Sony's Tablet S: The Multimedia Enthusiast's Best Bet
In our view, tablets continue to be a luxury, and the Tablet S is no exception to that rule. Sony, like Samsung, did not see fit to launch with a lower price. Both companies seem determined to match Apple's pricing. As such, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Tablet S are expensive relative to the other Android-based contenders.
|Tablet Pricing||8 GB||16 GB||32 GB||64 GB|
|Apple iPad 2 (Wi-Fi)||-||$499||$599||$699|
|Apple iPad 2 (AT&T 3G/Verizon 3G)||-||$629||$729||$829|
|Acer Iconia Tab A500 (Wi-Fi)||-||$399||$499||-|
|Asus Eee Pad Transformer (Wi-Fi)||-||$399||$469||-|
|Motorola Xoom (Wi-Fi)||-||-||$499||-|
|Motorola Xoom Family Edition (Wi-Fi)||-||$379||-||-|
|Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Wi-Fi)||-||$499||$599||-|
|Sony Tablet S||-||$499||$599||-|
|Toshiba Thrive (Wi-Fi)||$379||$399||$479||-|
We still think that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the closest thing to a clear iPad 2 competitor. Its design is clean and sexy, while its Super PLS display looks great.
As it jumps into the tablet market alongside several other prominent brands, Sony's approach differs. It's not trying to do everything that Apple or Samsung do well. Instead, it's delivering a more media-oriented approach, folding the Tablet S into an existing ecosystem of hardware where it can simply coexist and complement.
In that context, the Tablet S is an attractive device. You get the functionality of a universal remote in a tablet form factor, first off. That can be a $200 value right off the bat. And though the DLNA app isn't exclusive to Sony's tablet, it's guaranteed to work with any DLNA certified TV, Blu-ray player, stereo receiver, speaker set, and so on. A relevant combination of features makes Sony's tablet a cool living room companion.
It's not locked in there, either. Let's say there's someone who isn't interested in what's on TV. Even with the Tablet S operating as the room's control center, that person can still pick it up and surf the Web, too.
Although, at its widest, it's thicker than any other tablet, the Tablet S defies the idea that a daintier design is better. In fact, the product's dimensions especially make it comfortable to hold over longer intervals. If it weren't for the LCD display, we might even say that reading on the Tablet S works better than on a Kindle.
While much can be said about its ergonomics, the Tablet S doesn't fare as well outside of the connected home concept, making it less desirable for traveling. To begin, the form factor isn't as easy to drop into a laptop bag's side pocket. Also, the power adapter is a little less convenient to pack away.
Especially in a more mature market, each tablet is going to lose points in one category as it seeks to differentiate in another one. We're learning that the best tablet for one person won't fit the needs of another, and our hope of finding one tablet that does everything right is waning. To that end, Sony comes up short in some categories where other models excel. When it comes to the multimedia enthusiast, specifically, though, Sony unquestionably sells the best tablet you can buy.
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