Sony Xperia Tablet S review: The tablet Xperiance

GSMArena team, 5 October 2012.
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Introduction

You wouldn't call Sony's first foray in tablets a sweeping success. Last year the company released its first two droid slates and, while they were both eccentric enough to get everyone's attention, none of them was really fit to survive in a crowded and highly competitive market.

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Sony Xperia Tablet S official photos

It seems though that Sony are quick learners. The Xperia Tablet S has kept the catchy folded magazine design, and lost fat around the waist while enjoying a processing power boost, that should let it catch up with the competition.

Key features

  • 9.4" 16M-color PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen of WXGA resolution (1280 x 800 pixels); Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine and oleophobic coating
  • 1.3 GHz quad-core Cortex-A9 CPU, ULP GeForce GPU, 1GB RAM, Tegra 3 chipset
  • Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Quad-band GPRS/EDGE and quad-band 3G with HSPA connectivity (HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps)
  • 16/32/64 GB of built-in memory
  • 8 MP autofocus camera
  • 1MP front-facing camera; native video calls
  • 1080p HD video recording @ 30 fps with stereo audio
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Stereo Bluetooth v3.0
  • TV-out (adapter required), USB host (adapter required)
  • SD card slot
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Infrared port
  • GPS with A-GPS support; digital compass
  • 1080p MKV and SD XviD/Divx video support
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor; three-axis Gyroscope sensor
  • 6,000 mAh battery
  • Guest Mode for multi-user access
  • Splash proof

Main disadvantages

  • Below-par screen resolution
  • Proprietary connector for charging and connectivity
  • Poor outdoor visibility
  • Peculiar design favors portrait hold, top-heavy in landscape
  • Splash resistance issues

There's no 1080p screen or Jelly Bean here, but Tegra 3, a BRAVIA-powered WXGA and Ice Cream sandwich still give the Sony Xperia Tablet S good fighting chances in its price range. The metal design should help get the attention of those tired of plastic devices, and there are some nice home-baked software tweaks such as guest mode and remote app.

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The Sony Xperia Tablet S studio shots

The splash-resistance of the Xperia Tablet S is a nice touch as well, although given the most recent turn of events it probably won't be as much of a selling point. Still, Sony has produced a well-equipped tablet that should offer snappy performance, the unmatched versatility of Android and cool looks. Now who wouldn't want some of that?

We still need to take a closer look and see how the cool sounding specs translate into real-life performance. As usual we'll start with the hardware right after the break.

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