First Look: Sony Tablet S

Sony is joining the Tablet war with the release of the Sony Tablet S. I had the chance to play with it for a while during the Singapore launch event.

Unlike most tablets, the Sony Tablet S isn’t flat. It has a unique slight gradient which makes the tablet nice to hold yet not take up too much space in your bag.
The thinest point is 1.01cm thick while the thickest point is 2.06cm. The slope also prop the Sony Tablet S so that you can place it on the table and typing. But personally I feel that the slope is not high enough for comfortable typing. You might still need to find something to prop the tablet further. I guess the gradient is more for comfortable holding.
The Sony Tablet S weighs 598g and is 24.12 x 17.43 x 1.01/2.06 cm.

The Sony Tablet S runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb and is powered by a 1GHz NVIDA Tegra 2 processor. 9.4 inch WXGA LED-backlit IPS screen (1280 x 800 pixel). SD card slot, MicroUSB port, 3.5mm headphone jack (also serve as a mono mic jack), WIFI, Bluetooth 2.1 and Infrared port. YES, there’s actually an Infrared port for remote control functionality like controlling your TV or HIFI. No joke.

There’s a 0.3 megapixel front facing camera and a 5 megapixel back facing camera. THe back facing camera is a HD camera powered by Exmor for mobile. I didn’t try the camera but I can expect it to be a very impressive camera based on my previous experience with the Sony Exmor sensor. But then, I’m never a fan of taking photo with a tablet. I think it looks stupid when you hold a 9 inch tablet up and take photo. But that’s just my personal opinion.

Sony did some customization to the tablet so that it can stand out among the thousands of Android tablets that are coming to the market. The Sony Tablet S is a DLNA certified device. Which means you can stream a video, music or picture to a DLNA compatible TV easily. Sony created an interface which makes it easy to “throw” your media files to a DLNA compatible device.

The browser is also customized with Quick View. Quick View is an exclusive Sony browser enhancement that reorder the way data is loaded to ensure website load faster. Basically it loads the text first follow by the data intensive image and flash stuff. A speed test with the standard Android browser show that the Quick View load website faster.

The Sony Tablet S is the first PlayStation Certified tablet. Original PlayStation games like Crash Bandicoot and Pinball Heroes are pre-installed on the Tablet. And since this is running on Android, you can get more games from the Android Marketplace.
The Sony Tablet S will be available in Singapore from end October. WIFI 16GB version cost S$668 and 32GB version cost S$798. Sadly, there isn’t any 3G version yet. Let’s hope Sony will release a 3G version soon.


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