Japanese consumer electronics giant Sony showcased several existing products as well as a number of upcoming gadgets at its once-a-year “Christmas in July” event held at a swanky venue in London last week. Among these were a wide range of Bravia LCD televisions, and also a pair of new tablet PCs that can purportedly interface with flat-panel TV sets made by the company.
Unfortunately both of Sony’s new tablets (presumably prototypes) were locked down in a glass case – and switched off no less – that prevented the press from having a play with them, so all we could do was marvel at their glossiness, and read the accompanying specification labels.
Although the Sony S1 and S2 will ship with Android Honeycomb operating system, their physical shapes diverge quite dramatically from the slate appearance of the Apple iPad and other competing tablets. Sporting a 9.4-inch display, the body of the S1 “folds over” at the top, which the manufacturer says makes the tablet heavier on one side, and therefore easier to hold.
Two versions of the S1 will be available: one with Wifi only; and a more expensive one with 3G connectivity included too. Either will have an infrared transmitter built-in, and so can double as a remote control to operate compatible home entertainment devices.
The Sony S2 boasts two 5.5-inch screens joined together by a hinge, which can been folded up like a clamshell for greater portability. At this time of writing, only one version featuring both wireless and 3G connectivity will be released onto the market.
Speaking to the company’s representatives at the event, we gathered that both the S1 and S2 are capable of “pushing” content onto Bravia TVs via DLNA. From what we’re told, flicking a video, image or music file upwards on the Sony tablets will playback the material on the HDTV to be enjoyed on a large screen.
Given the “heavy” security surrounding the tablets, it’s hardly surprising to find Sony officials keeping mum about exact launch date and pricing. The pair are expected to arrive some time in autumn though.