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New Name, New Devices: Tablet Series from Sony

It is possible that Tablet will not rival the popularity of such series as VAIO, Bravia or Playstation, though Sony has a chance to emulate their success. For example, look at the NEX series. When you think about these three letters an image of a stylish, accessible and high quality product comes to your mind. May be Tablet will follow suit? Lets look at the first two tablets unveiled so far.

Tablet for Sale: S Model

The pun is not a coincidence as customers are familiar with tablets and Sony is entering the highly competitive market. They offer a classical 10″ (9.4″ to be more precise) screen, traditional technologies and Android 3..

The only reason for this product not to become popular is its pricing, but Sony decided to play it safe and fixed the price tag close to that of Apple iPad2. Tablet S has everything required to be a successful model. Lets give it a closer look.

Key characteristics
  Sony Tablet S
Model SGPT111 SGPT112 SGPT114
Data storage 16 GB 32 GB 16 GB
Connectivity Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi + 3G
Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n, 3G
OS Android™ 3.2 Android™ 3.2
Screen 9.4″ TFT WXGA (1280 x 800)
Processor 1 GHz mobile processor NVIDIA Tegra 2  
External ports 1 USB 2.0 Micro-AB (host/client);
1 jack for headphones (stereo, mini), which can also be used for connecting a mono microphone
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Infrared signals Remote control via infrared signals
Memory card slot 1 SD card slot
Camera Frontal: 0.3 MP
Back: 5 MP
Sensors 3 axis accelerometer, gyro sensor, digital compass and ambient light sensor
Operation time from one charge Around 430 hours on standby, 31 hours of music playback, 6 hours of video playback, 6.2 hours of web surfing through WiFi Around 400 hours on standby, 31 hours of music playback, 6 hours of video playback, 6.2 hours of web surfing through WiFi, and 4.5 hours of web surfing through 3G
Dimensions 241.2 x 10.1 mm (in the most thick part: 20.6 x 174.3 mm)
Weight Around 598 g Around 625 g

I think people are free to choose what is the main function of the tablet. Sony offers the concept of four screens large TV, smartphone, desktop PC or laptop and the tablet. For the utmost convenience Sony Tablet can be integrated into this network. We can not only view content from other devices, but use the tablet as the remote.

Sony decided not to bank on the thinness as the key attractive feature, but designed an attractive tablet. The body resembles a folded magazine, which is convenient to hold and plastic materials make it light.

Controls are traditional. There is a special pride among engineers that you can connect USB storage, keyboard and mouse (cable and Bluetooth ones).

My brief acquaintance with the screen was rewarding. It is not as stunning as that of Galaxy Tab 10.1, but you will not be disappointed anyway. Inbuilt speakers are loud enough.

Accessories are pretty standard: dock station to turn the tablet into the photo frame with time and other info, folder, case and protective film. Software will not surprise you much. I had high hopes for Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited, but these services are not available in all countries. The same applies to Reader. Among other standard apps for Android you can find software for files exchange and remote control.

Look at pictures to check out the screen keyboard.

There are two configurations on offer with 16 GB and 32 GB of internal memory.

This model will not be able to compete with Apple iPad, but fans of Android solutions may be interested in Tablet S.

First sales were not staggering, as the word of mouth has not reached everybody willing to buy a Sony tablet for the acceptable price. The above mentioned models cost $612 and $741 respectively. Those who want to stay online at all times and capitalize on the 3G connection will have to wait a little bit. Tablet S with the 3G module will hit the shelves by the end of this year.

At the event was unveiled another model in the series - Tablet P. This fold-out solution is less conventional than Tablet S and it is difficult to predict sales figures. The possible price will be very expensive, that is why Sony is planning to start shipping only next year. They should first analyze data from Tablet S performance and then fix the price. The clamshell tablet is a crossbreed between a 10″ and 7″ offerings. When closed Tablet P fits the pocket. Compare the size with the latest PSP.

I took Playstation Portable for a reason. I think that in case of Tablet P and PS Vita Sony is targeting the same demographic: these devices are aimed at people who love entertainment. Game console obviously is offered to gamers, while fold-out Tablet must be used for the Internet, reading from the screen and social networking. The main advantage of Tablet P over PS Vita is a better operation period from one charge. Time will tell when next year the game console and Tablet P meet each other in stores. People will vote with their money. It looks as if Tablet P will cost much more than PS Vita.

You can look at Tablet S today as the model is already available. The price tag is not surprising, because Sony will unlikely to damp the price similarly to the launch of NEX cameras. Tablet S is nice, but traditional. The model will be soon reviewed on our website. As to Tablet P everything will be clear when we learn about the pricing.

Do you want to talk about this? Please, go to our Forum and let your opinion to be known to the author and everybody else.

Igor Soprun (soprun@mobile-review.com)
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Translated by Maxim Antonenko (maxantonenko@ukr.net)

Published — 21 October 2011

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