Nice tweaks to Android
Lack of Apps
Not as slick as iPad 2
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It has taken two years for Sony to enter the tablet market, and in that time every manufacturer and their budget Taiwanese spin-off have colluded to fill the tablet market with dross.
This presents both and opportunity and a threat to Sony, and while there are many sub-standard tablets on the market, some great work has been done by a few companies, and there's now a handful of successful, great value Android tablets to choose from.
You can check out our Android Tablet round-up to see how this slate measures up against three of its rivals below:
Aside from the obvious iPad 2, which is the gold standard of design and usability, Samsung has unleashed a flurry of tablets, from the excellent Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, to the imminent Galaxy Tab 7.7 which boasts a vibrant AMOLED display.
Other notable competitors also include the Motorola Xoom, which is now aggressively priced at £349, and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer, and soon-to-be-released Eee Pad Slider, which both boast full, physical QWERTY keyboards.
To launch into this crowded marketplace, Sony had to release something different, and with the Sony Tablet S and the forthcoming Tablet P, that's exactly what its done.
The Sony Tablet S is a curvaceous, wedge-shaped tablet, which looks as if it has been folded out of a single piece of textured black plastic. It's thicker at one side, with a rounded edge, as if you'd taken a thin paper back, and folded the cover back on itself to really get stuck into the story.
Aside from making it look different to every other tablet on the market, the Sony Tablet S's unique appearance isn't purely aesthetic. The design means that typing is comfortable when laid flat on a table or desk, which is a flaw in most flat tablets.
The book-like design makes it easy to grip with one hand, making it perfect for browsing the web or reading ebooks.
The Tablet S weighs just 600g, which makes it identical in weight to the iPad 2. There's a plastic finish, which doesn't feel cheap, and it has a textured back which offers grip for your hand.
While Sony has done well to make the form stand out from its peers, the specs are a standard affair emulating their rivals closely. There's a dual-core Tegra 2 processor clocked at 1GHz, 1GB of memory, capacitive touchscreen, and an SD expansion slot.
The Sony Tablet S also comes with a range of other features, which make it really stand out from the crowd. There are front and rear cameras, 1080p video capture and playback, PlayStation certification, which enables users to access a range of exclusive titles, and a host of Sony created apps, including a universal remote for controlling other Sony products.
The tablet comes in two iterations, with 16GB and 32GB options available, and it has set pricing at £399 for the 16GB version. This in itself is an admission by Sony to the ferocity and difficulty of the tablet market.
Sony tends to market itself as a premium manufacturer, and set its pricing accordingly, but at £399, it has decided to compete directly with companies it would look down upon in other markets.