Mine arrived the 14th of September. Well packaged. The box includes a Quick Start Guide, A pictoral guide to the power switch, unlocking the screen, calling up the onscreen keyboard, signing in for the first time, and swiping between home pages. The AC adapter appears straight from one of Sony's laptops with a long AC cord, a power brick, and a long cord from the brick to the proprietary charge point on the bottom edge of the S. I'm not a fan of the dock connection used, as it is snaps in and is a challenge to get out. You also get a wrist lanyard, but there was no USB/syncing cable in the box. Lastly there was all the usual boilerplate of warnings, licenses, and disclaimers.
- Universal IR remote/transmitter
- Battery Type : Li-Ion 5000mAh
+ Battery Life when browsing web with Wi-Fi - 6.2 hours
+ Battery charge time - 5.0 hours.
- Camera : Front – 0.3 Megapixel Rear – 5.0 Megapixel
- Bluetooth version 2.1 +
- Wi-Fi : IEEE802.11b/g/n
- Full-size SD Card slot
- TruBlack 1280 x 800 9.4" screen.
- Internal, Monaural microphone
- Internal, Stereo speakers
- Dimensions: 9.5" x 6.87" x 0.82" (thick end), and 1.29375 lbs (by my scale, no SD card inserted).
- User manual available here: PDF Link
|SDHC & microUSB port|
A bit smaller than the 10.1 tablets out there, it looks like Sony didn't want to have to compete for 10.1 inch screens in case this tablet was a hit. Their 9.4" screen is still 16:10 wide screen rather than 4:3 like the iPad. It is better for movie playback and any other wide-screen media (like PlayStation games). I personally like the size. Lighter than the iPad2 and Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet I have, the weight plus the shape makes it almost delightful to hold. Sony also looks to have considered ergonomics in their design, and I'm very appreciative. None of the large tablets I've reviewed so far have been easy to hold up long enough to watch a movie or read a book. They tend to cramp the hand that holds them by the edge. It's not natural or comfortable. I've suggested adding a handle mount to the center back. Sony may have a better solution though, and it comes from a simple redistribution of weight. I have the thick end at about 55% of the weight and the thin end 45%. The wedge shape makes it obvious how to hold the S for best results as well. The back also has a texture and a friction coating to eliminate any slipperyness.
|AC Charger Connection Point|
Problems? Sony's Music and Video stores aren't ready at the time of this post. The screen won't rotate with the thick (heavier) end down. I've also had off and on WiFi connectability problems. The AC charger is a lump to deal with. No USB cable included. Crash Bandicoot keeps dying on me (OK, my fault not the S's), and yet I'm spending more time than usual enjoying this tablet.
Conclusions? At the same prices as the WiFi iPad gen2s, Sony's Tablet S is the best shot I've tested yet to directly steal some sales from Apple. It has a great screen, clever physical design, great media support, Built-in DLNA capability, and a great size/weight. Add PlayStation game playing as well. Easier to hang on to than any of my other tablets too. Battery life is a little short compared to most of the 10.1s and the iPad. It's a first generation tablet though, and probably compares better to the iPad-1. With that iPad selling for $399 or less, Sony has this tablet just a little too highly priced. I saved 10% on mine with a coupon code (now expired) and thought $450 was a fair price for it. Look for discounts. If you can save anything off the current MSRP then get one. I'm keeping mine.
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