Sony Tablet S and Tablet P take aim at the iPad

Sony Tablet S, Tablet P

Sony is finally throwing its weight into the tablet market, today formally announcing its Tablet S and Tablet P Android tablet offerings. Sony has taken its time to launch a tablet, and their first two offerings are distinct from the herd of Android-based slates that are beginning to litter retailers shelves. The Tablet S features a unique wedge-shaped design with a 9.4-inch display, while the Tablet P sports an intriguing folding design with two 5.5-inch displays, designed to make the tablet more easily portable.

“These devices truly represent the best of everything Sony has to offer,” said Sony Electronics networked technology and services VP Mike Lucas, in a statement. “From hardware to software and services, Sony Tablet devices embody all our innovations rolled into one.”

Sony Tablet S

Both Sony tablets are built around a 1 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor. The Tablet S features a wedge-shaped design that’s a bit reminiscent of a magazine folded back on itself—Sony says that makes the tablet more comfortable for long-term use. The Tablet S sports a 9.4-inch 1,280 by 800-pixel capacitive touchscreen display, and sports 1 GB of RAM, 16 or 32 GB of onboard flash storage, 802.11b/g/n WI-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR wireless networking, a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera for video and photography plus a VGA-resolution front-facing camera for video chat. The Tablet S offers expandable storage via an SD card slot, and there’s a headphone port, microUSB port, along with a stereo 3.5mm mini jack for a mic. The Tablet S weighs 1.33 pounds. Sony is sending a few mixed messages on the version of Android included in the device: spec sheets say Android 3.0, but Sony’s PR materials all say Android 3.1.

Sony Tablet P

The Tablet P, on the other hand, aims to be even more portable, featuring a unique folding design with two 5.5-inch displays and a total weight of 0.83 pounds: fold it up, and it drops more easily into a purse or backpack then a full-fledged 10-inch tablet. The Tablet P will feature Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, but will also be available with a 4G option from AT&T. Sony says the Tablet P will be running Android 3.2 when it ships.

However, for Sony, the hardware is only part of the story: they’re backing up their tablets with detail-intensive design and cloud-based services. Sony promises the Tablet S and Tablet P will offer faster loading of Web pages thanks to Quick view and Quick Touch technologies, and the tablets feature large-keyed virtual keyboard for easier messaging and text entry—they even have a numeric keypad for entering passwords.

Sony Tablet P

The tablets will also be able to tap into new Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited offerings from Sony: Video Unlimited will aim to offer the latest releases from every studio to rent or to own; the service is soft-launching with the Sony tablets, with an eye towards making the content offerings truly “unlimited” over time. Music Unlimited, due to launch in October, will provide access to a catalog of over 10 million songs—exact numbers will vary by country. The tablets will ship with a six-month trial membership and a free movie download.

Both tablets will be PlayStation certified (meaning they’ll be able to play versions of Crash Bandicoot and Pinball Heroes right out of the box), plus the tablets will be able to access the 2.5 million book and periodical titles at Sony’s Reader Store. And, just to make sure people can mange their own photos, videos, and music, Sony will be offering a free Personal Space cloud-base service to enable video and photo sharing from Sony Tablet devices; users will also be able to access image and video albums uploaded from other devices.

The Sony Tablets are DLNA-compatible—so users will be able to “throw” content from a PlayStation or a Sony Bravia TV to their tablets—and the Tablet S has IR capabilities so it can act as a remote control.

Pre-orders for the Tablet S are open now, with the 16 GB version priced at an iPad-matching $499 and the 32 GB version going for $599—the units should land at retail locations next month. The Tablet P will be available “later this year,” and Sony hasn’t announced any pricing.

Sony Tablet S
Mobile

Verizon has made its first 5G video call … with a phone that’s already out

Verizon has announced that it has successfully made its first video call, using a smartphone that's already available: The Motorola Moto Z3. To make the call, Verizon used the 5G Moto Mod.
Mobile

How to choose the best MicroSD cards for your smartphone or tablet

If you need some extra storage space and your device supports it, then a MicroSD card is an obvious place to start. Here, we look at what to consider and suggest some of the best MicroSD cards for your smartphone.
Mobile

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to use it.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Home Theater

What is MHL, exactly, and how does it work with your TV?

There are more ways to mirror your smartphone or tablet to your TV than you might think. Check out our rundown of MHL for everything you need to know about the wired protocol and its myriad uses.
Mobile

Samsung patents show what Infinity-O display could look like on Galaxy S10

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Product Review

With style and feature upgrades, Misfit's next-generation Vapor 2 gets it right

Misfit’s next-generation smartwatch, the Vapor 2, packs built-in GPS, a heart-rate sensor, and more, into a beautiful design that starts from $250. We take a closer look at the company's latest device.
Mobile

New sensor from L’Oréal tracks UV exposure to keep your skin safe from the sun

L'Oréal has announced a new wearable sensor that attaches to your clothing and can track ultraviolet light. The sensor uses NFC instead of Bluetooth -- meaning it doesn't need a battery to work properly.
Gaming

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Mobile

Motorola Moto G7: Here’s everything we know

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

T-Mobile's new Revvl 2, Revvl 2 Plus are now available for purchase

Last year, T-Mobile launched its own line of branded smartphones. As a follow-up to their predecessors, the carrier has unveiled the Revvl 2 and Revvl 2 Plus -- complete with a sleeker design. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

How to take great photos with the Pixel 3, the best camera phone around

You’ve scored yourself a new Google Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL, and you want to take advantage of that incredible camera. We’ve got everything you need to know right here about how to snap the best photos with your Pixel 3.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Mobile

Leak shows a third, budget Google Pixel 3 with a Snapdragon 670, headphone jack

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a third. A budget Pixel 3 device that boasts some of the best features of the other two has been leaked.