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Sony unveils two new iPad rivals running Android 3.0 [U]

updated 02:35 am EDT, Tue April 26, 2011

Sony unveils two Android tablets to take on iPad

(Update: video added) Sony has unveiled two new tablets running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) to take on Apple's iPad. The first is the formal unveiling of the previously leaked 9.4-inch Sony S1 with its distinctive curved top, shaped like a magazine that has been folded open. It is powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 and features Sony's customized "Quick and Smooth" panel-based UI and its new "Swift" mobile Web browser.

The S1's design will remind iPad users of the iPad in a case set for "typing mode," and Sony says the design enhances stability and improves grip by changing the "torque" and putting the weight at the "top" of the design, though it can be used either horizontally or vertically - similar to the way people hold a folded-over magazine (or an iPad in a folio-style case). The S1 also features infrared technology to allow it to be used to control various AV devices, including Sony's own Bravia line. Through the use of DLNA technology, users can "throw" content they are watching or listening to on the tablet over to HDTV or wireless speakers.

The second tablet, the Sony S2, is an intriguing dual-screen clamshell design. It features two high-resolution 5.5-inch screens at 1,024x480 pixels. Like the S1, it also runs a Tegra 2, but incorporates just one rear facing camera versus the S1's two cameras. The two screens give the device the flexibility to use them in different ways simultaneously. The email app, for example, utilizes the bottom screen for the keyboard while the top shows the message. It too is PlayStation Certified, like its stablemate, and will also support 3G and 4G networks.

Both models are aimed more at entertainment consumption, but come with all the abilities of Android 3.0 including web browsing and e-mail, with the added benefit of access to Sony's premium cloud-based networks of various content, including Sony's Reader store for e-books, the Qriosity network for music and video services, and the PlayStation Suite, which allows users to buy and play first-generation PlayStation games.

Kunimasa Suzuki, Sony's head of personal computers said that they new tablets will be available globally this fall, although the US could see them slightly sooner. He also stated that Sony aims to win second place in the tablet currently dominated by iPad, which is expected to be worth $49 billion by 2015.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Foe Hammer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005


    Product Review Already In***-that-doesnt,14309/

    Note: Due to an overly sensitive censor, you will need to re-insert the ****'ed-out portion of the previous URL to view the review.

    Further Note: Parents strongly cautioned about letting children under 13 watch the review.

    Final Note: You think I'm kidding?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Raul

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2011


    Getting late

    Apple better start selling the iPad2 in Japan before this thing hit the shelves.

  1. SmokyFrosty

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2011



    Any chance i could get one of these without sonys c*** software all over it? Just a thought.

  1. PassionForGod

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2011


    Nice tablet

    SONY you make fantastic products but I will skip your tablet due to the fact it's preloaded with ****ware like most OEM's do to their products.

    -Live your life for God.. and God will lead your life to a world full of LOVE and true HAPPINESS.

  1. ASathin8R

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2010


    These look sweet

    While I will never give up my iPad 2, I am very keen to lay my hands on these. Sony is the most Apple-like of the PC/Android competition with its attention to detail and design flair. The S2 reminds of me of the interesting, but underpowered Vaio P. Though, the S2 looks much more useful than that ever was.

    For gaming, the S2 looks like the ultimate DS if you look at the way the virtual buttons appear on the bottom screen while the gaming action takes place on the top screen in the video!

    If Michael Dell ever regretted his remarks that R&D was a waste of time, he will be now. Why would anyone buy a Dell Honeycomb tablet when you could be feasting your eyes on these?

    The Samsung tablets look like the next best, after these. If only they had never released the original Galaxy Tab - not only was that a complete waste of time, it left a bitter taste in the mouth of anyone who bought one.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2004


    pretty and pretty boring too

    a tablet is a slate of glass - which is why its hilarious all the in-fighting about who owns what - it's a slate of glass.

    The variables are weight, thickness, and overall size - and overall size is a tradeoff - you can't just make it as large as possible or as small as possible - too large isn't portable, too small isn't comfortable for web viewing.

    Some obviously prefer 'magazine size' aka the iPad. Some prefer 'paperback size' aka the B&N Nook Color. But everyone does appreciate it when you can make the device lighter, and when you can make it thinner - it's just easier to hold.

    Sony is all about going to the end of the world to 'differentiate' themselves in order to command a premium markup.

    I'll pass. This is contrived, forced - no particular need for doing it. ohh la, la, they put curves on it. Curves on a tablet are boring.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: Jan 2008


    But what's the price?

    As seen before, price is a big factor in whether a tablet will succeed.


  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Sony's best-case scenario: 2nd place.

    Suzuki-san said it perfectly: " He also stated that Sony aims to win second place in the tablet currently dominated by iPad..."

    All the iPad cloners are fighting each other, locked in a deathmatch for 2nd place. A very distant 2nd place.

    Whenever you hear a fandroid mention anything remotely like "iPad killer" just remind him/her of this simple fact: the iPad cloners of the world are really only trying to kill each other.

  1. AndreRichards

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2010


    I don't buy it

    Flashy marketing video, no test units in journalists' hands, no specs, no prices, no release dates, little to no details. Sounds like typical vaporware to me, but we'll see.

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