Windows 8 on the Sony VAIO All-In-One Touchscreen PC

   Posted March 23, 2012 by David Kirk in Technology reviews

Windows 8 brings the touchscreen flair directly to the traditional desktop computer. It’s hard to get your brain wrapped around what the hardware will be like in this hybrid environment. However, the physical components have been present in the Sony touchscreen systems for a while now. Will this be the new standard for Windows 8 desktop systems?

windows 8 on a sony vaio

The Sony VAIO All-In-One systems have been a very popular choice for users wanting a self-contained system. The traditional computer components such as the hard drive, memory, and CPU are hidden within the monitor casing. This, along with Sony’s exceptional quality, has basically made it the Windows PC’s version of the iMac. It trades increased expense per amount of processor power for simplicity, elegance, and efficiency. I have recommended this line of Sony computers repeatedly.

Despite being available for quite a while now, the touchscreen aspect of Sony PCs has never been a feature that I found particularly functional. You could browse the web and play a few games, but for the most part I did not feel it was very practical. Windows 7 on the touchscreen just did not feel right. Well, Windows 8 changes all that very dramatically.

Installing Windows 8

After watching me discuss touch navigation on a VAIO touchscreen PC, many existing Sony users have been asking me for details. My installation of Windows 8 over an existing Windows 7 system on the device occurred without a hitch.

metro win8 explorer

All of the existing Sony VAIO software continued to work flawlessly. Windows 8 was able to detect and correctly use the touchscreen without any additional tweaks. I suspect that most VAIO touchscreen users will want to upgrade as soon as Windows 8 is available to them.

WIndows 8’s Metro Interface

The Metro environment is much more intuitive to touchscreen use than Windows 7. My children were playing Solitaire even before I showed them the navigation tricks. Windows 8 correctly identifies the optical sensor touchscreen and will detect two touch points at a time. This allows for common two finger gestures such as pinching, dragging, rotating, and zooming. If you are familiar with using a tablet, using this touchscreen under Metro will be very comfortable.

Since many of the navigation gestures under Metro require movements near the edge of the screen, the default VAIO touchscreen behaviors can be distracting. The black bezel around the touchscreen has a wide variety of functions that can be accidentally triggered while trying to manipulate the screen. Luckily, the functions of the black bezel can be easily disabled.

disabling the bezel behaviors

disabling the bezel behaviors

The Windows 8 Metro interface (and it’s associated navigation) is young and imperfect at this point. While I cannot rule out some of the minor issues I experienced was due to the VAIO, for the most part any quirks were more related to the fledgling OS than the hardware.

The Windows 8 Future Proof PC

Many of our users have contacted us recently about what hardware to buy if planning to upgrade to Windows 8 at some point. If you care nothing about touchscreens and Metro, you can save money by not getting a PC with a touchscreen monitor. However, if users want to be able to experience the Metro interface fully, touchscreen PCs like the Sony VAIO All-In-One series certainly seem to be a safe guess.

Officially, Sony has not declared any hardware “Windows 8 Ready” or “Metro Ready” at this point. However, the hardware works very well with the versions of Windows 8 currently available and integration should only improve through time. If I’m buying now in anticipation of upgrading to Windows 8, this line of systems is my safest bet.

 

About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Alexandre

    BONJOUR

    i have a vpcl22s1 from France and i m happy to see that W8 will work on sony vpcl serie…
    but i have a problem….i have installed windows 8 on an another partition on my hardrive…
    windows 8 runs perfectly except the touchscreen…..No driver are installed!
    But i wonders why your touch screen works on yours!
    what touchscreen driver is installed on your windows 8 ?
    The windows 7 driver??

    Thank you for answering! I d love to experiment touchscreen with W8 on my sony all in one.

    Merci !

    • David Kirk

      That was a review unit from Sony so I no longer have access to the device for test. I did a straight upgrade from Win7 to Win8 with that device. It worked perfectly. I don’t know if some of the win7 drivers hung around from the upgrade or not, but that would be a logical conclusion why I didn’t have problems and you are. Let us know what you find. Good luck!

  • Matt Watson

    I have one of the Sony all in ones and I just upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8 and now the touch doesn’t work at all and I can’t figure out a way to make it work… and this is the entire reason I bought this PC… I hope there is a fix for it soon.

    • Ed

      > Did you do a straight upgrade or a new install on a partition. I’d really like to know as I’d like to upgrade to windows 8. I have it running on another computer and the touchscreen features available on my Sony would be the deal maker for my upgrade decision.

      • David Kirk

        I did a straight upgrade. It worked like a charm.

        • http://www.tech-recipes.com raz

          Hi Kirk,

          i have just finished downloading windows 8 on my computers which is exactly like yours sony viao all in one , but my touch screen function has gone, where do i get the drivers for touch screen for windows 8. thanks

    • David

      >I also upgraded to Windows 8 and run into the issue with touch screen not working. I tried reinstall touch screen (NEXT Window driver), it still did not work. This was after I did a straight upgrade.
      Any help?

  • Oscar

    I had the same issue with the touch screen not working after installing windows 8. Went to the Sony website and downloaded the driver for the touch screen, but because they don’t have one for windows 8 I downloaded and instaled the driver for windows 7. It work great!!!! After he restart the touch screen is working again. loving the experience of windows 8 with the touchscreen.

  • op

    HELP!
    I did upgrade from Win7 to Win8, lost touch screen function. My current pc model is VPCL222FX. The following is the drivers that I downloaded: http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/swu-download.pl?mdl=VPCL222FX&upd_id=6614&os_group_id=6
    It asks me to reboot. I do that and after I that nothing. Do I have to enable it somewhere in control panel. Under device manager it still shows as unkwown device 🙁

    • Brandon

      > yes I am having the same problem! can anybody help? Sony wants to charge $109.00 to have a live assistant help fix the problem.

  • Chris

    the exact same thing happened to my VPC-L214FX/B / Sony Vaio. I upgraded to Windows 8 and lost the ability to use the touchscreen. after several hours of being on hold with Microsoft and Sony techs… it still does not work.

    I even paid Sony the fee for technical support… and it still does not work. Oddly enough, Sony will not refund the fee amount… even though the technician did absolutely nothing except tell me that the touchscreen does not work.

    the drivers are installed (without any errors). the touchscreen is enabled (without any errors). I’ve completed a system recovery… reinstalled windows 8, and the same thing happens. Windows tells you that everything is fine (via the device manager, etc) but the is no touchscreen response at all.

    thanks Sony!