Sony Xperia Tablet S review

Sony Xperia Tablet S review

T3 3
  • The Sony Xperia Tablet S replaces the Sony Tablet S, bringing quad-core processing to the party, but can it compete with its Android rivals?  

    Sony Xperia Tablet S review

    Love

    • Slim profile
    • Lighweight
    • Great screen

    Hate

    • Poor web browsing

    It took years for Sony to enter the world of tablets and, when it eventually released the original Sony Tablet S (and Sony Tablet P) last year, the slick design and great screen impressed.

    This time around, the Tablet S has become the Sony Xperia Tablet S to fit in with the Sony Mobile line of Xperia smartphones, including the flagship Sony Xperia T. What does that mean? It’s lighter than rivals and looks premium on a world of Android rivals, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2...

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: Build

    The Tablet S screams Sony from the off - stylish with a unique quirk. That’s the bump on the rear, housing the camera and allowing the rest of the body to be ultra thin. There’s a hint of iPad and this is as luxurious as Android tablets get. No, it’s not the design classic that the iPad is but it’s undeniably smart, with or without the bump.

    The clever range of accessories from charge stand to Bluetooth keyboard are well thought and and complement the look too.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: Features

    The non-standard 9.4-inch size screen is slightly smaller than you might be used to but many won’t notice and given the ultra slim profile and weight loss, it’s not a bad move. The internal storage matches the iPad and stretches to 64GB in the top-end model. The real storage benefit is the full size SD card slot, offering cheap and decent expansion options but a neat way of editing your camera snaps.

    The processor running the show has been bumped up to a quad core Nvidia Tegra 3 which means it’s now a capable gaming machine - a tad ironic given the recent PlayStation Vita debut. DLNA enhances the media hub potential for streaming music and movies and the Tablet S can also control your TV and other remote control based devices.

    Android 4.0 is ready out of the box but no Jelly Bean update as yet, which is a surprise. The tweaked Tablet S has also cemented its splash proof skills - sockets can now all be sealed.

    We’re not entirely sure why anyone needs a splash proof tablet, but we’re guessing it’s an attempt to make it kitchen friendly. The rear facing camera has an 8 megapixel sensor which produces clear and detailed results and great video.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: Screen

    The 9.4-inch display boasts a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution which means it’s sharp but the real benefit is the depth of colour that Sony manages, showing movie credentials instantly. The bezel allows you to grip without fingers intruding on the visible screen.

    If you’re used to the standard 10.1-inch display, it’s not a big drop but if you’ve laid eyes on an iPad Retina display, this isn’t a match. It’s a great display but in 2012, Apple owns the best iPad screen - and laptop screen too, though whereas the MacBook Pro Retina comes with a premium price tag, a new iPad costs £399.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: Performance

    The Xperia Tablet S is great for movies and all media - photos, music and beyond. Sonys own music and movie services shine and DLNA is rarely so simple. Throwing a game or movie to your TV is quick and easy - on a coffee table, the Tablet S feels like a luxury remote built for your living room rather than on the go.

    Web browsing isn’t great despite the quad core processor and Tegra 3 chip - pages are quick to load but scrolling is a problem. And that’s an issue for a tablet - a big one. Browsing and typing feels laboured, which is a shame for such a powerful and capable tablet.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: Battery

     

    The 6000mAh battery lasts as long as Android rivals - around a couple of days of heavy use at best but it’s beaten by the new iPad. The charger isn’t convenient either - it’s like a laptop lead.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: Verdict

    The Sony Xperia S tablet is in many ways what we want from an Android tablet - slim, stylish and very powerful with great media options. If you can live with the poor web browsing options, this is a decent tablet for movies and games, but for some the less-than-perfect internet surfing capabilities will be a deal breaker.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: release date: Out now

    Sony Xperia Tablet S price: £329

  • The Sony Xperia Tablet S is the latest Android-toting slate to hit the market, replacing the Sony Tablet S and bring with it quadcore processing power

    Sony Xperia Tablet S review

    Love

    • Slim profile
    • Lighweight
    • Great screen

    Hate

    • Poor web browsing

    Sony has used its mobile Xperia branding on a tablet for the first time - in the shape of the new Sony Xperia Tablet S, announced at IFA in Berlin.

    Launced alongside the Sony VAIO Duo 11, the new model replaces the original Sony Tablet S and sports a 9.4-inch screen along with a handy splashproof finish. What's more, the new Guest Mode means that you could set up separate user profiles for visitors or different family members.

    You can also use the tablet as a remote control for your Sony AV devices.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: Build

    The chassis measures just 11.85 at its thickest point, slimming down to a svelte 8.8mm, making it slimmer than its predecesor. At 570g for the Wi-Fi models and 585g for the 3G versions, it's also lighter.

    The wedge shape of the Tablet S has gone, although the slate is slightly thicker at the top so that it still has the same effect when placed on a flat surface, possibly making it more suitable to using on a table on  your lap, rather than holding it in your hands.

    You'll find an 8MP camera on the back, along with a front-facing 1MP camera.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: Screen

    The 9.4-inch LCD screen sports a respectable 1280 x 800 resolution. It was a little difficult to get a good idea of how the screen looked under the club-like lighting at Sony's stand, but it appeared to be pretty clear and bright.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: Socialife

    Sony's new Socialife app enables you to organise all your social feeds in one place and has been designed to work seamlessly with the Xperia Tablet S - something that we'll be looking at more closely once we get the product in at T3 Towers.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: Performance

     

    The Xperia Tablet S is powered by a Nvidia Tegra 3 quadcore processor, a boost from the Tablet S, which used a Tegra 2 chipset.

    We found operation to be very zippy when navigating around the menu screens, while the Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich interface was also seamless, although it would've been nice to see the newer Jelly Bean on board.

    The tablet also features Sony's ClearAudio+ mode for top-notch sonics. We didn't get a chance to try out the sound at Sony's busy press conference, but that's something we'll be looking at in more detail in our full review.

    The tablet will be available as 16, 32 and 64GB models, in Wi-Fi-only or 3G models.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S: Verdict

    The Sony Xperia Tablet S looks like a small, but definite improvement in its predecessor, with a slightly revamped chassis, quadcore processor, multiple user accounts and splashproof  credentials. We'll bring you a full review as soon as we can.

    Sony Xperia Tablet S availability: September

    Sony Xperia Tablet S price: TBC

    Hands-on review by Libby Plummer

    • Sony Xperia Tablet S Hands on at IFA 2012
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  • Sony Xperia Tablet S

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