Sony Xperia Tablet S Android tablet (preview)
Sony Xperia Tablet S has a revamped design and some interesting new features.
- Revamped aluminium build
- Splash-proof finish
- Some nice software features
- Screen could have been higher res
- Awaiting Jelly Bean update
The Sony Xperia Tablet S is thinner, lighter and better constructed than its predecessor. Sony keeps the same distinctive, curved design but has added some interesting new features and given the product a splash-proof coating.
The Sony Tablet S, which incorporated a curved design that attempted to resemble a folded magazine, is one of the most distinctive tablets on the market. Sony has kept much of the same formula for its new Xperia Tablet S but has revamped the design and added some interesting new features.
The biggest change in design from the Tablet S to the Xperia Tablet S is aluminium casing. The plastic build of the Tablet S didn't feel very sturdy and noticeably creaked when force was applied to the back. That should no longer occur on the Xperia Tablet S which is constructed from aluminium. Despite the change in build materials, Sony has managed to reduce both the weight and the thickness of the Xperia Tablet S. The device is still shaped like a wedge but it's much flatter than its predecessor.
The Xperia Tablet S has a splash-proof finish, too, so it's water-resistant. Sony highlights checking a recipe in the kitchen with wet hands as one real world use scenario where this feature will benefit potential users.
Sony appears to be focussing most of its attention on the software side of things. The most notable new feature is a guest mode that allows children or any other users to log on to their own separate account. This is a feature that's been reserved for PCs and notebooks, but we really like the idea of it on an Android tablet. It could prevent users from downloading apps through the Google Play Store, for example, and Sony says users can configure exactly what apps guest users can and can't access.
One of the best features on the original Tablet S was an Infrared port and combined remote control app. This feature has been upgraded on the Xperia Tablet S so users can can now add up to six macro functions. A macro can be set to allow you to turn on multiple home entertainment devices at once, or skip to a favourite channel on your TV or set top box with one press, for example.
The Sony Xperia Tablet S will initially ship with the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich version of Google's Android platform, but Sony insists the tablet will be upgradeable to the latest 4.1 Jelly Bean version in the coming months. Sony has a poor track record when it comes to timely Android updates on its Xperia smartphones, so we can only hope the company lifts its game now that it has slotted a tablet into the Xperia range.
Despite all the software features, Sony hasn't neglected the specifications of the Xperia Tablet S. It's powered by NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 processor (up from the dual-core processor on the Tablet S), has 1GB of RAM and comes in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. There's 3G connectivity available on "selected models", while a full-sized USB port is a nice inclusion and a HDMI port allows users to connect the device to a TV. There's also a full-sized SD card slot. An 8-megapixel rear camera and a front facing 1-megapixel camera for video calls are also included.
Where Sony may have missed the mark is the Xperia Tablet S's screen. The 9.4in capacitive IPS display has a resolution of 1280x800, which is standard for most similar sized Android tablets. However, newer devices like the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity and Acer's upcoming Iconia Tab A700 both have screens with a much higher resolution, immediately making them a little more appealing than the Xperia Tablet S.
Sony will sell a full range of accessories with the Xperia Tablet S when it launches in Australia next month. The highlight is a cover that has a built-in, hardware keyboard, which looks remarkably similar to the Microsoft Surface "touch cover". There's also a docking stand and a range of brightly coloured covers.
The Sony Xperia Tablet S will launch in Australia "from the middle of September", but Sony is yet to announce Australian pricing. The Xperia Tablet S will sell for $399 (16GB), $499 (32GB) and $599 (64GB) in the US.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 2 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 3 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 4 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
- 5 iPhone 8: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- HP Omen laptops include a first: Nvidia Max-Q graphics technology
- HP's Omen X Compact Desktop can morph into a backpack VR PC
- HP's Omen Accelerator can give your laptop some guts
- HP reboots Omen desktop with more of what gamers love
- Samsung to detail new Tizen OS for smart home appliances, IoT devices
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop review
- Legion Y520 Gaming Laptop review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSystem AnalystQLD
- FTTeam Leader - Software ServicesVIC
- FTMid-Level Drupal Developer (Brisbane Location)WA
- TPSCRUM MasterVIC
- FTDevOps EngineerNSW
- FTContract Specialist - TelecomOther
- CCSupply Master Data Analyst - Procurement & Supply Chain - TelcoVIC
- FTStrategic Sourcing ManagerOther
- FTService Desk Analyst - L1Other
- FTAutomation TesterOther
- CCProcess LeadNSW
- FTNetwork Support Engineer - HFC and FTTxOther
- FTCloud Architect - AWS, Azure, ADOther
- FTPre-Sales Solution Architect - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- FTCommercial Loan Documentation SpecialistOther
- FTJunior-Mid Level Java Developer (Brisbane Location)ACT
- CCSenior Web DeveloperNSW
- FTSystem AnalystVIC
- CCReporting AnalystNSW
- FTNBNJP00001080 - Facilities/Capacity EngineerOther
- FTSystems AdministratorOther
- FTWindows EngineerOther
- FTCyber Security ArchitectOther
- FTSolution Designer - WealthOther
- FTProject Manager - Rail Industry or Survey or Construction bkgrdOther