- 09-08-2013, 01:06 AM #1
So IFA 2013 is over and there are lots of cool new things in the Windows 8 world. I'm in the market for a new laptop so I'm very excited about all of these new products! So far, two products have really caught my attention: the Sony VAIO Tap 11 and the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga. They both look like they deliver everything I'm looking for so I'm not sure which is right for me. Yes, we don't have full details on the tablets/convertibles yet but the thread can be updated as we learn more and I think we have enough information to start a thread.
The Sony VAIO Tap 11 is a very attractive looking tablet that has a built in kick stand and comes with a wireless keyboard (not sure if bluetooth or some other technology), and a stylus+digitizer. The display is a very nice full HD 11" screen and I believe the build is magnesium from the hands-on videos I've watched. It will run on intel's latest i3/i5/i7 Haswell processor with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB storage (expandable via microSD). It has one USB 3.0 port, charging port and maybe some other stuff that I didn't really pay attention to. Something interesting is that this tablet apparently doesn't have a screen rotation lock, but the ThinkPad Yoga does. We don't have solid battery life expectations, but from watching videos and reading comments I think we can say it'll be around 5-6 hours of battery life. It's very thin at 9.9 mm, and videos are saying it weighs about 1 kg (2.2 lbs). I'm not sure if that's accurate because it doesn't look very heavy but it could be true considering how powerful this tablet looks to be.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga is an interesting device. It's basically a ThinkPad and a Yoga device combined. It has the classic ThinkPad build quality and finish, along with the amazing ThinkPad keyboard. The ThinkPad Yoga is a convertible, not a tablet like the Vaio Tap 11 so it is much thicker and probably heavier. It folds into a tablet, or you can put it into tent mode and another mode (can't remember the name). It will also be running on intel's latest Haswell chips with up to 8 GB RAM (I'm assuming 4 is base) and various storage options (probably 32-128). Not sure if there is microSD expansion but that's not really a big deal. The screen is bigger than the Sony device, at 12.5 inches but the base resolution starts lower, at 1366x768 but there will be an option to buy a full HD version. There are I think 2 USB 3.0 ports and some other ports. The tablet does come with a stylus and active digitizer and there's a nice slot for it so it doesn't get lost as easily. I will say, though, Lenovo's included stylus doesn't look as nice as Sony's. It looks small and kind of short, but I'm sure it won't be a problem. The battery for this laptop will be a lot better than the VAIO's; we're looking at 9-10 hours which is great.
We don't know much about pricing yet, but they will probably cost about the same. I'm not sure what will better suit my needs, so I'd like to hear what you all think about these new machines.
I think the great portability of the VAIO Tap 11 is its main selling point for me, while the battery life of the ThinkPad Yoga is a big one there. Those are the two main differentiators for me, but they kind of cancel out for me since everything else is very similar!
If I made any mistakes in terms of specs or something, let me know. It's very possible I messed up because these products were just announced!
Edit: I've pretty much ruled out the ThinkPad Yoga. It's between the Tap 11 and the Surface Pro 2, so I'll have to wait until September 23rd to decide!
09-08-2013, 06:20 PM #2
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We are talking about Yoga 2 Pro? Spec and likely price wise it will offer the best package. Just not huge fan about how the keyboard is visible on the tablet form, neither do I really like how it looks. Yes I know, kind of silly.
Sony VAIO Tap 11 is on my top 2, but at the moment Sony Vaio Multi Flip is my first choice. Only problem to me on Sony VAIO Tap 11 is, again form factor. I would prefer for the keyboard to be solid or attachable like on my current Vivo tab.
I'm scared of the Q4, really scared. I will be getting Xbox one, Jolla phone (already got pre-order on it), new Lumia and a new phablet/tablet. 1000 euros is the max I'm going to spent on that tablet combo.
- 09-08-2013, 07:30 PM #3
FWIW, if someone is looking for a bona fide convertible laptop, the best option (in my opinion) with be the second generation Lenovo Yoga and Dell XPS 12 models, along with the upcoming Dell XPS 11. Just don't expect 10 hours of battery life - all along the mitigating factor for significantly greater battery life has been the touch screens and digitizers. Apple's supposedly massive battery life figures should not be taken as indicative of results on other platforms since 1) they are for non-touch devices, and 2) Apple biases testing to make results look more impressive. With respect to the Sony Tap, unless you really want a bit less weight and extra half inch of size (mostly taken up by a wider bezel), I see no compelling reason to recommend it over the current Surface Pro. Assuming a second generation Surface Pro will have a moderate bump in battery life (not the unfounded fantasy numbers people keep wanting to push sight unseen), I see the Sony model bringing even less to sell it as an alternative. Sony is also not exactly known for pricing its premium products very competitively.
- 09-09-2013, 12:22 PM #5
I'm having to make this same decision within the next few months as well.
I was originally smitten with the Thinkpad Yoga with track point/digitzer/OneLink/anti-glare screen but I've since decided due to the fact I have a Lenovo W530 from work that I bring home often that I'd be better served with an Intel Core i5 tablet that I can attach to a dock to use eternal monitors.
So right now it's the Tap 11 and the Surface Pro 2.
The Tap 11 is really enticing but the keyboard being unusable as a cover (it just falls off easily) is a real turn off. Plus I'm really skeptical of its battery life and the price it's going to come in at.
The prototypes on display looked awfully plasticy though.
The Dell XPS 11 is intriguing as well because it's under 2.5 lbs with a digitizer and talk of a Thunderbolt Port for an external graphics card. But once again I'm skeptical that's going to be priced reasonably. I'm left wondering whether the digitizer would be thicker like the Sony and Surface which I prefer or the thinner that slides into the ThinkPad Yoga.
I've gone back and forth with this a number of times but right now if a Haswell-based 128GB Surface Pro 2 can come in at the current $899 price point then given my expectations for the pricing of other contenders it looks like I would go with it. Spending $900 on one option as opposed to say $1300 on another leaves you with $400 that i could spend on the new Type Cover with battery, an external monitor and either the rumored Surface Pro docking station or a USB 3.0 dock. That way for the same price I get a desktop replacement and the portability of a small tablet.
So I guess it comes down to pricing.
- 09-09-2013, 07:04 PM #6
I'm hoping Microsoft can deliver on September 23 with the Surface Pro 2. If battery life is significantly better, then it'll probably be a better option than the Tap 11. I'll keep the ThinkPad Yoga in mind as well but it's so far my least favorite option because I don't like the way it is in tablet mode. I think the Sony Vaio Multi Flip does it better (it hides the keyboard and looks a lot thinner). I'll probably just wait for reviews of all of these devices and see which one will work best for me :)
- 09-09-2013, 11:48 PM #7
I was judging the plasticy-ness of the Tap 11 based on the video of the white one and the port covers with what looked like fake plastic chrome finish. Hopefully that was just my impression and if I end up with it I'd be getting the black one anyway so even so it probably wouldn't show.
If the talk of the the Surface Pro 2 getting 6+ hours from Haswell and maybe getting another 2 hours from the batter cover then that'd be a good option in my book. I'll definitely be looking forward to Sept 23.
The Sony Vaio Flip definitely does convertible a lot better than the ThinkPad Yoga. I'm just a fan of ThinkPads in general with their TouchPoints, keyboards and build quality plus this one had a OneLink dock connector, a less glossy screen and a digitizer. As a heavy Visual Studio user having access to F5, F11 and F12 without having to also press the Fn key is a godsend. That's why if I went with a convertible I would go with the less elegant ThinkPad Yoga over the Sony Vaio Flip 13.
But really both have now been eliminated for me anyway. The only convertible that's got an outside shot is the Dell XPS 11 but the travel-less, haptic feedback keyboard and price are big question marks. It and the Sony Tap 11 will need to come within $200 of a comparably endowed with RAM and SSD capacity Surface Pro 2 for them to have a real chance with me.
- 09-10-2013, 12:35 AM #8
I've ultimately ruled out the Thinkpad Yoga, I don't like the way it does convertible (but Imo I think it's the best option for business users looking for a convertible). With Microsoft's Surface event in two weeks, I'm excited to see what they'll bring to the table. Like you said, if they can top 6 hours of battery life and price this well, it will be very tempting. But still I know Microsoft will not bundle any accessories and the battery cover is bound to be $100+, with the tablet probably stating at $900. Compared to $800 for a thinner, lighter tablet that comes with a keyboard.
- 09-10-2013, 08:28 AM #9
Ahh see the Tap 11 also comes in BayTrail configurations so I thought that rumored $800 or so price point would be the floor of it and that once you got a Haswell i5, 8GB of RAM and 128 GB SSD in it that we'd be looking at closer to $1300 for it. I guess we'll see once pricing is announced. Like I said if the Tap 11 or the Dell XPS can get within $200 of a similarly spec'd Surface Pro 2 then they've got a chance. They've got a really good chance if they come in $100 or less because of the built-in/bundled keyboards.
- 09-21-2013, 12:11 AM #11
Just read this hands-on review of the Tap 11
Sony Vaio Tap 11 Hands-On Preview
...and with the rumored price of the 128 GB Surface Pro 2 coming in at $999 rather than the $899 of the current Surface Pro 1 I'm really starting to lean towards the Tap 11 if it comes in at a tolerable price and battery life. as a left-handed person it's so nice that the stylus on the Tap 11 clips on the left hand side, even if it is powered by a AAAA battery as opposed to the battery-free Surface Pen. With Miracast and/or WiDi I might not even need a docking station especially with the very positive review of the included keyboard.
Not crazy about the kickstand not allowing lap-use like the Surface's one and the seemingly weak keyboard magnets but the bigger screen size is a plus.
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