Sony has a new transformer tablet/laptop hybrid, the Vaio Duo 11, which is a sliding converter with a stylus. It looks pretty darn good. The Duo 11 has an 11.6-inch “full HD” touchscreen (16:9, 1080p) and will have current-gen Intel Core Ivy Bridge processors.
Judging by specs alone, the screen looks like a standout feature, especially if it resembles the 1080p panel on its Vaio Z computers. It should blow the doors off most current ultrabook displays, which are generally 1366×768 or 1440×900. The Vaio Duo 11 will be configurable to 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB or 256GB SSD.
It weighs 1.7kg and is 17.85mm thick with the keyboard. That’s about twice the thickness of the iPad and the Surface, but standard for an ultrabook like the MacBook Air 11 (at its thickest point), which is 14mm thick.
The Vaio Duo 11’s keyboard isn’t a detachable accessory, like the one on Microsoft’s Surface tablet. Instead, it’s revealed by a sliding mechanism from behind the screen. The small dimensions of the keyboard should give a moment’s pause, since Vaio laptops have had some pretty questionable keyboards, especially the super-slim Vaio Z. We’ll know more once we get to play with it.
Design-wise, it looks really good, but we’ll have to see it up close before we can speak about build quality. Sony will also apparently focus on handwriting, with dedicated software to recognise the stylus, which will have swappable pen tips.
There is also the Vaio Tap 20 that converts from a 20-inch desktop computer to a lay-flat slate. It has a 20-inch 1600×900 screen with 10-point capacitive multitouch and it can be configured with an i3, i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge processor, from 750GB to 1TB 5400rpm HDD, and 4GB or 8GB of RAM.
Details on pricing is yet to be announced.