While I was at the Cyberzone SM Megamall the other day, I noticed a good looking tablet that is being displayed in front of Sony’s concept store. I took a quick glance and saw that the tablet was actually the Sony Xperia Tablet S. I took the opportunity to play around with it and thought of sharing some of the things that I found out about this sleek slate.
The Sony Xperia Tablet S isn’t exactly new. As a matter of fact, it’s been released in the international market since September last year and it’s only recently (and without much fanfare) that the tablet made its way to the local shelves.
Design and Construction
The front of the tablet is devoid of any embellishments. In fact, the only note-worthy component in the front is the 1-megapixel camera which sits right above the 9.4-inch display. Flip it on its side and back though and you’ll notice that there’s a twist, better yet, a fold to this tablet.
This tablet bears the same wedged design as its predecessor (Sony Tablet S), which comprises of texturized black fold that runs from the top to a quarter of a way down of the Aluminum slate. But not only does the addition of the black fold make the tablet’s design unique, it also makes the tablet easier to hold when held vertically.
Along with the front-mounted snapper, the slate is also equipped with a 8MP shooter at the back. The power button and the volume rocker are found on the right side of the tablet while the 3.5mm audio jack and the SD card slot is situated on the other side. Note though that instead of Micro-SD card, the Xperia Tablet S storage expansion slot is for the bigger SD card (ones typically found on digital cameras).
In case you’re wondering where the USB port is at, it’s tucked under a plastic cover at the bottom of the tablet. Not sure how this removable cover will pan out, but we’re guessing that users (especially the clumsy ones) will eventually lose it one way or another. Another source of frustration is that the USB is proprietary, meaning users will have to hold to the cable that comes with tablet as if their life depends on it.
OS and Performance
Folks that are particular with a device’s OS may be a bit disappointed with the fact that the Xperia Tablet S only has Android ICS out of the box. Although an update is in the pipeline, Sony isn’t exactly the best in class when it comes to rolling out an OS update in a timely manner. But who knows, may be the tides have changed especially now that their paying extra attention to their mobile devices.
As far as the user experience is concerned though, the scroll-like slate provides a very decent performance. The slightly modified version of ICS runs smoothly on the table, something we’ve come to expect from a device with an NVidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and a Gigabyte of RAM. It’s not by any means groundbreaking in today’s standards, but such configuration can handle your basic tablet computing task without breaking a sweat.
I wasn’t able to perform our usual benchmark tests on the device; I guess you just have to watch out for that on our full review. However, I was able to play some games on it and I have to say that the tablet didn’t disappoint. Load time was quick and in-game performance was nothing short of impressive.
Sony Xperia Tablet S specs:
9.4-inch LCD @ 1280×800 pixels
NVidia Tegra 3 1.4GHz quad-core processor
16GB, 32GB, 64GB internal storage
up to 32GB via SD card
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
8MP rear camera
1MP front-facing camera
6000mAh Li-Ion battery
Android 4.0.3 ICS
The 16GB model of the Sony Xperia Tablet S currently retails for Php23,999 while the 32GB variant will cost five grand more. Sony has also released a 64GB version of this tablet but the rep that I talked to at the store is not sure if it will be available locally. Should you want to experience the tablet for yourself, demo units are available at Sony concept store at Cyberzone SM Megamall and SM MOA. If you happen to spot the tablet elsewhere, feel free to share it on the comments field.