A Quick Preview of the Sony Tablet P
It seems as if every tablet discussion nowadays involves either the venerable iPad or the many high profile Android tablets available such as the Motorola Xoom or the Toshiba Thrive. The brilliance of the Android platform is that it's more or less free to slap on any available hardware. That flexibility allows any manufacturer to throw their hat in the ring and offer affordable alternatives that shake up the landscape. That brings us to the Sony Tablet P, a unique tablet with a remarkably fresh take on what an Android tablet should look like.
Features & Benefits
Let's begin this Tablet review by looking at the hardware specs and features that the Sony Tablet P brings to the table. Under the proverbial hood, the Tablet P has a 1.0 GHz Nvidia Tegra 2, 4 GB of internal storage, 1 GB of RAM, support for up to 32 GB of extra storage via microSD card, a 5 MP rear camera and a Micro USB port. In other words, it's business as usual as far as Android tablet specs are concerned. What differentiates the Sony Tablet P from the crowd is its unusual screen configuration, which consists of two 5.5-inch, 1024 x 480 pixel displays on either side of a folding clam shell.
Release Details, Carriers & Software
According to Sony's official press release, this Android slate "pushes the design of a tablet even further by elevating the user experience to entirely new levels." It'll be available as of March 4th from AT&T and will run Android 3.2.1 Honeycomb, Google's tablet-optimized variant of their world-dominating mobile operating system. An upgrade to Android 4.0 will be forthcoming from AT&T in the near future. It'll also offer a number of 4G plans on AT&T's steadily improving HSPA+ network. With a selling price of $399, it's more expensive than upcoming Android models like the Asus Memo 370T. However, its novel design and distinct versatility make it worthy of consideration for those who want a tablet that's different. Pros & Cons of the Sony Tablet P A major advantage of the Sony Tablet P over many of its competitors is its exclusive access to the Sony Entertainment Network. SEN includes Music Unlimited, PlayStation games, Video Unlimited and more, making the Tablet P a very media-centric device. Furthermore, it's incredibly fast and responsive in real world field tests and delivers a slick user experience. The one major downside is that it'll require a two-year contract to lock in the subsidized $399 purchase price, which could be a deal breaker for some.
Sony Tablet P vs. The Kindle Fire
As for a Tablet comparison between the Kindle Fire and the Sony Tablet P, it's tough to draw direct parallels between the two devices. While they're both relatively small when it comes to screen size and are focused on media consumption as much as web browsing, the similarities end there. The Kindle Fire is first and foremost an e-reader, while the Tablet P is focused more on delivering a solid, all-around experience for the end user. The Tablet P also packs more power, making it more adept at handling heavier workloads at the expense of battery life.
As with its PS Vita tablet, Sony's Tablet P makes a strong case for consumer dollars in the Android tablet sphere. If you're looking for a solid Kindle Fire Competitor that's less of an e-reader and more of a media device and web browser, the Tablet P might just be the device for you. Its dual-screen layout is certainly convenient when it comes to providing an obstruction-free viewing display and a digital keyboard all in one compact package. Whatever happens with the Tablet P in the coming year, at least nobody can accuse Sony of being unoriginal.