Sony revealed today its new PC tablet devices, one acting as a universal remote for TVs and stereos, while another tablet is a clamshell unit featuring two screens that can work independently or together.
Sony is finally entering the busy tablet PC market, unveiling details of its upcoming tablets. The Sony Tablet S, with its 9.4-inch touchscreen display, will be available in September in Canada and Europe, and the clamshell Tablet P will be hitting shelves in Europe around the same time and will ship within weeks to the U.S. A Canadian shipment date for the P hasn't been announced.
The Tablet S runs on the latest version of Google's Android operating system, and includes a unique design rarely seen on other tablets: resembling a folded-back magazine, the unit is hailed as easier to hold with one hand. Sony is stressing the tablet's cross-device abilities - it can be used to control Sony Bravia TVs, and can work as a remote for wireless speakers, Blu-ray Disc players and receivers.
In a press release, Sony also touts the bundled entertainment options, such as access to Video Unlimited to rent or own films, out-of-the-box PlayStation-friendly games, and the Reader Store for ebook lovers.
A side view of the new Sony Tablet S
As expected of any Android device, the Sony Tablet S "provides instant access to Google mobile services and applications, including 3D maps and easy web search with Google Voice Search. To make app discovery even easier, Sony offers its Select App site which highlights new and unique Android applications in a number of categories, many of which have been customized or optimized for the Sony Tablet S," the press release states.
The Sony Tablet S also features front and rear facing cameras for video recording and capturing still images, a powerful NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU processor, built-in Wi-Fi capability and 16GB and 32GB versions. It's priced at $500 and $600 (Canadian) respectively. A 4G version from AT&T is expected to hit shelves later this year.
The new clamshell Tablet P from Sony
Sony also lifted the veil off its Sony Tablet P, a clamshell-type device featuring two five-inch 1024 x 480 displays. It's notable for the design: it can be folded for easy portability, or you can use the two screen separately (one can act as a keyboard, say, and the other can display your email message). Both screen can work in concert for an application such as Sony's ebook reader.
The P also boasts the networking and entertainment options found in the S, but doesn't include the universal remote feature. Sony didn't announce the pricing for the P yet.
Sony is entering a burgeoning tablet market, expected to get even more popular in the coming years: Global media tablet shipment are forecast to rise from 17.4 million in 2010 to 275.3 million units in 2015, according to an report this month from research firm IHS iSuppli.
Other recent tablet entering the market include the Toshiba Thrive, Lenovo's ThinkPad, the Vizio Tablet and the upcoming Amazon tablet. Apple's iPad 3 is slated for a 2012 release, according to a recent Digital Journal report.
Digital Journal will publish a full review of the Tablet S soon