Print 7 comment(s) - last by Solandri.. on Oct 17 at 4:36 PM

They range from laptops to tablet PCs to AIOs

Sony has announced prices and release dates for its new batch of portable VAIO Flip and Tap PCs. 

Sony gave up the details on the VAIO Flip, VAIO Tap 11 and VAIO Tap 21 today. All three are due to be released throughout this fall. 

The VAIO Flip has a laptop form factor that transforms into a tablet viewer with just one (you guessed it) flip. It will come in three screen sizes: 13.3 inches, 14 inches and 15.5 inches. Color choices are black or silver.

As for the other Flip specs, they'll pack Core i3-4005U/Core i5-4200U/Core i7-4500U processors (the 14-inch model have a Pentium 3556U); Full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS, 10 point touchscreens (select 15-inch models have 2880 x 1620 resolution); Intel HD 4400 graphics (15-inch models get NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M); 128/256/512 SSD storage for 13-inch models and standard/hybrid/SSD drives (up to 1GB HDD or 512 SSD) for the 14 and 15-inch models; up to 8GB RAM for the 13 and 14-inch models and up to 16GB RAM for the 15 inch; an Exmor R HD Web Camera (the 13-inch model also gets an 8MP Exmor RS rear camera); Windows 8 OS and ports include HDMI OUT and SD Card Slot (the 13 and 14-inch models get 2 USB 3.0 ports while the 15-inch model gets 3 USB 3.0 ports and Dual Array MIC).

The VAIO Flip will be available in late October for $799 (15-inch model), $749 (14-inch model) and $1,099 (13.3-inch model). 

The VAIO Tap 11 is a tablet PC that can run with or without a keyboard and is touted by Sony as the thinnest Windows 8 tablet at 0.39 inches.

The Tap 11 comes in either black or white, and sports an 11.6-inch display; Full HD 1920 x 1080 IPS, 10 point touchscreen; Intel Pentium 3560Y/Core i3-4020Y/Core i5-4210Y/Core i7-4610Y processors; Intel HD/Intel HD 4200 graphics; 128/256/512 SSD storage options; 4GB RAM; 8MP Exmor RS rear camera and Exmor R HD Web Camera front camera; an Active Pen; a magnetic wireless detachable keyboard; Windows 8 OS, and ports include 1 USB 3.0 port + Sleep Charge, Micro HDMI OUT, Micro SD reader and Dual Array MIC.

The VAIO Tap 11 will be available in late October for $799. 

As for the VAIO Tap 21, it's Sony's latest portable AIO that weighs about 8.6 pounds and comes in black only. It features a 21.5-inch screen size with a Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS, 10 point touchscreen; Core i5-4200U/Core i7-4500U/Core i7-4558U processors; Intel HD 4400/Intel Iris 5100 graphics; Hybrid Hard Drive up to 1TB SSD up to 512GB storage options; up to 16GB RAM; Exmor R HD Web Camera; Windows 8 OS, and ports include Memory Stick/SD Card slot, Gigabit Ethernet and 2 USB 3.0 ports (1 charging).

You can pick up the AIO in late October for $999.

If you're looking to jump ahead of the pack, all PCs can be pre-ordered at Sony and Best Buy now. 

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By MadMan007 on 10/15/2013 7:04:36 PM , Rating: 2
Single channel RAM with no expansion in the Tap 11...the no expansion part is to be expected in this form factor, but the single channel is a poor design decision. Stupid OEMs.

RE: sigh
By Roffles on 10/15/2013 8:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
a question: what sort of performance hit do you take going from dual to single channel? is this a real problem for the sort of general tasking done on a tablet/hybrid computer? wouldn't single channel be more of a problem on a heavy duty task specific machine?

RE: sigh
By inighthawki on 10/15/2013 8:55:59 PM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that integrated GPUs use system memory as video memory. On top of already being much slower than GDDR5, it basically cuts throughput in half. It might not be a huge problem for light workloads, but it'll definitely cause a noticeable hit from much more.

RE: sigh
By chaos386 on 10/15/2013 11:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
The GPU portion of the low-power Y CPUs might not be fast enough to need dual channel memory, though. AnandTech looked at memory scaling with a desktop 4770K, and upgrading from dual channel DDR3-1333 only increased gaming performance by 10-20%.

They didn't test single channel performance, but you can tell from their results that the IGP wasn't really bottlenecked by DDR3-1333, and that's with a desktop CPU. The CPUs in the Tap only have 1/14th of the power budget, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were a lot less than half as fast, and thus would be fine with single channel RAM.

RE: sigh
By inighthawki on 10/16/2013 2:17:19 AM , Rating: 3
Depends on the workload. Games might not have a huge impact, but I've seen iGPUs brought to their knees on single channel systems by having two monitors hooked up playing video and browsing the web on the other due to the increased bandwidth requirement to render and process 2 1080p surfaces, despite being relatively easy workloads.

RE: sigh
By IntelUser2000 on 10/16/2013 3:11:48 AM , Rating: 2
That depends on what you call significant. The impact of going to single channel memory is a performance difference of 20-30% in average.

It may be not show issues above DDR3-1333, but certainly is a big step down when you start using single channel memory.

RE: sigh
By Solandri on 10/17/2013 4:36:30 PM , Rating: 2
That depends on what you call significant. The impact of going to single channel memory is a performance difference of 20-30% in average.

Where did you getting 20%-30% from? All the benchmarks I've seen show only a 0%-5% speedup for going from single channel to dual channel memory. i.e. Nice to have but not something to worry about.

The 10%-20% difference in the linked Anandtech review is from going from 1333 MHz to 3000 MHz memory speeds (the faster memory has higher CAS latency, which degrades a lot of the benefit). Most laptop memory is 1600 MHz, and Anandtech only saw a 3%-8% increase in average framerate going from 1333 MHz to 1600 MHz RAM.

So worst case you're probably looking at about 10% slower performance due to the 1333 MHz single-channel RAM, with around 5% being more likely. Most people just aren't going to notice that, especially given the form factor.

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