Sony Previews Two Tablets

Dan Berthiaume

Sony offered a sneak preview of two new tablet computers at a press conference in Tokyo, Japan. One tablet, code named 'S1,' is optimized for rich media entertainment while the other, code named 'S2,' is designed for mobile communication and entertainment.

Both tablets run on the Android 3.0 operating system, which features a new holographic user interface and is designed for devices with larger screen sizes. Also, both tablets are Wi-Fi- and WAN (3G/4G)- compatible. Along with basic tasks such as Web browsing and email, the devices are designed to provide access to digital content including videos, games and books through Sony's premium network services.

S1 has a 9.4-inch screen display, while S2 has two 5.5-inch displays that can be folded for portability. In addition, its dual-screen presentation allows its displays to be simultaneously used for different functions or combined and used as a large screen.

Sony is also touting a new remote control/access feature of S1 that allows the device to serve as a universal remote control for other A/V devices such as TVs via infrared technology. Furthermore, through DLNA functionality, users can 'throw' personal content to large-screen televisions or music to wireless speakers.

Since the initial release of the Apple iPad tablet in April 2010, tablet computers have become an increasingly important part of the mobile computing landscape. Apple has already released the new and improved iPad 2, and Sony is following a constantly growing list of competitors that includes Samsung, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard.

Sony expects to release both tablets for sale to the general public in the fall of 2011. Suggested retail price has not been announced.

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