Well, it’s been a long time coming, but on Tuesday in Tokyo, Sony unveiled its first touch tablet computers, scheduled for a worldwide release in the fall of this year. This places the company in an increasingly crowded market, and one which Apple’s iPad continues to dominate.
Two models have been introduced, the S1 and S2. Both will be running the Android 3.0 OS. The S1 tablet has a 9.4-inch display, whereas the S2 features two 5.5-inch displays, which can be folded to make a compact unit. Both models appear to be equipped with cameras, although no mention is made of this on the company’s website.
Indeed, a spec list for the new tablets is noticeable by its absence. In a statement on the company’s website, Sony says: “Based on decades of engineering heritage, Sony is developing two tablets with unprecedented design.” These two words could be significant: “is developing.” It’s possible the company is still deciding on what exactly to put under the hood.
Looking at the images, the S1 has a design quite unlike any of the other tablets currently on the market. From the side, it has a tapered look, but on closer inspection it looks almost as if it’s a longer device that’s been bent double. In its statement, Sony refers to the S1’s unique design: “Its off-center of gravity design realizes stability and ease of grip as well as a sense of stability and lightness, offering comfortable use for hours.”
The S2’s dual screen will give users the option of carrying out multiple tasks, and also enables one half to function as a touch keyboard. Alternatively, the two screens can work together as a single display.
Kunimasa Suzuki, Sony’s deputy president of the consumer products and services group, said, “The Sony Tablet delivers an entertainment experience where users can enjoy cloud-based services on-the-go at any time.”
The tablets certainly look stylish enough, but of course it’ll be easier to see where they fit in the market once we know their specifications and how they compare with other tablets already on the market.
Still, it’s good to finally see Sony announcing their intention to join the party. Let’s just hope the gifts they bring are worth playing with.