We were impressed with the Sony Tablet S when it was released for too long ago, which was remarked as Sony’s first step into the Android Honeycomb realm. Following in suit, the Sony Tablet P sports nearly the same hardware specs, but there’s something visually different about it.
Donning a foldable design, stuffed with two 5.5-inch displays, it’s obviously going to stand out amongst the crop for being, you know, different. Well, its fresh appearance is seemingly eye-catching, but let’s find out if it’s practical for a tablet.
Software version of the reviewed unit:
- Android Version: 3.2.1
- Build Number: THNAAS0015400
- Kernel Version: 126.96.36.199
Simply, we have to say that the Sony Tablet P is a quirky little one – that’s because our curiosities are stirred upon gazing it for the first time. Thinking about it more, to us, it seems as though Sony has reinvented the clutch bag because when it’s closed, it really looks like some kind of modern one.
Thankfully, the Sony Tablet P is easily tucked away in a bag due to its smaller footprint when it’s closed, thus, making it extremely travel friendly.
For those wondering about its cameras, there is a VGA front-facing one placed in the top right corner when it’s fully opened, while the other 5-megapixel auto-focus camera is placed oppositely in the outer casing.
Sony Tablet P also comes to the table bearing two displays sizing up at 5.5-inches a piece. Considering that each 5.5” TruBlack LCD panel boasts a resolution of 1024 x 480, it’s detailed enough to make out fine text without much fluff.
Along with that, it’s true to its name because the color black is prominently, you know, really dark in tone. Furthermore, its cooler production enables colors to jump out at us – though, its viewing angles are questionable since distortion is evident at moderate angles.
Unfortunately, the biggest distraction we see is the over 1/4" bezel separating the two screens, but even worse are the 1-inch sized bezels surrounding both sides of its displays. Essentially, they make it very difficult to type messages seeing we have to extend our fingers even further to press something.
The dual-screen form factor is effective in garnering attention, but it simply doesn’t work out because we have more frustration just trying to handle it.
Sony Tablet S running Android 3.2.1 Honeycomb out of the box, so we’re naturally presented with the usual rich personalization experience. Beyond that, Sony is kind enough to sprinkle some of its own enhancements throughout various sections of the platform.
For starters, the app panel sports a heavenly white background, while the alternate “favorites” interface is laced with plenty of eye candy visuals to capture the glint in our eyes. Overall, it doesn’t come off as being campy like some if its rivals, but rather, it has this futuristic appeal to it.
At first, we’re taken back by the whole look of the platform, because of its boxy layout as opposed to the more traditional widescreen format. Nevertheless, we’re able to adapt quickly and soon find ourselves moving in and out of things with ease. Seeing that it’s sporting two separate displays, most of its core apps have been optimized to take advantage of it.
When it comes to typing messages, the Sony Tablet P utilizes a practical layout with its on-screen keyboard. As expected, the on-screen keyboard it takes up the entire bottom display, however, there’s one major problem. Remember those large bezels surrounding its displays? Well, they prove to be frustrating since our fingers really need to stretch out more than normal to hit something – so yeah, it’s uncomfortable at times. Thankfully, it’s responsive enough to keep up with our rate.
Strangely, there’s no love given to the Gmail app, since it doesn’t offer the same two-panel layout of its Honeycomb brethren, but instead, its layout is more akin to Android smartphones.
Gamers will undoubtedly take a liking to the Sony Tablet P’s PlayStation certification, which enables it to run some of the older PS One titles. Preloaded with Crash Bandicoot, just like other PlayStation Certified devices we’ve seen already, it’s one thing to be happy about its gaming centric aspect, but it’s another to actually enjoy playing them. Again, those annoying bezels make it extremely cumbersome controlling our character with the on-scree controls.
1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, coupled with 1GB of RAM, enables Sony Tablet P to handle most basic tasks with minimal effort. Sadly though, it exhibits the same choppy and jerky operations that have been persistent with tablets running Honeycomb.
Storage wise, the tablet packs along 1.84GB of internal storage out of the box, which is further supplemented by its included 2GB microSD card.
Internet and Connectivity:
Sony Tablet P is nothing more than an HSPA+ enabled device. It’s still admirable as it’s capable of loading complex web sites like ours in under 30 seconds.
Additionally, the Sony Tablet P boasts all the usual connectivity items we normally expect to find – such as aGPS, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Indeed an unfortunate thing, it lacks mobile hotspot functionality.
No arguing it’s becoming a theme throughout the Sony Tablet P, the camera interface is broken down to one part being a gallery, while the other is simply the viewfinder. The bottom screen is reserved for the simplistic looking viewfinder interface. Although it’s not deep with its selection, some will find the available camera options to be useful for fine-tuning shots for the correct situation.
Sadly, there’s no physical video-out function with this one, just like the Sony Tablet S. However, Sony’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services are available to give us a decent dose of multimedia fun. And as an alternative, the tablet offers DLNA functionality to share our multimedia content with other devices wirelessly.
Seriously, it boggles our mind to even know that this dual-screen wielding tablet is powered by a 3,080 mAh battery, we’re able to get to the 10 hour mark on normal usage before it’s completely tapped out.
we have to give credit to Sony for producing something that’s uniquely different – especially for a tablet. On paper, two displays sounds mightily tantalizing, but when it actually boils down to execution, it miserably fails because of the supremely annoying bezels that detract our attention from other things.
Throw in that its hardware is seemingly dated now that we’re seeing more quad-core devices, it doesn’t get any better for this clutch bag like tablet. To make matters worse, its pricing is set to $400 with a 2-year contract or $550 outright, which still seems a tad bit steep for what it’s worth. Besides its cooling looking design, there’s nothing extraordinarily impressive about this one, and simply, it ends up being nothing short of forgettable.
- Cool looking design
- PlayStation Certified
- Good build quality
- Large bezels surrounding its displays
- Choppy performance
- Shoots terrible photos & videos
- Horrendous battery life
- Honeycomb not ICS or or Gingerbread.
I love the design but tablets have been out for some time & to have performance issues is clearly not tolerable.
The 2 major things all tablets must excel in are performance of its OS & battery life. If Sony could have had these 2 things right the score would have been maybe an, 8 to a 9.
The idea was great idea, the design is sharp but the execution was VERY poor. What is the point of having a mobile device with poor battery? What good is it? Sony should know best about portable battery life because they have the PSP & PS Vita. Also they make great cameras with their Cybershot line so why not implement even their basic tech to their tablets/smartphones because then their cameras would be average at best if not above average.
I feel like the premium look of this tablet was wasted with its poor implementation of the OS & the inexcusable battery life!
If something is made to looks premium, then it should also work & perform like it’s premium. What's the use of the two screen? And it's separated by a huge bezel! That's disgusting!!