I was among the people hyped about the surfacing of a PlayStation tablet or better yet two such models from Sony. I’m talking about the Sony Tablet S and Tablet P models, that were announced months ago. We’re talking about two very interesting devices, one with a 9.4 inch diagonal and a folded magazine design and the other with a clamshell design.
I’m here to analyze the folded magazine, Sony Tablet S, that’s frankly a letdown for me. Let the record show that I own a PS 1, PS 2, PS 3, PSP and a bunch of other Sony gear lying around the house. However, this tablet doesn’t fit the picture. Right from the unboxing moment I came across a device that lacks a microUSB cable in the box and that’s just rude coming from Sony. Next, I noticed a good thing: the device updates to Android 3.2 as soon as it gets the first taste of WiFi.
The design is truly original, with the purpose here being a perfect angle for viewing and usage without having to incline the slate too much. You’ll just need to rest it on the tablet and watch movies or play games with ease. Also, the 9.4 inch diagonal makes sense, considering that you can actually hold the device with both hands and use it as a portable console. This is actually a thin tablet at 10.1mm and it weighs a pretty light 598 grams.
The bezels are a bit too big for my liking and the physical buttons on the right side (ON/OFF, volume) are very hard to use, considering the edge of the slate that overlooks it and covers it. You’ll have to feel your way around them and it’s very annoying to play Angry Birds, try pressing the volume button and end pushing the ON/OFF key instead…
The tablet supports a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, it comes with a 5000mAh battery, a dual core Nvidia Tegra 2 1GHz processor and 16/32GB of internal memory. I tested the WiFi-only unit, but next month we should be able to purchase 3G units of the slate. There’s also a 5 megapixel camera on board, that actually takes decent pictures and video, also supporting 720p HD capture at 30 fps. There’s even continuous autofocus when filming. Upfront there’s a 0.3 megapixel camera for videocalling.
As far as connectivity goes, aside from the usual Bluetooth and WiFi you get a infrared connection, that turns the tablet into a remote for all your Sony gear inside the house, especially the Bravia TVs. Adding to the experience are an accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. As far as the software is concerned, you get Honeycomb with some shortcuts in the left side of the screen for quick access to email, the web browser and a reader. There’s also a favourites section near the Apps tag above, showing you the games you like to play the most, website bookmarks, favourite songs and videos.
In the apps section, the background is white and the apps can be organized according to more cryteria than usual. Sony also included its Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services on the tablet, allowing you to get all the songs and movies you want for a pretty small fee every month (a few pounds). There’s also a media remote feature included, as well as that PlayStation certification that will bring old school PS 1 titles to your slate. Sony Tablet S comes with Crash Bandicoot, the PS 1 launch title from 1996 and it’s cool if you’re into old school games, but I would like something new here…
I have to mention that the battery of the device was disappointing, as well as the lag and sudden rotations of the screen from portrait to landscape. Also, the viewing angle for this slate is ridiculous and that’s bad if you’re claiming you’re one of the best multimedia tablets out there… Details in the full review below!