HomeNewsFirst look: Sony Tablet P

First look: Sony Tablet P

The much anticipated foldable tablet is impressive, but the price tag surely causes jitters.

We have been hearing about Sony’s entry into the Android tablet domain for quite some time and the Sony tablets have finally docked on the shore of the Indian sub-continent. Although these new tablets fail to bring the wow factor because of their ultra-delayed launch, they still succeed in making a completely different style statement, for which Sony is well known. Sony has announced the launch of the Sony S tablet in India along with the amazing new concept of the folding Sony P tablet. Both tablets have been officially announced for the Indian markets, but availability of the 3G variant of Sony S and Sony P tablets will start only from mid-January. We had the opportunity to lay our hands on the Sony P tablet, which features a unique folding clamshell design, and it looks highly impressive.

The Sony P tablet folds into a smartphone sized box that makes it very easy to carry around. Sony P tablet has a silver and black body which gives it a very neat look. On the outsides the device has a metallic silver finish that protects it from smudges and fingerprints as well. The inside of the tablet has a piano black finish, which looks superb but is a fingerprint magnet and in our kind of climate it’s very difficult to keep clean.

The device opens up into a mini tablet with a 5.5 inch display but divided in two parts. The device, when it is open, is slightly shorter than a normal 7 inch tablet but the bigger screen bands surrounding the screen provide ample space for thumbs to hold the tablet, thereby aiding usability as well.

The open device is slim but in a folded position the Sony tablet P feels like a geometry case. Nonetheless, the weight of the device has been kept at a mere 372 grams, which is surely a delight to hold even for longer hours or while travelling.

It is one of the most anticipated launches of this year, but Sony has delayed the launch too long. We would have expected Sony to announce the inclusion of ICS 4.0, along with the device launch but no such plans have been shared by Sony so far.

The operating system used in the Sony tablet P is a customised version of Google Android Honeycomb 3.2, which means there are no calling, SMS and MMS capabilities in this device. Considering the reduced size one would expect it to be a full-fledged communications device, but sadly it does not support many essential features. The performance of the device is good and the 5.5 inch display is quite responsive for tasks, and impresses on all fronts except the big black bezel, which definitely creates a visual deterrent while using the tablet.

The tablet is great for browsing and reading text but while gaming or playing video it pushes the video to one screen while putting controls on the other screen so you basically lose out on one screen. It is not an appropriate solution for most games as full screen games run on both screens and you end up cursing the black space in between.

The device has a 3.5 mm audio port and is DLNA enabled for playing content saved in the tablet on a TV screen. Sound output from the stereo speakers is good but you will definitely be using earplugs more often.

Overall, the device is great but the split screen is both a boon and a curse for Sony P. For this device the market response is expected to be divided into two main categories of people, one who love it and other who don’t and there is nothing in between. The price of the device, which is Rs 36,990, will not be liked by many users especially considering that the bigger Tablet S costs approximately Rs 30,000-34,000.

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