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Sony’s Tap 20 – it’s a gigantic tablet, no wait, it’s a portable PC

Sony has decided to buck the trend that’s been taking us towards ever-smaller tablets with the first Godzilla of tablets – the Sony VAIO Tap 20. This tablet/portable all-in-one pc has a 20-inch screen, weighs a hefty 11.5 pounds AND can run on its rechargeable battery for up to 3 hours. What would you call it?

The Tap 20 is impressive. It is sleek like tablet with less bulk than most laptops. Its stand allows the 20-inch touch-screen tablet to be laid flat or propped at almost any angle. While there’s no disc drive, its wireless keyboard and mouse lets it function like an all-in-one.

Sony is hoping that the tablet will be recognized for its versatility, particularly suited to the needs of families. It’s a desktop, laptop, all-in-one and tablet. It looks like the only thing the Tap 20 is not is a smartphone.

Here’s a short run-down on a few more of the Tap 20’s specs.

Hardware

• Third-gen Intel Core i3 processor
• 4GB of RAM (configurable to 8GB)
• 500GB hard drive that you can also configure with i5 and i7 CPUs
• 20-inch, 1,600 x 900 display that uses IPS technology that should create decent viewing angles even when a group is crowded around the screen
• Built-in NFC
• Video playback engine is powered by Sony Bravia picture-quality technology
• 1.3-megapixel webcam
• Dual speakers and a subwoofer

Sony has designed in some durability. They claim that the Tap 20’s display is "drop-resistant" and the rubber seal around the bezel is supposed to keep water out of the motherboard.

On the software front, the Tap 20 includes Artrage Studio Pro, Fingertaps (a Sony-made app that combines drawing functions with to-do lists and reminders) and My Daily Clip app that turns the tablet into a game board.

A good-sized inventory of Sony apps are ready for download in the Windows Store including the Socialife aggregator, Music by Sony, VAIO Movie Creator and the photo and video organizer - Album by Sony.

The Tap 20 starts at $879. Fully-loaded, it will sell for around $2,500. Sony says the machine will go on sale in the US on October 26th, the same day Windows 8 launches.

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