updated 03:12 pm EDT, Wed August 29, 2012
New variant carries Nvidia chipset, Android 4.0
Sony today unveiled a previously rumored variant of its Tablet S device, one that retains many of the features seen in the original, but now carries the Xperia branding common to Sony's Android smartphones. The new model adds a number of capabilities meant to make it more useful to buyers with home entertainment systems. It's scheduled to go on sale early next month.
The new Tablet S runs Android 4.0 on a 1.4GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset with 1GB RAM and 16GB to 64GB of internal storage. Its 9.4-inch touchscreen outputs at 1280x800, and it has an 8MP rear-facing camera as well as a 1MP front-facing camera. The tablet also includes an IR remote, allowing it to control TVs, DVRs, and home entertainment systems.
It features Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, as well as Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n. There will also be a 3G-capable model. The Xperia Tablet S will also have SD card and microphone inputs. Inside, it packs a gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, ambient light sensor, and GPS. Its 6000mAh battery is capable of up to 10 hours of Internet browsing and 12 hours of video playback.
Sony has packed a number of entertainment options into the device as well. The Tablet S will come with Video Unlimited, Music Unlimited, Sony Reader, and Crackle, as well as PlayStation certification and a $45 credit for Google Play. It also features a "guest mode," allowing users to create multiple profiles for parental control and app restriction by password.
Tablet S buyers will also have the option of purchasing a $100 keyboard cover for easier text entry. Additional accessories include a $25 "simple stand," $100 docking stand, and a $70 Bluetooth keyboard. The Xperia Tablet S will go on sale in the US on September 7. The 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models will retail for $399, $499, and $599, respectively.