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Posted on December 4th, 2012 by Nicole Kobie

Sony VAIO Tap 20: a day with the world’s biggest tablet

big vs small

Steve Jobs famously said a 7in tablet was too small — but for some, even a 10in like the iPad is a touch too tiny.

The assortment of 7in tablets are perfect for average people with normal hands, but while the rest of us consider whether the Nexus 7’s portability is more useful than the iPad, monstrously large people — such as 6ft 5in man-mountain Mike Jennings, PC Pro’s senior staff writer — are left prodding at minuscule icons with their sausage-like fingers.

With hands three times the size of my child-like ones, Mike needs a tablet three times the size of a piddling Nexus 7 or wee Kindle Fire. And now there is one: Sony’s VAIO Tap 20.

Strictly speaking, this is a 20in touchscreen all-in-one, not a tablet. However, Sony cleverly included a battery and fold-in stand, allowing the VAIO Tap 20 to be moved away from the mains (for a short while, at least) and laid flat, so the kids can fingerpaint in an art app, for example.

For giants such as Mike this may very well be the perfect antidote to tiny tablets, so we took it out for a stroll to test its real world potential. And to get stared at in public.

Lost in Fitzrovia

Not only is there no 3G, but the VAIO Tap 20’s 5.2kg weight is a bit heavier than a road atlas of London, if not the entire UK. On the other hand, it attracts enough attention you’ll easily be able to ask for directions. However, finding a bag that fits the monster (the Tap 20, not Mike) wasn’t easy.

Finding a bag that fits

Games are great fun on the massive display — but you might need an additional table for your coffee.

Coffee break

Downside: the reading experience isn’t ideal. Upside: it’s great for upper body strength. (Not that Mike lacks that.)


Your photos will display lovely and large…


…but with only a front-facing camera, it’s not ideal for snapping shots on the go.


Thankfully, the Tube wasn’t too crowded — but if it were, the VAIO Tap 20’s large enough to be wielded as a weapon, as one curious onlooker pointed out, so you should always be able to get a seat…

On the tube

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13 Responses to “ Sony VAIO Tap 20: a day with the world’s biggest tablet ”

  1. Paul Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Massive mother tablets are definitely the way of the future.

    I look forward to a Windows 8 54 inch tablet – plus 2 helpers to carry it around and step ladders to enable those of a smaller sizing to reach the top corners.

  2. JohnAHind Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Cute story, but do you guys have NO sense of physical comedy? Do it again please, this time with Nicole using the Sony and Mike the 7in-er!

  3. Grunthos Says:
    December 4th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    JohnAHind idea is awesome! Come on Nicole and Mike, just one shot with you both holding the other’s tablet! :)

  4. Kane Says:
    December 5th, 2012 at 8:15 am

    I don’t need to buy one I’ll just take the telly from the kitchen and hoof that around.

  5. ChrisT Says:
    December 5th, 2012 at 10:44 am

    It would make more sense if this was being posted on April 1st.

  6. Steve Cassidy Says:
    December 7th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    WANT!!! I kept joking with the VMWare people about a tablet for server farm VM management access, with a position sensor so you can slide it up and down the rack and see the VM screens it was “passing”. This would be fabulous for it…

  7. Brian Says:
    December 8th, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Nice tablet. Better than a boring 10.1″ tablet.

    I didn’t realise Nicole was such a cutie :-)

  8. Don Says:
    December 30th, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    I think this posting completely misses the point of this device. Comedy angle aside, the TAP 20 is clearly targeted at those looking for portability within the home, not on the road, so assessing its potential for being carried in bags and balanced on tables in coffee shops is like trying to say that a Rolls Royce isn’t much use on a heavy dirt track. I’m looking to replace an old desktop with something which is powerful enough for powerful graphics use but which I don’t need to commit a permantent space in the house to. I was hoping to find some sensible insight into its potential and peformance for that role.

  9. ahem Says:
    January 4th, 2013 at 3:38 am

    How about battery life? I assume that most of the weight is the battery for the screen.

  10. David Says:
    January 5th, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Thanks for the review! But I was wondering… Is microsoft office already installed on this computer, and can it read disks?

  11. chana Says:
    September 16th, 2013 at 12:22 am

    I have this tablet and love it. I’m a average sized woman and right now its on my lap on the couch. I take it from bedroom to desk to kitchen to lap. Keyboard is awesome but onscreen keyboard is really good also. I do carry it to work every day as it is faster than the one I normally use there and having a computer this easy to use at home and work can’t be beat. Its not really heavy to carry but finding a bag for it has definitely been a problem. Other than that I would highly recommend this computer. It is amazing to have a computer that goes wherever I go. Previously I was working with a desktop in the bedroom, a laptop for other rooms in the home, a nook, and a computer at work. All that has now been converted into this one and I’m loving it.

  12. chana Says:
    September 16th, 2013 at 12:29 am

    It does not read disks. It has windows 8 with Microsoft office 365 free trial that I plan on paying the monthly subscription for and keeping. The only downside I have found so far is that even with a usb to vga converter it will not extend display to some TV’s. I can’t say all but not the ones I have tried. It does however wirelessly connect to smart TV’s. I do plan on trying it with my neo box but haven’t tried yet. This screen is actually large enough that I haven’t missed my extended display and don’t mind just watching shows on here….and I like that I can start a show in my bedroom and bring it into the kitchen while I cook then out on the patio after dinner. As with all products there are pros and cons but I think the cons with this one remedy themselves as you see that the things you needed to do with other computers you don’t necessarily need with this one.

  13. karl Says:
    October 16th, 2014 at 9:03 am

    It certainly has it uses!

    I have one for teaching small classes, and demonstrating stuff to groups of 10-12 (even in meetings) without having to resort to projection (with all the cables, curtains and white walls necessary). The viewing angle is extremely well. See it as a computer that can be operated without a keyboard or mouse – or use the mouse as a pointer from the other end of the room.

    And here’s the perfect leather bag for it:


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