Not cheap, but very, very shiny.
I get a lot of press releases across my desk on your average Monday morning. Usually they get skimmed over and then deleted without me going to the effort of publishing a news piece on it. It’s not that I don’t want to publish news articles, it’s just that I have a hard time actually coming up with something to say. Most products are just evolutions of the things that came before them. On the face of it, so is the Xperia™ Tablet S, after all, it’s just another Android tablet PC, with typical Android tablet specs.
It’s got an Nvidia Tegra processor. It comes with 1GB of RAM. It runs Android 4.0. It comes with either 16, 32 or 64GB of memory. All of these are pretty standard features, and it does pretty much the same as other Android tablets as well. It allows you to play back media, or stream it to a Smart TV or PC. It allows you to play games downloaded from the Android app store. It has twin cameras for video calling. But the one thing that caught my eye, somewhat bizarrely, is that this tablet has different user profiles for different people. I can’t recall ever seeing this on another tablet (I stand to be corrected in the comments, below). And to me it seems like an excellent feature. True, it might tie up your storage space a bit quickly if each user is storing lots of videos or music on the device, but it also allows for separation between each user’s experience. It’s a stroke of genius, I think. Not least because it will save parents the world over the cost of buying tablets for their kids – instead they can just use mummy and daddy’s. Certain apps on the Xperia™ Tablet S can also be run in a smaller dedicated window while you get on with other things. This includes the built in calculator and voice memo apps, perfect for when you quickly need to crank out some sums while working on a spreadsheet.
One last feature that caught my eye, is that the Xperia™ Tablet S can act as a universal remote control, so you could use it to replace the four or five remotes that you have floating around the living room at any one time. It even comes with a macro feature allowing you to program up several key presses to happen right after another, so with a push of a button you can have your TV on, your surround sound switched to extra loud, and play pressed on your Blu-Ray player.
There’s only one problem so far as I can see it; the price. Sony wants £329 for the 16GB WiFi only model, shooting up to £449 for the 64GB WiFi model. Strangely, they’re only offering a 16GB 3G version, so those with greater storage needs will have to find some other data service. Still, it works out cheaper than an iPad and arguably has more tech in it, so it could be the tablet for you.