Compared to the S1 tablet — make that the Tablet S — Sony’s dual-screen tab remains something of an enigma. AT&T hasn’t said how much it’ll cost on contract, nor do we know when it’ll finally go on sale. Still, the tablet just get one step closer to becoming a real, shipping product, with Sony renaming it the Tablet P, as rumored, and clarifying the full range of specs — namely, that it weighs in at 0.82 pounds and runs a dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 SoC with twin 5.5-inch (1024 x 800) displays, dual 5MP and VGA cameras, an HSPA+ radio, a 3,080mAh battery, a full-sized SD card slot, 4GB of internal memory, a micro-USB socket and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Those displays use the same TruBlack technology found in Sony’s Bravia TVs, promising blacker blacks and whiter whites. What’s more, Sony is opening up about the software, a topic it pointedly ignored when we first handled the hardware, then codenamed the S2. For starters, by the time it ships, it’ll join the ranks of a growing number of tablets (most of them 7-inchers) running Android 3.2. And guess what? We recently sat down with the Tablet P a second time for a preview of how the outfit’s optimized Honeycomb for those dual displays. Here’s what to expect.
Sony’s hosting a press event in Tokyo today where it just made the first announcement: a pair of Android 3.0 tablets — yes, the very two Honeycomb slabs we told you about exclusively back in February. The first is the 9.4-inch S1 media tablet (aka, Qriocity focused) with a curved top much like a folded magazine and both front- and rear-facing cameras. The S1 features a Tegra 2 SoC and customized “Quick and Smooth” touch panel UI with “Swift” web browser. It can also be used as a remote control for Sony gear thanks to integrated infrared.
The second tablet is the dual-screen S2 clamshell with its pair of 5.5-inch 1,024 x 480 pixel displays, Tegra 2 SoC, and camera. While it sounds bulky, Kunimasa Suzuki just pulled the hinged tablet from his jacket pocket on stage. Sony takes advantage of the two screens with a custom book-style UI layout for its e-reader app, email (keyboard on one display with your messages on the other), and others. Both the S1 and S2 are PlayStation Certified, support DLNA, and are WiFi and 3G/4G “compatible” according to Sony. See the Sony tablets codenamed “S1″ and “S2″ in action after the break on their way to a global release in the fall — possibly sooner in the US.
The PlayStation Phone. We’ve had quite the intimate history with this gamepad-equipped slider, learning of its secretive existence way back in August and then handling a prototype unit in January, so you’ll forgive us for feeling sentimental and still entertaining our pet name for it. The Sony Ericsson marketing gurus renamed it the Xperia Play when it finally went official at MWC this year, but the PlayStation connection remains as strong as ever. Aside from the D-pad, iconic game keys, and two touchpads, this device comes with a little app named PlayStation Pocket, which will be serving up dollops of classic PlayStation One gaming to all those with a taste for it. Yes, the Sony influence is strong with this one, and the Android Market will be joining the fun with Xperia Play-optimized titles from third-party developers. So all we really need to know now is whether the Android smartphone underpinning this smash-bang fusion of old and new school entertainment happens to be any good. Shall we get Started?