Sony Tablet S

3/20/2012 5:17:07 PM

Sony Tablet S

A premium tablet with a distinctive design, many accessories and useful softwares

Sony has made a lot of admirable success in creating the premium laptops with high quality; however, its effort in entering the tablet market at a cheap price had a mixed success. Sony did not pay attention to notebook until it was too late, they even tried to re-invent it again with a clutch-size P Series but it sooner ended up with an unfortunate destiny.

The Sony’s tardy response in the tablet competition was a Tablet S which had a better fate. With the same price with its rivals and similar specifications, it had a dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, 1GB of memory and runs Android Honeycomb 3.2.

Nevertheless, Sony remained to be itself in all kinds of situations and did not forget anything of it. Actually, in a ferocity and difficulty of the market place, Sony was always a lighthouse to help you find the way out. Therefore, instead of being exactly the same with its rivals, Sony Tablet S had a thin wedge-shaped appearance. When placed on the table, its slant screen made you comfortable to either look at the screen or type.

Besides, the thick sides provided a better single-handed hold than its 10.1” competitors. Light weight, 9.4” screen and rough panel in the back were quite useful.  Sony Tablet S also had a micro-USB port, a converter cable and a full size SD card slot can be used as a host for storage. The biggest lack of it is the omission of HDMI port.

However, Sony hasn’t sacrificed everything. Even though the plastic cover does not bring the luxurious feel like Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tablet S seems to be a premium device. Its thin edge tapered down to 9.8mm, the sides were made to look as a folded newspaper, the sleek black contrasts perfectly with the silver anti-glare plastic. It is an definitely attractive device. 

Remote control

An unusual function focusing in home entertainment is that Tablet S has an infrared emitter which allows it to adjust the volume of TV or HDMI-CEC device. Besides, it is pretty easy to set up the new device: choose the producer in the provided list, next choose the product type, and revolve through the options until you come up with something interesting. Only the one who have extremely interest in AV device can understand and be much happier with the fact that tablets can “learn”. So if it is impossible for you to find your device in a long list of your tablets, you can program it. Once being programmed, it works perfectly.


The innovation is not worth if it cannot meet the most basic requirements, but we happily to inform that Sony succeeded. The high quality 1.280x800 screen display has the perfect brightness and contrast. We measured the brightness at 379cd/m2 and the contrast is 733:1 – the same level with Ipad 2. Movies and pictures are outstanding, together with good viewing angles include that it is also can be used as a shared album as well as a personal music and movie player.

Scrollbar and other performance activities of the operation system were smooth and quickly responded such as panning, scrolling and zooming. After some tests, Sony - as one of the leading tablet companies – met our expectation scores: the ABC homepage loaded within 4 seconds, the SunSpider JavaScript test ended at 2191ms and it got 1805 scores in the Android Quadrant test.


Besides, the battery life is acceptable: low-resolution videos played continuously in 8h 41 minutes before it ran out of battery. An excellent camera: it can not be compared with the top smartphones but to the other tablets slates, it is much better than its rivals with good contrast, autofocus and less blur. The most disadvantage point is there is no flash to support you in low-light conditions.


Sony had adjusted the interface in many ways and provided an extra software package. There are currently 4 shortcuts (fairly ugly) in the Honeycomb background with two options: Google Search and Voce Search.

In the right corner is a shortcut for another nonsensical thing – the Favorites screen – which grouped the recent applications into a 3D video wall. Sony also replaced the standard Honeycomb icons for core Google applications with its icons. We had no idea of what they meant to do.

Fortunately, the change is not bad at all. We love the re-done application drawers with enormous changes in color matching, scroll directions and the latest viewing and organizing applications. All applications can be arranged alphabetically or the latest first. Besides, the optional dividers can be use to split it into groups and shortcuts can be arranged with a strong drag of the hand. The screen can be seen into 2-collumm or grid format.

PlayStation certification means Tablet S can play all old PlayStation games such as two games which were installed in advance: Crash Bandicoot and Pinball Heroes. However, the PlayStation Store applications for buying more games didn’t work when we wrote this review. Sony said that they will release it in December.

Sony includes its music and video stores – apart from the interesting “coffee-table” overview which allowed you to surf into many albums as if they were laid down in a flat surface right in front of your face – is the ability of throw music and video from a tablet to a suitable DLNA. It is a good idea, but it doesn’t work well. It can recognize Windows Media Player on our linked PCs but refused to play any files we tried to send.

There were also a lot of applications you may find them interesting such as improved camera applications, a Sony e-book reader, a social network applications which used for Twitter and Facebook, a DLNA visitor application to load music and video into the tablets as well as the link to our company’s Music and Video Unlimited services (even they didn’t work when we tried to test them).


There were many things to pack and although some of the aspects were not as good as the others of it, but softwares added some more value. It is unusual but not ridiculous. The good design and remote control are its distinctive points and it is backed up by the steadiness in its main advantages: good camera, high quality screen, long battery life and the performance is worth with the rest of the Sony Tablet S.

Frankly, as for the extremely desire, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 with a brighter screen, thinner and sexier appearance as well as iPad 2 – which has a huge application store for tablets are the two important dominant players in this competition. Nevertheless, the new device of Sony sticks to them closely.


Two iterations: $579 for 16GB or $689 for 32GB


Configuration: Dual-core 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2; 1GB of RAM memory; 16GB/32GB; LCD 9.4” 1.280x800; Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, 1 year guarantee, Android 3.2, 241 x173 x 2-9,8mm (WDH); 586g.


Performance: 5 stars

Fuctions and designs: 5 stars

Value: 6 stars

In total: 5 stars.


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