Engadget has just published the first review of the new Sony VAIO Flip 15, the Windows 8 convertible laptop that offers the biggest active digitizer short of a dedicated tablet monitor.
This is a gorgeous machine and surprisingly low priced for its specs. The N-Trig equipped 15A is now available for pre-order for $1799.
Just take a look at these specs:
- 4th gen Intel® Core™ i7-4500U (1.80GHz / 3.00GHz)
- Windows 8 Pro 64-bit
- 15.5" over Full HD IPS touch display (2880 x 1620)
- 16GB RAM, 1TB (5400rpm) + 16GB NAND flash HHD
- NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 735M w/ Optimus™ graphics (2GB)
- Digitizer stylus, HDMI® out, USB 3.0, NFC
I played with two current generation N-Trig equipped systems at the local Sony Store last week and was very disappointed with the accuracy running Fresh Paint, the only program available to test.
I'll definitely go back once the Flip 15A is released to give it a thorough test.
So what do you think? Do the 256 levels of pressure sensitivity render this laptop useless for artists or does the large screen size make up for it?
UPDATE October 16 Sony offers a 1920 x 1080 version of the Flip 15A that retails for $1290 after inclusion of the optional Active Pen.
I had a chance to go back to the Sony Store yesterday and installed the Clip Studio Paint 1.2.7 English language demo on a Sony VAIO Duo 13 and it ran flawlessly. I'll admit I may not be the best judge but pressure sensitivity felt about the same to me on the N-Trig than it does on my Surface Pro.
The Sony Duo is bundled with ArtRage Studio 3.5 and its palm rejection is horrible. According to this thread on the ArtRage community site, the company has recently issued a free update the older software which may correct the problems I saw. The paid upgrade to the current version may also address the issue.
Other users have complained about N-Trig compatibility with Photoshop, although Wintab drivers are reportedly available at N-Trig.com. (I couldn't find Sony-specific drivers there).
Digitizer preference aside, the Flip 15A or any of its Haswell brethren clearly outdistance the Surface Pro 2 spec-wise.
So bottom line, if you're only interested in working with Manga Studio or Clip Studio Paint, the Sony VAIO Flip 15A is a real option. If you need compatibility with other graphics applications, the situation is much murkier.