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By 26 April 2011 | Categories: news

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At long last we are seeing a response from Sony to the tablet craze. The Japanese electronics giant has announced two tablets, codenamed the S1 and S2. The S1 is apparently optimised for rich media entertainment, while the S2 focuses on mobile communication and entertainment.

These tablets are powered by Google’s Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) mobile operating system (OS), and both are equipped with Wi-Fi as well as 3G/4G connectivity allowing users to surf the net, check their email and access digital content the likes of YouTube videos, online games as well as eBooks whilst on the go.

S1 and S2

The S1 has a 9.4" display (slightly less than the iPad 2’s 9.7”) with an “off-center gravity design” that the Japanese manufacturer says improves ease of grip as well as adding a sense of stability and lightness, making the device comfortable to hold and employ for extended periods.

Sony’s S2 features a unique dual-screen design with two smaller 5.5" displays that can be folded for easy portability. These can be combined as a single large screen for different functions including playing video on one screen, with the movie control buttons being provided on the other display.

As any geek can wish, the company stated that users will be able to play PlayStation One gaming titles via the PlayStation Suite, and will (in certain markets) be enabled to download eBook content from its Reader Store to be able to employ the tablets as digital reading devices.

Remote access functionality with AV device

Beside the eBook and gaming functionality these two tablets can also be utilised to control home entertainment devices. Since they make use of infrared technology they can be used as universal remote controls for a variety of AV devices such as HDTVs. One will not only be able to change the channel and adjust the volume, but also showcase movies or photos via the HDTV by way of DLNA functionality. Sony hasn't revealed to many of the other specs though such as CPU, RAM, on-board storage and cameras.  

“‘Sony Tablet’ delivers an entertainment experience where users can enjoy cloud-based services on-the-go at any time. We’re aiming to create a new lifestyle by integrating consumer hardware, including ‘Sony Tablet’ with content and network,” said Kunimasa Suzuki, corporate executive, SVP, and deputy president of Consumer Products & Services Group.

“Android 3.0 is a new version of the Android platform with a new holographic user interface that is designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. I’m excited about ‘Sony Tablet’ as it will further spur the development of applications and network offerings which users are looking for,” said Andy Rubin, senior vice president, Mobile, Google Inc.

Both of these tablets will become available in the global market starting in fall (spring for us) of this year. No local release details or prices are available yet.

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