I just got my Sony Tablet S yesterday so I thought I’ll do a quick run-through. Check out my other posts for a more in-depth look at each specific aspect, this is just a brief overview of the hardware, interface and general impressions. Included is an unboxing video for your viewing
displeasure. Take note that you are under no legal or moral obligation to watch said video. But reading the accompanying post is scientifically proven to be good for the heart.
A list of specs for the unacquainted:
- Dual Core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor
- 1 GB RAM
- 1280 x 800 display at 9.4” (161ppi)
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with DLNA
- Android 3.2 out of the box
- PlayStation certified
The first thing I noticed about the Tablet S was its unique wedge-like form, said to be designed with reading in mind with its folded magazine shape. It felt good to hold and was easy to use with one hand, thanks in part to the distribution of weight brought about by the tapering design as well as the tactile plastic backing. The tablet has a solid build without much flex and although it lacks the Gorilla Glass that most of its competitors have, it is still a rather sturdy device and could probably stand a few falls. Not that I tried.
Running on the combination of a Tegra 2 processor and a gigabyte of RAM leaves the Sony tablet with no qualms about where it stands with its competitors. Exactly the same place. It hummed along quite nicely and there weren’t any major issues as far as performance was concerned, though it did like to sleep-in for an additional second when the power button was pressed. Gaming performance with the included PlayStation One title Crash Bandicoot was acceptable, but still leaves more to be desired with both the smoothness of the game and its rendering. Of course it is a PlayStation One port so don’t be expecting miracles.
The home screen is the familiar Honeycomb layout, standard widgets and a couple of preinstalled apps. The app drawer however, has undergone a slight redesign. The original Honeycomb app drawer background has been replaced with a refreshing white underlay and the scrolling has picked up a bit of elasticity. It is also easily customizable, allowing the user to drag and sort every app by alphabetical order, install date or a custom order. Another welcomed addition is the small app launcher that lives in the top left corner of the home screen. Here, you can place your 4 most used applications for quick access.
Originally the Sony Tablet S shipped with Android 3.1 Honeycomb, but the one I received already had 3.2 preinstalled. Upon connecting to Wi-Fi, it brought to my attention the availability of another update. The downloading and installing the update was seamless and took less than the 5 minutes it said it would. After a restart, the tablet booted up with 3.2.1. Take note though that the tablet will refuse to apply the update until the battery has been charged till at least 50%.
Overall the tablet has more of a premium feel than many of its competitors despite its plastic construction and light weight. The combination of a unique shape and tactile backing gives the device a solid, well-constructed feel, whilst the curved edges make it easy to hold for extended periods of time.