Sony bows out of the PC business with a whimper.
The Multi Flip is one of the more interesting devices Sony has released, but the the Japanese firm about to sell its PC division it'll need to be a spectacular product to get a recommendation.
Sony offers the device in 11, 13, 14 and 15in form factors, with prices starting at £415.83 ex VAT.
We reviewed the mid-range 14in version priced at £720 ex VAT. This included a Haswell i5 processor running at 1.6GHz, 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard disk. It’s possible to upgrade to a Core i7 chip for an additional £108 ex VAT, and a ‘hybrid’ 1TB hard drive along with a 16GB solid-state module to improve performance for £91 ex VAT.
The 15in is targeted at power users as it can be configured to include an Nvidia GeForce graphics card.
The Multi-Flip 14A looks like a conventional laptop but it’s got the ability to transform into different mode like Lenovo’s Yoga range. Sony has built in a horizontal hinge on the back of the screen panel allowing the screen to be flipped and twisted in a couple of ways. The display can be reversed - in what is dubbed the 'Viewer mode'.
It’s also possible to fold the reversed screen down over the keyboard, turning the device into a cumbersome tablet. This makes sense for the compact 11in model, but not for the larger editions. Our review unit was too big and heavy (1.9kg) to hold in one hand limiting its use as a tablet. However, the Multi-Flip 14A did include a stylus, so professional users could set the device flat on a table and sketch out designs or annotate documents.
The Multi Flip was well-built with a brushed metal case but the metal edges felt sharp and could make it uncomfortable when holding the device in its tablet mode. We also felt that the keyboard panel was a too flexible, and didn’t feel firm.
Sony went all out when it came to the screen, including a full HD 1920 x 1080 panel. It produced a bright, colourful image with good viewing angles. It excelled at web browsing and streaming video - the flexible nature would also make it ideal for sharing content with colleagues.
Processor: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-4200U
Display: 14in full-HD (1920 x 1080)
OS: Windows 8 (64-bit)
Memory: 4GB DDR3
Storage: 500GB hard disk
Connectivity: Single-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet, NFC Ports: 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI, headphone jack, SD card slot
Dimensions: 336 x 234 x 20 mm