Sony VAIO Tap 20 review

Price when reviewed

That’s just as well, because the bundled peripherals make no concessions for touch gestures or Windows 8. The pebble-shaped mouse is too slender for our liking and is equipped with only standard buttons and a scroll wheel.

The keys on the wireless keyboard are comfortably spaced and have a satisfying depth of travel, but it seems extraordinary to include a numeric keyboard yet forego Windows 8 shortcut keys. These are clearly standard-issue peripherals that haven’t been tailored to the new OS, which is disappointing given the lengthy gestation of Windows 8.

Sony VAIO Tap 20

Inside the VAIO Tap 20 lies a dual-core 1.7GHz Core i5-3317U from Intel’s mobile range, allied with 6GB of RAM. That’s enough to power the Tap 20 to an overall score of 0.63 in our Real World Benchmarks, which is almost neck-and-neck with the Toshiba LX830, but a fair distance behind the top-end Dell Inspiron One 23.

A 1TB hard disk provides ample storage. Unusually for an all-in-one you can access the hard disk bay and the system’s memory slots, although both of the latter are already filled. The battery’s replaceable, too.

Although that screen is ideal for movie viewing, and the integrated speakers deliver a bedroom-filling wallop of volume, there are huge gaps in the multimedia section of the Tap 20’s CV. There’s no optical drive whatsoever, no TV tuner and no remote control.

The £200-cheaper Toshiba LX830 ticks all of these boxes. It comes with only the standard version of Windows 8, so add another £49 to the asking price if you want to add Windows Media Center.

Sony VAIO Tap 20

All of which leaves the Tap 20 marooned in no-man’s land. On the one hand it can’t be called a complete Windows 8 all-in-one, since it lacks core media-centre features and software. On the other, it’s far too cumbersome to be a tablet, and its one unique feature (the battery) is mostly unnecessary – and at £1,000 you’re paying a premium for it.

It isn’t a dreadful product by any means: the screen is excellent, it’s responsive and well-designed. Once again, though, it’s close but no cigar for a Sony Windows 8 device.


Warranty 1 yr return to base

Basic specifications

Total hard disk capacity 1,000GB
RAM capacity 6.00GB
Screen size 20.0in


CPU family Intel Core i5
CPU nominal frequency 1.70GHz


Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec


Memory type DDR3
Memory sockets free 0
Memory sockets total 2

Graphics card

Graphics card Intel HD Graphics 4000
3D performance setting Low

Hard disk

Capacity 1.00TB
Hard disk usable capacity 931GB


Resolution screen horizontal 1,600
Resolution screen vertical 900
Resolution 1600 x 900


Case format All-in-one
Dimensions 504 x 187 x 312mm (WDH)

Rear ports

3.5mm audio jacks 2

Mouse & Keyboard

Mouse and keyboard Sony wireless keyboard and mouse

Operating system and software

OS family Windows 8

Noise and power

Idle power consumption 18W
Peak power consumption 37W

Performance tests

3D performance (crysis) low settings 21fps
3D performance setting Low
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.63
Responsiveness score 0.77
Media score 0.66
Multitasking score 0.47

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