Sony Xperia Tablet S hands on review

The second generation of Sony’s foldy-looking tablet has arrived, and we’ve got our mitts all over its 9.4in screen

 

When Sony debuted its tablets – the Tablet S and the Tablet P – it was a bold entry into the tablet market. The S made no claims to be the thinnest slate out there, but had a unique foldover design. The hinged Tablet P could fit in your suit jacket pocket. Fast forward to the second generation and the P has gone, with the Tablet S picking up Sony’s Xperia smartphone nomenclature and losing its distinctive girth.

Sony Xperia Tablet S – overview

Broadly, not much has changed on the Tablet S. Yes, it’s a shadow of its former self, but that inimitable fold is still there. The jury’s out on whether it really does make it more comfortable to hold than a standard slate form, but it really does mark out the Xperia Tablet S from the crowd of iPad wannabes. And, yes, the IR transmitter has made the trip, too.

 

More after the break...

The first thing you’ll notice once you get Sony’s Xperia Tablet S in your hand is the speed hike it’s been handed by the Tegra 3 system on a chip. The 9.4in screen rolls and bounces with an urgency that its predecessor lacked. Whether that’s enough to convince Sony’s army of fans that it’s worth an upgrade is questionable, but it’s a cert for those who couldn’t get their heads (or hands) around the original Tablet S’s pudgy dimensions.

 

Sony Xperia Tablet S – design

Along with its powerful new innards, the Xperia Tablet S has made the advisable leap to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). We doubt the original will ever get Google’s new mobile OS, so that’s a big plus in its favour.

 

We liked Sony’s Tablet S, and there’s no question that the Xperia Tablet S is an improvement. It’s not revolutionary, but it’s slicker, slimmer and sexier than the first edition and it has a more solid build as well (did we mention it’s water-resistant?). As a kitchen and living room tablet, Sony’s new offering will be hard to challenge, though it’s yet to prove that distinctive form is really more practical than a standard tablet shape. We’ll have a full review in due course.

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