Sony Tablet S

We take a look at the Sony Tablet S and decide what’s boldly going where no one has gone before and what’s just plodding along down the same old road.

By Chris Messenger | Published 16/08/2012

The Good

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Dual core processor with lots of ram

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Great high resolution rear camera

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Sony custom apps pre installed are great

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Works with Playstation suite of games

The Bad

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Slightly chunky

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Overpriced. Usual Sony pricing

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No support for 3G

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Low pixel density screen, below 180ppi

Introduction

The Sony P was the first two-screened Tablet PC. It was also the lightest Tablet ever built, so how does its counterpart (released at roughly the same time) compare? The Sony S Tablet is a formidable prospect in its own right, with sales still high since its September release. We take a look at the S and decide what’s boldly going where no one has gone before and what’s just plodding along down the same old road.

 

The Sony P was singularly flawed by its possession of a paltry 4GB hard drive. The S, however, runs 32GB, which really does make all the difference.

The Specs

The Sony P was singularly flawed by its possession of a paltry 4GB hard drive. The S, however, runs 32GB, which really does make all the difference, trust us. With a 1GHz processor and a whole GB of RAM. The S is clearly superior to both the P and a whole load of other Tablets, too, at least in terms of specs.

 

The Sony S runs Android 3.2, which makes it right up to date in terms of operating system.

 

The design (inspired, as we understand it, from a folded magazine) is absolutely wonderful. It looks nice, yet still has a practical function. The slightly tilted angle at the top makes the whole thing easier to see, and thus to use, from a number of different angles.

 

Tablet PCs are usually divided into two groups, screen-wise. They tend to use either 10-inch screens, with a slate design that is held in two hands or placed on a stand of some sort, or they have 7-inch screens that are more portable and can be held in one hand and operated with the other. At 9.4 inches, the S is obviously nearer to the first category, but, with that extra little bit shaved off, it is slightly more portable. Though not a huge compromise, the effort to please both camps is appreciated.

 

The screen itself has a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, which is very nice indeed.

 

 

The Price

Like everything Sony, it isn’t cheap. The Sony S will set you back about £350. That’s not exactly chump change is it?

 

The Performance

Tablet PCs have a habit of looking completely identical (black outer casing, a shiny screen and blah blah blah). The Sony S Tablet, however, looks different and feels different. In fact, it’s really quite stunning in its beauty.

 

The slightly tilted angle at the top makes the whole thing easier to see, and thus to use, from a number of different angles.

What’s more, its innovative, curvaceous design has a practical function, which gives it the edge over the competition in two areas.

 

Sony’s custom Apps come pre-installed, which saves you the effort of installing them. They work very well indeed, in fact, everything about the S works like a charm.

 

The camera, quite often the major let down of a Tablet PC works really, really well. This means that the S has both the capacity and the hardware for extended video chats, which is, in some ways, the Holy Grail of consumer Tablets.

 

The Sony S weighs almost twice as much as the Sony P, but, at 625g, it is still a good deal lighter than most 10-inch Tablets.

 

It is slightly fatter than the slim line Tablets around today, however. In addition, the very same curves that heighten the S’s appeal when it is laid down hamper it somewhat when it comes to carrying it around.

 

What Other Users Say

Over on Amazon.co.uk, the customer reviews for this Tablet are mostly good. Of 40 reviews posted, 26 gave 4/5 or higher but it is significant that 14 users gave it 3/5 or lower.

 

‘G. Flecknell’ (3/5) loved all areas of this Tablet, except the WiFi, but ‘P. Taylor’ (1/5) went several steps further, posting a damning review that called the S “deeply flawed”. However, ‘Andreas Iacovu’ (5/5) definitely disagreed, calling the S “the best Android tablet on the market”.

 

The negatives are in the minority, as positive reviews from happy users like ‘Music Lover’ (5/5), ‘CountryMusicMan’ (5/5) and ‘Mark H 1974’ (5/5) can attest.

 

Our Verdict

The S delivers where the P fails to and is actually a lot cheaper. Though a new one will cost you the best part of £350, second hand S Tablets can be found for as little as £295 - £300. There are a great many Tablet PCs that cannot offer performance this good but still ask for over £100 more than the S does. If you have the money to spare, we reckon this little beauty would actually be worth every penny.

 

 

 

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Tags: Sony Tablet S Tablet PC Review, Tablet PC Review

 

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