06am :

your laptop isnt even close to the size,weight and mobility of a surface pro. whats next, are you going to compare your gaming rig to the surface pro and tell us how much more powerful and longer lasting it is even though its plugged into your mains electrical outlet? because thats kinda what you're doing.

vcfan said,
your laptop isnt even close to the size,weight and mobility of a surface pro. whats next, are you going to compare your gaming rig to the surface pro and tell us how much more powerful and longer lasting it is even though its plugged into your mains electrical outlet? because thats kinda what you're doing.

Since when were we comparing size/weight of the device? Seriously, you said that no device, laptop tablet or phone, comes close to the Surface for BATTERY LIFE. That is what YOU said. Do I need to quote you? Stop inserting different factors to try and prove your original point. Ohhh, and BTW...my 7in Tablet is smaller and for watching video, browsing, downloading, listening to music.....still better battery life. So your size/weight argument is a load of garbage.

Edited by techbeck, Sep 5 2013, 4:20am :

id like you to find me saying that,because that isnt what i said. i said no device comes close to its rated battery life when doing heavy tasks.

im only bring up the difference in sizes and form factors because you were the one that went on about how your work laptop gets much more battery life. and my question to you is, is your laptop as mobile as the surface pro? is the surface pro built to replace your thick and bulky laptop in a static work setting? or is its purpose to be mobile and powerful at the same time? that is why i also brought up about how this is the same as comparing your desktop rig running on mains to the surface pro.

vcfan said,
id like you to find me saying that,because that isnt what i said. i said no device comes close to its rated battery life when doing heavy tasks.

And i said my laptop does on heavy tasks. Size was never a factor until had no other way to argue your original point.

Now shoo . I have socks to sort.

Edited by techbeck, Sep 5 2013, 5:11am :

vcfan said,

you cant pull that one even on a monkey

Socks done. And I don't expect someone who is a 100% fanboy to believe even consider what others think. My laptop out performs the surface in battery and over all functionality And usability

My original point was that the surface currently I not a viable replacement for everyone. That is fact. Keep denying it all you want and keep trying to change your argument and twist words around.

I'd take a monkeys word over yours any day of the week. At least they can learn to see past the fog.

techbeck said,

Socks done. And I don't expect someone who is a 100% fanboy to believe even consider what others think.

thats rich coming from you.

techbeck said,

My laptop out performs the surface in battery and over all functionality And usability

not portability,or mobile usability.

techbeck said,

My original point was that the surface currently I not a viable replacement for everyone.

neither is any other product.

vcfan said,

thats rich coming from you

Really? Calling me a fanboy? Sorry dude. I use and like products from many different companies and can admit each of their shortcomings. You defend MS like they are the only thing around.Your posts are always biased against anything MS. Your delusion is really showing but keep it up. It is also entertaining.

vcfan said,

...

+techbeck said,

...

Ok, ok, You both are pretty, now kiss and make up for the sake of the kids.

The Surface Pro doesn't have the battery of a 'heavier' notebook, it wasn't designed to be away from power for more than 4-5hrs.

Just like a MacBook Air and most Ultrabooks. They all fall into the same 4-5hr battery range.

Plug it in overnight, commute and use the device, plug it in at work, unplug it to take it with you on and off throughout the day, let it get a charge before your commute home.

Too often people like to exaggerate how often they are away from a power source. Most users have access to power 90% of their day. Especially in the USA where most people have a car that is quite capable of recharging a device.

Microsoft could have given the Surface Pro a much longer battery life, but specifically chose not to do this and instead focused on providing a 'fast' and 'fully capable' device that can function as a desktop/notebook/tablet replacement.

(As I mentioned before the CPU in the Surface Pro, is a lighter i5, but it is still faster than almost all AMD desktop CPUs.)