Sony Tablet P Android tablet (preview)

Sony Tablet P preview: The Sony Tablet P Android tablet has a clamshell design with dual 5.5in touchscreens

Android tablets are flying thick and fast as the platform continues to evolve, but most of them look similar. Sony has attempted to distinguish itself with the Tablet P: a clamshell Android tablet with dual-screens.

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The Sony Tablet P has two 5.5in capacitive touch screens with a resolution of 1024x480. The Tablet P utilises a clamshell or flip design, so the screens fold onto each other when the tablet is closed. Sony says the Tablet P is designed for "mobile communication and entertainment".

The Sony Tablet P runs the Google Android 3.2 Honeycomb platform that is specifically designed for tablet devices, but Sony has tweaked the user interface to take advantage of the dual-screen form factor. Amongst the Sony additions are an e-reader app with split screen UI, and an e-mail app that shows the keyboard on one screen and e-mails on the other. The split screen design also seems ideal for gaming, with the controls displayed on the bottom screen and the game on the top. Sony says the Tablet P will be updated to the latest 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" version of Android in the coming months.

Like Sony's other Android tablet, the Tablet S, the Tablet P is PlayStation certified, meaning it will be compatible with PlayStation games available through the Android Market.

The Sony Tablet P has a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera and a front-facing 0.3-megapixel camera, along with Wi-Fi, DLNA, Bluetooth, GPS and 3G connectivity. It will not be available in a Wi-Fi only version. The Tablet P is powered by a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, has 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory. A microSD card slot is available for extra storage.

The Sony Tablet P will launch in Australia in mid February for $729. It will be sold at Sony Centre stores nation-wide and through Sony's Web site.

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Ross Catanzariti

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