Sony Vaio Duo 11
I see a lot of hybrid tablet PCs these days. Typically, these are tablets that integrate the features of a laptop. And my first reaction to this hybrid was love at first sight. I even found it priced just right: it runs on the latest Core i5 processor, has a 128 GB solid state disk (SSD), 29.5 cm wide touchscreen and 4 GB of RAM.
It is so good looking that everyone in the office wanted to try it out. We also loved that it came with an Ethernet port, and had both HDMI and VGA ports for external display. This is useful while preparing presentations, because you don’t have to bother about what connector your on-site projector may support. It also has USB 2 and USB 3 ports, as well as a card reader.
And then I decided to look beyond its looks. Most Vaio chargers have an LED to indicate charging status. It is a useful thing, but missing in this one.
The machine is probably not designed for heavy users. It performs nicely with regular office work, and is a really good tablet at that. But when I tried to test the limits of this hybrid, it kept crashing.
It is obvious that Sony has worked hard on its design, including how the keyboard elegantly goes under. But it is small, and you can’t type very fast on it. It has no place for a palm rest either, and I had to use a gel palm rest with it. Also, its keyboard is not easy to use without a table (for example, at an airport). The screen is always exposed, and to keep it from getting scratched, I had to buy a jacket for it. The keyboard is backlit, which is nice, but you can’t dim it. It is either on or off, nothing inbetween.
But despite all these niggles, I could not ignore the fact that it is a very pretty machine. It may not be for me, but could be almost perfect for others who want a tablet and laptop in the same machine.