Will Laptop/Tablet Hybrids Ever Be Any Good? [Video]

Earlier today, we checked out Sony's latest hybrid hopeful: the Windows 8-equipped VAIO Tap 11. You can see it in action for yourself in our hands-on video above. Does the footage convince you that the hybrid tablet PC is a viable productivity tool? Or is the technology still not quite there yet? Discuss...

The Sony VAIO Tap 11 is an 11-inch Windows tablet PC boasting a magnetic full pitch keyboard that also doubles as a protective screen cover. It's similar in concept to Microsoft's own Surface Pro although the keyboard doesn't actually attach to the tablet while in use. On the one hand, this affords the user more versatility (you can use the keyboard to control the tablet from across the room, for example) but it also makes it more difficult to balance both on your lap.

Taking cues from Samsung's popular Note range, the VAIO Tap 11 comes with a digitiser stylus which comes with two types of pen tips; a hard tip for "low frictional resistance" and a soft tip which replicates writing on paper.

Sony is also claiming that the Tap 11 has better touch sensitivity than previous tablets by positioning the touch panel sensor closer to the display. (Apparently, this eliminates the presence air in the construction.)

As you can see from the above video, the Sony VAIO Tap 11 is a sleek looking piece of kit. But we're still not entirely convinced that a hybrid is the way to go. Whether for business or personal use, there's a lot to be said for a dedicated product that does one job perfectly — which a hybrid clearly ain't.

That said, the segment has come a long way since the days of the creaky Slate PC. We can appreciate the appeal that a two-in-one computing device brings to some users, both in terms of price and convenience/simplicity.

What's your take on this burgeoning market? Have you ever used an Asus Transformer or Windows Surface Pro with Touch/Type keyboard attached? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Comments

    gf has an asus transformer book. its freaking awesome.

    Got a surface pro for uni (after ditching the macbook air) to compliment my desktop.

    Besides the 11" screen being small for general use, i can't really complain much. I can type up assignments on microsoft word, take it into tablet mode and read on the couch.

    Oh and I can finally plug a usb drive into it! (urgh ipad)

    I've been using the Asus Taichi virtually since it was released. It's magical as a dual laptop/tablet, although I'm finding that form factor (10"?) too small for protracted work on documents or programming - but I'm old too, so that may be why I like a larger screen for that kind of work.

    I think the combo approach can work. the Taichi is proof of that, as far as I'm concerned.

    Err, too soon to judge
    The newly unveiled ASUS Transformer T100 comes out next month at $350 with those shiny new low power Bay Trail processors

    At that price, being under a kilo with the dock, 11hrs of battery and not running those slow crummy atom processors and not running WinRT
    It could be a game changer

    Now all it needs is a digitiser for photoshop (if bay trail can keep up), and it could be perfect

    Sony Vaio Duo 11 is the perfect size, power and flexibility for me. Been using it since it was released here and love it..!

    I'm onto my third or fourth tablet pc in 10 years, They all allow me to do things that I can't do with any other device. Cue idiot who says "but I can type faster than I can handwrite".

    I have an Asus transformer for a year or so. Got it to quickly and reasonably unobtrusively write notes while with counseling clients. But the writing software that came with it was flaky. Files did not seem to get saved automatically. I lost files. I bought new writing software and tried different file managers but never gained the confidence I had using Windows and word previously on laptops and desktops. (A Windows tablet does not appeal although I have not extensively tried one.) The keyboard, while good, was not good enough and I had to go back over mistakes. I feel I should have gotten a 13" laptop with Windows and office. Nevertheless, I love the transformer but mainly use it for leisure stuff, especially guitar apps, YouTube and email.
    Oh yeah, transformer battery life is phenomenal compared to laptops I have used. Battery lasts for days on medium intensity use a few hours per day.

    Last edited 17/09/13 11:18 pm

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