Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sony Tablet

Since the netbook craze has died down, tablet computers have become all the rage, thanks in large part to the iPad. Sony has yet to enter the market with a tablet of its own, though it's made it clear that it wants to claim at least the number two position behind the iPad. It will begin working towards that goal later this year with a tablet codenamed S1, according to Engadget. The device is planned to be branded as PlayStation Certified upon release.
The S1 will run on Android 3.0 and have a 9.4-inch screen. It's being customized by a variety of Sony divisions, including VAIO, Reader, Sony Ericsson, and PlayStation. The VAIO group is in charge but it's not expected to carry that title once finished. Sony's work has "created a user experience that rivals and at times improves upon the iPad's renowned experience." Sony's Qriocity on-demand service for music, videos, and movies is going to be a key element, as will games -- it'll come equipped with unspecified PlayStation One games and "PlayStation integration".
Engadget initially speculated that this might simply entail Remote Play -- the same functionality the PlayStation Portable carries which allows certain PS3 games to be played remotely on the PSP. Since the original report was filed, it's been confirmed through sources that the S1 will be PlayStation Certified. That's the same term being applied to Sony Ericsson's new Xperia Play phone which is meant to indicate that the device in question is capable of delivering a "PlayStation quality experience."
Pertinent technical details include the screen resolution of 1280x800 and its Tegra 2 processor, the same thing being carried by the upcoming Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, and LG G-Slate. The only buttons the S1 currently carries are for volume control; everything else will be operated on the touchscreen, although the possibility of a Qriocity button is being considered.
The design is somewhat curious. Engadget has a mockup of what the tablet will look like (pictured above), as there are no actual pictures of the S1 currently available. "The tablet's 'wrap' design is meant to remind the owner of something personal in the way that it mimics an open paperback stuffed into the back pocket, or a magazine folded backward upon itself such that only a single page is visible to read," the report explains. "A design that also gives the tablet's display enough angle to comfortably touch-type when placed on a table." It's also meant to reduce the difficulty in using it with one hand.
The price for a Wi-Fi only version -- no word on storage or 3G support yet -- is currently set for $599. That's $100 more than the cheapest iPad (16GB, Wi-Fi only). Sony had been hoping to match the iPad's price. Its release date has been pushed back "several times" already, with it currently set to ship this September. As you'd expect, none of this is set in stone. It's teased that Sony has another tablet in the works, possibly with dual screens, as this patent that surfaced last year reveals.
Assuming the S1 does make it to market, this will be at least the second PlayStation Certified device to come out of Sony, joining the recently announced Xperia Play from Sony Ericsson. It also of course has its new proper handheld videogame system in the works currently known as the NGP. The S1 won't be PlayStation-branded if and when it's released, but this seems to be another sign that Sony is interested in expanding 'PlayStation' beyond the space we're used to seeing it occupy -- or, at least, capitalizing on the brand in order to help sell new devices. 


Siphil said...

Poor Sony, they haven't had an original idea in 15 years.

LifeHacks said...

Poor Sony? Please the ps3 is by far the best system on the market....The Ipad sucks ass...I had one and bartered it....It doesn't support Flash...98% of the web is Flash....I'll buy sony's version.....And have you heard of Blueray----Sony was on the board who came up with the idea!

Matt said...

Time for Sony to jump on the bandwagon again. . .

Eric P said...

That thing looks beautiful. I still break out the old PS2 from time to time, as the games for it are brilliant.

Guzzi sager said...

Very informative post. Keep up the good work. I would really look forward to your other posts

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