Sony Tap 20 Review: Jack Of All Trades, Master Of None

The Sony Tap 20 is an interesting product. How does a 20-inch tablet (yes, really) stack up to the competition?

What Is It?

The Tap 20 is part of Sony's tablet range and it's packing 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.

It'll set you back $1499.

What's Good?

I'll say this about Sony and its Tap 20: these folks are smart.

Rather than build an all-in-one that nobody buys or construct a massive tablet everybody laughs at, Sony has decided to double-down on both and combine the outcome into a new product.

It's the ongoing hybridisation of Sony's product line, and one that we've seen before in products like the excellent Vaio Duo 11: why make a great device that does one thing when you can make a better device that does more? Advantage, Sony.

The Tap 20 is a gigantic portable tablet that is meant to be used both on the floor with your kids so they can draw or whatever, before being thrown up on its kickstand to be an all-in-one on your desk. That's nifty as all getout.

The Tap 20 has 10-points of touch which is great for multiple users at once, and it packs Windows 8 Pro so you're not saddled with a sub-par tablet operating system. Better still, the Tap 20 is a tablet that is specced like an entry-level all-in-one, so you have more power than a tablet could possibly offer, too.

We found that the battery went for about five hours before needing to be connected to the charger, which is more than enough for a session of drawing with the kids or using it as a companion device.

Speaking of companion device, that's where the Tap 20 really shines. Tablet use during TV viewing has skyrocketed, and there are loads of surveys that show specifically Australians using their devices during terrestrial programming. The Tap 20 is the perfect second screen/companion device for your coffee table, because it's powerful, fully-featured and won't have you squinting at that eBay listing during the ads.

The screen is really impressive: you've got a 1600×900, 20-inch screen that really shines when you want to either watch movies or do a bit of light gaming.

The Tap 20 has the added benefit of a tidy design so as to aid portability. It has a bunch of ports available like Ethernet, two USB ports and even a dedicated mic-in to help out if you need them, but thankfully, they're discreetly tucked into the sides of the device.

What's Bad?

The Tap 20's versatility comes at a price, however. It's a bit of a jack of all trades while being a master of none.

It's a good basic all-in-one, a good tablet, a good drawing device and a decent device for viewing content as well, but in every category, there is a single device that beats out the Tap 20. You can buy a better all-in-one, you can buy a more portable tablet, you can buy a better drawing device and you can probably find a better content viewing device too.

Despite the fact that the Tap 20 masters nothing, it's still better off buying one device than buying those four other devices.

It's also worth noting that the Tap 20 won't serve you well for advanced video or image editing features, nor is it going to shine when you want to play games.

The Tap 20's price is also slightly prohibitive, but as we said before: better for your bank balance to buy one device that does a lot of things well than four devices that do things perfectly.

Should You Buy It?

If you want a decent all-in-one that adds portability, then the Tap 20 is for you. Get ready to shell out for the privilege, however: it's not cheap for what it is.