UPDATE November 24: I'm relieved to report that the touchscreen issues described below appears to have been resolved by a firmware update released on Sony's tech support site.
Kudos to TabletPCReview forum poster Miles Wolf, who first spotted the fix.
I installed it yesterday morning from Sony's Japanese tech support site and haven't experienced the problem since. The bios update is now available on Sony's US eSupport site.
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As much as I want to keep the Sony VAIO Flip 15A for its beautiful 15.5 inch screen, today I've encountered a crippling defect that makes it useless as a tablet.
The problem had occurred a couple of times before today, but I did my best to ignore it because I was more focused on getting the laptop set up and so that I could answer the pressure sensitivity question for a few apps.
But today, the issue has occurred so many times that I'm tempted to just give up, pack it up and return it to Best Buy tonight (maybe I'll use the refund to pick up a PS4 instead).
The issue is that the tablet service will randomly stop running, making the Flip unresponsive to either pen or touch. A workaround is to run the calibration program again, which restarts the service.
This ridiculous inconvenience might be tolerable if you only had to perform it once or maybe twice a day. But I've had to do this no fewer than six or seven times today and I've only used the laptop for a couple of hours.
Normally, I'd give Sony the benefit of the doubt and assume I just got a bum unit, but careful reading of various reviews online all mention having had the problem at least once.
For example, here is a quote from Engadget's review of the Flip 15: "Also, while the touchscreen mostly worked as it was supposed to, it occasionally failed to respond to our taps or it registered our finger input incorrectly. "
And on the Sony Community, there is a growing thread on the problem. And just like they've done on complaints regarding fan noise, the response from Sony has been total silence.
So if you were thinking of picking up a VAIO Flip, my recommendation is definitely to wait until Sony releases either a firmware fix or issues a recall.
Despite its 3-inch smaller screen, that Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga is looking pretty good right about now.