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Camera Quality: Shooting Indoors And Outdoors

Sony Tablet S Review: The Media Enthusiast's Dream Tablet
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Camera Quality: Rear-Facing, No Zoom

The rear-facing camera on the Tablet S is probably closest to Asus' Transformer in terms of quality. Both lack a flash, so you need good lighting to achieve nice-looking pictures. Be careful of strong light sources; lens flare can be a major problem.

Camera Quality: Rear-Facing, Max Zoom

The Tablet S yields zoomed-in shots similar in quality  to other tablets equipped with 5.0 MP cameras.

Camera Quality: Rear-Facing, Macro

Macro shots turn out surprisingly well.

Camera Quality: Front-Facing

Poor LightingPoor LightingGood LightingGood Lighting

The Tablet S' real weakness is its low resolution (640x480) 0.3 MP front-facing camera. Nearly other every competing Android-based tablet offers better image quality. Overall the front-facing camera has a hard time compensating for low light. If you plan to use a VoIP app like Skype, make sure you're in a well-lit room first.

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  • 2 Hide
    tanjo , November 22, 2011 6:46 AM
    Can't they think of a better name? S? What's next Sony Tablet S II?
  • 3 Hide
    acku , November 22, 2011 7:11 AM
    tanjoCan't they think of a better name? S? What's next Sony Tablet S II?


    Yeah, admittedly the name isn't catchy or memorable.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
  • 8 Hide
    lashabane , November 22, 2011 7:39 AM
    At least they didn't name it the "i".
  • 4 Hide
    belardo , November 22, 2011 8:50 AM
    Great review... The Sony Tablet S is a nice looking device. I agree on the thinness issues that some companies do... my older Sony phone is still easier to hold than my new Samsung Galaxy which is half as thin.

    I think SONY should have included an HDMI port, but wireless works too. HDMI has a limited life anyway as the video industry is moving to CAT6 instead. Its cheaper and can be far LONGER cable than HDMI.

    There are both good and bad things about the SONY, its problems are rooted in Android in general and reminds me WHY I'm glad we went with an iPad(1), even compared to todays modern designs.

    - Connectivity. The USB is for debug mode? How easy it is to share your data between a desktop and the tablet? My Samsung Android experience in this area is just as crappy today as it was a year ago. I doubt I'll ever buy another Samsung phone ever again, much less another Android. I'm looking to MS's WP8 next year.

    - Performance: All these new tablets (I'm eying the Lenovo ThinkPad tablet - why they didn't name it ThinkTab? or Simply ThinkPad) have the same low Nvidia Tegra2 performance compared to the OLD iPad2. Same shorter battery life. Why would a typical person pay $500 when the iPad2 does it faster?

    - Love the shape and remote control aspect of the SONY. Looks comfortable. When I went to Android (from a basic phone) I had a choice between the Samsung Galaxy and Sony's Android. Sony still had some quality issues to work out. Samsung had the better OMLED display and a cover for the USB port - rather than a stupid rubber cover to fight. Sony had a much nicer weight and feel. But considering that both phones hit the market at the same time - SONY using Android 1.6 vs. Samsung's 2.1 made me nervous about SONY's ability to upgrade. And then I experience Samsung & at&t failure for a proper Froyo update. Ice Cream has lots of improvements... but still buggy.

    Its crap like that, that make me NOT want to buy another Android device. iOS 5 is a very nice update, it was far less painful than getting Froyo onto my Phone! (I had to use an old XP computer to do it) - but Apple pisses me off with their anti-competitive legal games they play against Android. And I have my issues with Microsoft.

    Okay, they are ALL EVIL! So I'll go with the easiest and best thing at the time of my purchase.

    With Amazon & RIM selling tablets at $200 now, the game will be different next spring when the iPad 3 comes out as well as Windows Mobile 8. Hopefully MS will just call mobile devices "Metro 8".
  • 3 Hide
    jemm , November 22, 2011 9:41 AM
    Great article!
  • -1 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , November 22, 2011 12:17 PM
    I had one for a week and took it back. It's a nice device, but not worth $500 IMO. It is very plasticky (albeit lightweight), and it feel like the screen would crack with no more than a slight twist of the device.

    The IR blaster was the one feature that made me consider keeping it. It works VERY well.

    The Transformer Prime is going to be the same price and is better in every way, other than not having an IR blaster. Who would buy this instead? You'd either REALLY have to want that IR blaster or be a Sony fanboy.
  • 2 Hide
    bunz_of_steel , November 22, 2011 1:50 PM
    Good review Andrew Ku and great comparisons! Has IR port instead of RF... I don't know of anyone that wants an IR port vs RF. A little more expensive but who wants to be aiming this thing to change channels. Also don't like the fact that this doesn't have a full size USB or an HDMI port. ??? Think I'm going to hold off buying any tablet until they have what I need. HDMI out, USB 3, wired port always nice. And like Andrew said why pay $500 when ipad2 is faster.
  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , November 22, 2011 2:00 PM
    Hard to see too many positives in this device, even with the overly optimistic review given here at Toms.

    Bad ergonomics
    Cheap plastic build
    Expensive
    Terrible battery life
    Sony bloat on it

    I played with one in store and found it to feel and look like a cheap toy compared to some of the other Android tablets.
  • -1 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , November 22, 2011 2:12 PM
    cknobmanBad ergonomics
    Actually I thought the ergonomics were quite good. Hold like a book in portrait mode and for landscape mode you can "hang" it by one finger in each of the "loop" areas at the top.
  • 2 Hide
    andywork78 , November 22, 2011 2:39 PM
    Great review this is why i choose galaxy tab 10.1
    good price good options.
    However on your graph cart.
    Higher is better or lower is better?
  • 1 Hide
    acku , November 22, 2011 3:01 PM
    andywork78Great review this is why i choose galaxy tab 10.1good price good options.However on your graph cart.Higher is better or lower is better?


    Hi Andy,

    Which chart?

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
  • 1 Hide
    tsnorquist , November 22, 2011 5:27 PM
    If only the Transformer Prime had an IR Blaster....

    I don't understand why more vendors don't include that. Having a universal remote seems like a no brainer to me.

    If only we could get a Tegra 3 with an IR Blaster, a Wacom/Pressure Stylus Pen, micro usb/hdmi and an SDCard slot - that would be an artists go to tool.
  • 2 Hide
    acku , November 22, 2011 5:37 PM
    tsnorquistIf only the Transformer Prime had an IR Blaster.... I don't understand why more vendors don't include that. Having a universal remote seems like a no brainer to me.If only we could get a Tegra 3 with an IR Blaster, a Wacom/Pressure Stylus Pen, micro usb/hdmi and an SDCard slot - that would be an artists go to tool.


    I'll second that sentiment. All these features cost more money to implement, so it simply might not be cost effective. We'll have to see how things turn out with Transformer Prime.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
  • 0 Hide
    rooket , November 22, 2011 6:35 PM
    If I win this, this will be a perfect gift for my dad. He needs a tablet but can't spend the extra money right now.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 23, 2011 2:34 AM
    would love to win this
  • 1 Hide
    Marcus52 , November 23, 2011 2:52 AM
    I have to laugh when people talk about a particular tablet having bad ergonomics. Is there one that has good ergonomics? Really?

    ;) 




  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 23, 2011 3:24 PM
    Happy to beable to read the review Im still in the stone age of having a house phone with cord and a big bulky computer so its time to get in with the times. *smirk* Thanks for all the great info on not only this but of others out there.
  • 0 Hide
    tj_the_first , November 23, 2011 9:51 PM
    * Is it able to control a PS3? I could replace my logitech i1000 with this so I can control everything.
    * For a device this thick it's really odd that there's no SD/microSD, HDMI, USB-A. It suggests to me that design and aesthetics were completely seperate until the end.
    * I don't understand their choice of bright white background for a media control when there's a good chance you'll be using it in darkened rooms.
  • 0 Hide
    acku , November 24, 2011 5:09 AM
    TJ_the_First* Is it able to control a PS3? I could replace my logitech i1000 with this so I can control everything.* For a device this thick it's really odd that there's no SD/microSD, HDMI, USB-A. It suggests to me that design and aesthetics were completely seperate until the end. * I don't understand their choice of bright white background for a media control when there's a good chance you'll be using it in darkened rooms.


    What do you mean by "control a PS3"? Do you mean replace the PS3 remote? Or are you talking about using it like a dualshock controller?

    I'd say yes to the first question and no to the second.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
  • 0 Hide
    nikorr , November 24, 2011 7:36 AM
    The name suck + no Full-Sized USB Port ??? Why not?
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