Hands On With The Sony S1 And S2

It’s official folks! That foldable dual-screen S2 tablet from Sony that we’ve been absolutely desperate to get our hands on is headed to AT&T. Of course, pricing and availability were missing from the press release, although Sony did promise that we would see the Android 3.0 Honeycomb-powered S2 “later this year.” We also got to go hands-on with both the S1 and S2, which was basically the most exciting part of my week.

We’ve never had a chance to see the S2 completely folded up, and its portability is something we’ve been wondering about. To give you some perspective, the S2 entered the stage from the breast pocket of an executive’s sport coat and was much smaller than I expected it to be. It would fit easily in a pocket, both pants and jacket, as well as a purse.

Unfortunately, Sony was super stingy about specs, but we did hear that this tablet will have both WiFi connectivity and 4G support from AT&T. However, there are a couple tidbits of new information that may be of interest. For one, Sony has implemented some new technologies on both the S1 (folding-design 10-incher) and S2 tablets. “Quick View” is a user-managed setting that helps load websites faster than your average tablet by loading pictures first, and java script afterwards. In a demo, an S1 with Quick View turned on loaded pages three to five seconds faster than an S1 with Quick View turned off. The other technology is called “Quick-Touch Panel” and is a special software that increases the perceptiveness of the touchscreen for both scrolling and multi-touch gestures.

The S2 will have access to Sony’s Qriocity media platform, with an e-reader app pre-loaded as well. We also learned that the S2 will be pre-loaded with Crackle, Pinball Hero and Crash Bandicoot. Both the S1 and S2 are Playstation-certified devices, so users will have access to genuine PS1 and PSP titles, with more information on what exactly will be available coming in August. All the core apps, as well as the pre-loaded apps, have been optimized for the S2’s 5.5-inch dual screens.

Owners of the Sony S2 will have the option to choose pre-paid and post-paid rate plans, rather than a contractual agreement with good ol’ big blue. Check out our hands on pictures with the S1 and S2 in the gallery below.