Sony VAIO Duo 11

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by excalibur1814, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. drew.spinnaker

    drew.spinnaker Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Hello,
    First time posting.

    I would also be interested in this comparison. In terms of specifics I guess I would be interested in relative responsiveness and screen quality, keyboard comfort, digitizer accuracy/comfort, overall build quality, how they feel in your hand, and if you could only have one which would you prefer (assuming you were going to use it for work/academics).

    Thank you for any insight you can offer!

    -Andrew
     
  2. Jorj_X_McKie

    Jorj_X_McKie Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I was briefly at Best Buy today to check out that cute little Surface Pro, mostly to see what the stylus was like, how if felt in hand as a tablet, and how responsive the screen is. I couldn't tell much difference in screen quality or overall responsiveness. Both are quite smooth, but probably not quite as 'buttery' as my Note 10.1 running Jelly Bean. It was idling and plugged in to a charger and was noticeably warm--considerably more so than the Sony typically gets. In a warm climate, I think that would bug/worry me. The stylus calibration was off by about 1/2mm, but would be an easy fix, and I noticed *very* little drift at the edges. I like the feel of its tip on the glass. Overall, I think it's a great product, and I'd put it above the Duo 11, but only because of the N-Trig driver situation. If the Sony had WinTab support I would flip the rating. Both are very good. Can't wait to see what we have on the market later in the year.

    Update: Surface Pro also doesn't work with Adobe CS6 or Painter. I'm liking my choice of the Sony better now! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  3. pagugu

    pagugu Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Here's a few pics, with a few comments sprinkled in. I haven't gotten to spend much time with the Surface Pro since we got it, but I really like what I've seen from it so far.

    Side-by-side from the top while in tablet mode:
    top.jpg

    Stacked, with lower-left corners aligned, so you can see the size difference. The Surface Pro is on top. I took the picture at a slight angle, so it may look like the Surface Pro is shifted a little bit. It's not, the lower-left corners are aligned here.:
    stacked.jpg
    You can see that the Duo is significantly larger overall, and it's a difference you will notice when you're carrying them around. The Surface is a great size. While the unit is noticeably smaller than the Duo, the screen doesn't feel that much smaller despite the size difference.

    Side-view, where the Surface Pro has the Type Cover attached:
    side-with-cover.jpg
    The Surface Pro w/Type Cover attached is around the same thickness as the Duo. I figured this was a more apples-to-apples comparison to make for those of you (like me) who will be expecting to use a physical keyboard most of the time.

    Side-vew again, this time with no cover on the Surface Pro:
    side-by-side-no-cover.jpg

    Both units open, from the side, so you can see the relative depth of the footprints they require in this mode:
    side-view-open.jpg
    Just a few notes on the form factor difference, since this is something that doesn't show up in technical specifications comparisons.

    I've had my Duo for several weeks now, and after using it in a few unconventional work spaces and carrying it around a few different offices, I've really grown fond of the Duo's slider design. Putting them side-by-side like this really made me appreciate the Duo's efficient slider form-factor even more. Not only does the Duo require less depth than the smaller Surface (not to mention the clamshell designs from other manufacturers), it's also extremely stable and evenly-weight-distributed (i.e. not back-heavy like a lot of this new generation of devices). This means it can be carried around as a single unit with screen up and keyboard out with little effort and no thought. I can continue typing on it while I'm walking the unit from place to place.

    Moving the Surface has (so far) been a little more of a ritual, since when you pick it up you need to snap (or at least be wary of) the hinge and do something with the keyboard since it will just flop around if you don't fold it back. It's a minor annoyance but a disruption nonetheless.

    On the flip side, since the Surface Pro screen can effectively fold flat, you have some new screen angles you can try. This is pretty handy when you're using the device while lying on your belly, for example, as my wife often does.

    A few more pics to share in the next post....
     
  4. pagugu

    pagugu Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    (...continuation of previous post)

    Viewing angle of screen, with camera at about the eye-level for an average-height person seated at a desk:
    front-view-seated.jpg
    Both units have beautiful displays. The colors do seem balanced differently, but I didn't have a chance to really compare them so I'll withhold comment on the displays for now.

    You can see that the Duo does a great job increasing it's effective screen size due to the closer presentation and imho better viewing angle than the Surface Pro. However, I don't know how noticeable this would be in actual usage. I will say that the Surface Pro display is really nice and I had absolutely no complaints about the screen or viewing angle in the time I spent with it today.

    Stylus comparison:
    stylii.jpg

    I've been pleased with the stylus performance on the Duo over the entire time I've owned it. But after using them both, I've found that the Surface Pro stylus offers a range of expression that is beyond what the n-trig in the Duo can do. The Surface Pro stylus is slightly more responsive (though the Duo hasn't disappointed me in this regard either) while I've found the Duo to be ever so slightly more accurate. The big difference IMHO is in the low-pressure ranges of pressure sensitivity. My two test apps were OneNote and Sketchbook Pro, and in both apps the Surface Pro did a consistently better job of picking up light strokes and turning them into beautifully weighted lines. The Surface Pro and OneNote is a thing of beauty.

    I do prefer the build quality of the Duo stylus more, it feels polished and high quality whereas the Surface Pro stylus is plasticky. And both units are SOL when it comes to pressure sensitivity in Photoshop at the moment. :(

    Finally, two pictures showing the dimensions of the units when packed up and ready to commute:
    cases-front.jpg cases-side.jpg
     
  5. pagugu

    pagugu Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Hi Andrew,

    I tried to comment on what I could in my two previous posts regarding areas of difference between the two devices that couldn't be found on a specsheet. I hope it helps in your decision. Regarding overall build quality, these two are both very well-crafted machines.I love the finish and feel of my Duo, and the balanced design only enhances that for me. The Surface feels really solid and while it does get warm, it hasn't been uncomfortably so.

    There is something I didn't mention that is design-related. The SD cards on the Duo stick out a bit when inserted, whereas the micro-SD cards in the Surface Pro go in without leaving an edge sticking out. I wish the SD cards went into the Duo without leaving an edge sticking out of the unit, because I frequently find I've accidentally ejected an SD card without realizing it.

    As for which one I'd prefer if I could have only one... I have to say that after comparing stylus performance in OneNote and ArtRage today in which inking on the Surface Pro was almost a religious experience, I really thought long and hard about moving over to a Surface. For one thing, my wife and I could share peripherals and power supplies! But after some reflection, I'm happy with my Duo. Drawing is a hobby for me, but the strengths of the Duo help me get my work done. The form-factor is highly portable, and the port-richness (I use the on-board LAN port fairly often and dual USB 3.0 is really handy) and smart external battery-capable design means I don't have to carry around dongles, chargers and port replicators.

    I pack up my Duo (w/sheet battery attached) in the morning and go and get a full day's work done. Not a single cable other than headphones goes in my bag any more. That is freedom, my friend!

    I echo Jjorj_X_McKie's sentiment -- I'm really excited for the entire Windows 8 ultraportable sector! If this first generation of devices is THIS good... I think my next upgrade is going to be ahead of schedule because I can't wait to see what comes out next year!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  6. daniel frisbee

    daniel frisbee Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    interesting reading pagugu, thanks.

    I'm curious to know how accurate the pen is for drawing- my own grievance being the vaio's wiggly lines on diagonals drawn slowly. How does that work on the surface pro?
    Otherwise I think the duo's form/slider design is preferable under nearly all circumstances...
     
  7. sonus911

    sonus911 Scribbler - Standard Member

    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    31
    I'm really surprised to see how thin the Duo is. I've always thought of it as rather thick. I too am looking forward to the next generation of devices. I would love to see a duo with a 13 inch screen in the same chassis or at east a Duo with a smaller bezel, and thinner monitor housing. I would also love to see a Surface Pro with Vaio Duo top specifications and a build closer to the Surface RT.

    Eitherway, thanks for the amazing comparison pictures.
     
  8. drew.spinnaker

    drew.spinnaker Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    5
    Thanks so much! That was exactly the kind of information I was looking for. After the whole debacle of actually trying to buy a Surface, I am seriously considering the vaio.

    Thanks again!

     
  9. sonus911

    sonus911 Scribbler - Standard Member

    Messages:
    320
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    31
    One thing to keep in mind, assuming that using the tablet for academics means you will need PDF annotation, is that the Duo and any tablet using nTrig IS NOT supported properly by MS's PDF reader app. You won't actually be able to erase anything you write on a PDF, unless you buy a Surface, or a Samsung Ativ or any tablet with a Wacom pen. Unfortunately there are no other metro apps that support PDF annotation with a stylus.
     
  10. kiyu727

    kiyu727 Pen Pal - Newbie

    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    15
    Depends, in computer science we get OneNote for free which works really well for PDF annotation, especially since you got more space than just the pdf page itself.
     
Loading...

Share This Page