Since their announcement, we’ve been keeping a hawk eye on the S1 and S2 tablets from Sony. Both running Android (3.1 Gingerbread most likely), the S1 is a 9.4-inch wedge-style tablet while the other takes a page out of the Kyocera playbook with dual 5.5-inch fold-out screens. Sony really deserves a round of applause for these two uniquely built slates. Just a glance at any of these freshly posted new photos from Notebook Italia will incite a double-take, based on those unprecedented form factors alone. Whether either of them will pan out to be a specs star is still unknown, but either way we’ll be glad to see something fresh hit the market.
Our spec guestimations on the tablets are already out in the world, but how do we feel about their shapes? As far as the S1 goes, to me it looks like a pretty hot slate. Its size puts it in the ring with the iPad, so hopefully Android and Sony’s Qriocity platform are ready to wage war against iOS. But other than that, I think people will be proud to carry around a tablet that has a different look from its competitors.
That fold-over casing definitely looks sharp, but something about the idea of holding/using it puts me off a bit. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, and I’m sure that when I get hands-on with the S1, I’ll find that its fold-over form factor is much sturdier than it looks. Plus, it probably keeps ports, jacks, volume rockers, etc. safe. But I guess Sony just did too convincing a job designing this thing, because to me it looks like that flap could just flip right off the tablet.
Now for the S2: My intuition tells me that Sony’s S2 will do much better than the Kyocera Echo smartphone, and other dual-screen devices that came before it. Simply put, multitasking is the heartbeat of a tablet, and if I can watch a movie on the top screen and respond to emails in the lower screen all at the same time, I’ll be a happy camper. Of course, there will be some who just can’t stand a little black bar in the middle of their screen, which is probably why Sony released both slates at the same time. If one won’t, “two will,” right?
I haven’t actually seen the S2 completely folded up and ready to go, but from the pictures, I would assume that this tablet will be easy to tote around, and safer than some case-less slate bouncing around your bag. I’m not sure how I feel about those rounded back panels. For some reason, it seems like it would be tough to hold, especially while playing one of my Playstation Suite games.
Again, we’ll get you our truest opinions as soon as we get to play around with these two tablets, but for now, the pictures will have to do. Enjoy!