Sony Tablet S

The Sony Tablet S officially goes on sale in the United States today. Technically it’s been available from a few retailers for a few days already — HSN started offering the tablet on Sunday, and I spotted one at B&H in New York on Wednesday. But today is officially launch day, and you can pick up the tablet for $499 and up from a number of stores including Amazon, Newegg, and J&R.

The best price I’ve seen is at Abe’s of Maine, where you can use a Dealnews coupon to get the tablet for $485.

Sony’s tablet features a 9.4 inch, 1280 x 800 pixel display, 1 GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processor, and Google Android Honeycomb software. The $499 model comes with 16GB of RAM, but there’s also a higher priced 32GB model available.

There are a few things setting the Tablet S apart from other Android tablets. The first is the unusual shape shape with a “fold” on the back that’s meant to make the tablet look a bit like a magazine that’s been folded back. The wedge shape makes the tablet easy to hold in one hand — assuming you’re holding it in portrait mode. In landscape orientation it’s a bit tougher to comfortably hold.

Sony also loads the tablet with some custom apps including the ability to play some older Playstation games, music, movie, and eBook apps, and a universal remote control app that works with an IR port to let you control your home media gear from the tablet.

I’ve only spent a few minutes with the tablet, and while the unique case design is interesting, the tablet has a cheaper plastic feel than I had been expecting. The door covering some of the ports is connected by a very flimsy piece of plastic, and it feels like it could easily break. And the power and volume buttons are awkwardly placed in a way that could make them very difficult to hit without looking directly at them.

Still, the Sony Tablet S offers a few features you won’t find on any other big name tablet yet including the Playstation and IR remote control capabilities, so I suppose Sony deserves some points for its first Android tablet.

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2 replies on “Sony Tablet S now available in the US”

  1. Feh, who cares?

    Sony will just brick it like its done for the PS3 with a firmware update if you try to do anything with it like they did for running Linux under the OtherOS option.

    Anyone buying from Sony is an idiot or works for one. . . .

  2. I saw a review from a guy with the WSJ the other day and he said his test for battery life, playing videos with wifi, was around 6.5 hours.

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