Xperia Tablet S Can Be Paired with a Cover Similar to That of the Surface Tablet

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-08-30 Print this article Print

Sony's new Xperia Tablet S features a 9.4-inch touch display with a resolution of 1280 by 800, runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), is splash-proof and can be used with wet fingers. Sony expects users to be pulling up recipes and cooking with it in arm's reach.

As the rumors suggested, the Xperia Tablet S can be paired (for an extra $100) with a very Microsoft Surface–like cover that doubles as a keyboard.

The Tablet S is now available for preorder and will go on sale Sept. 7 in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB options. It runs a Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor, has WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, front and back cameras (a VGA and a 5MP), and Secure Digital (SD), headphone, USB and stereo-jack slots.

While these hardware details would at one time have been the place to dwell, it's now software that's becoming the greater tablet differentiator. Sony's press statement focuses on the tablets' uses, particularly on the sofa, where research suggests 88 percent of tablet owners use their devices most often.

Like Samsung with the Galaxy Note 10.1, Sony has enabled the Tablet S to function as a universal remote, able to control televisions, Blu-ray Disc players and audio systems, whether Sony-made or not. A Watch Now app offers a visual program guide, picks up on trends from the user's social-media feeds and can make "intelligent recommendations" about programs the user might like to watch.

At launch, the app will be available in the Google Play store.

Another software perk is Guest Mode-a way for users to personalize the tablet for different members of the family. Sony says parents asked for a way to control the content their kids can access, and Guest Mode delivers this.

Still other software perks include Sony Entertainment Network Services, through which users can purchase or rent movies or TV shows and download songs, and a cloud-based PlayMemories Online service, where users can store photos and video.

The Xperia Tablet S will be available in seven color options and be compatible with a number of accessories, including a docking stand, simple stand, carrying cover and dock speaker. The 16GB version will be priced at $399, the 32GB at $499 and the 64GB at $599.

Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.

Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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