Sony Announces S1 And Dual-Screen S2 Android Tablets

Sony has just announced a pair of Honeycomb tablets, but — wait, wait, these ones are actually different. Yes, Sony has set itself apart from the crowd of Android slates by focusing on unique form factor and its Qriocity media suite. They have their own names but are both underneath a new “Sony Tablet” brand, which is just about the least exciting “brand” I’ve ever encountered. The tablets themselves, however, look interesting.

The S1 is a slate-style tablet with a 9.4-inch screen. Its special power is a strange rolled shape and an “off-center of gravity design” intended to make holding it easier. The S2 is a dual screen device with two 5.5-inch screens. Didn’t see that coming.

Information on the S1’s specs is (perhaps wisely) omitted, except that it has a Tegra 2 insde — which should enable HD content playback. It’s got an IR port for AV controls, and of course works well with Sony’s Bravia line; DLNA support is there as well, naturally. It’s got access to the Playstation Suite games (there’s even a Playstation logo on the back), which might be fun to throw on your big screen (though PS1 games haven’t aged well). I’d guess the screen is 1280×800 and you’re looking at 512MB of RAM and 32GB inside, though.

Even less is known about the S2; it didn’t even get its own picture (update: pictures added!). The two 1,024 x 480 screens “can be used together as one large screen to browse websites and more. They can also be used for different functions as users can watch a video on one screen and input commands on the other, or check email on one screen and use the other as a soft keyboard.” Sounds all right on paper, but we’ll have to wait until a hands-on before we can say whether it’s a spiritual successor to the (potentially) beloved Courier, or just a gimmick. Unfortunately, two small screens probably aren’t cheaper than one big one.

Both are focused on Sony’s Qriocity platform, which integrates music, video, ebook, and other services. I’ve never been within spitting distance of it, personally, and chances are this is a totally new implementation anyway, so again, let’s wait until we get a hands-on.

Say what you will about Honeycomb tablets and Sony, at least these devices have a different look, feel, and focus. No pricing or availability information was mentioned, though, and Sony doesn’t have a record of offering low initial prices, so let’s not hold our breath just yet.