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Sony Tablet P Review

Posted: , by John V.

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Interface:

Well, if you’ve checked out the Sony Tablet S, the interface found with the Tablet P will be extremely familiar – that’s because it’s the same exact one. Specifically, it’s running Android 3.2.1 Honeycomb out of the box, so we’re naturally presented with the usual rich personalization experience. Beyond that, Sony is kind enough to sprinkle some of its own enhancements throughout various sections of the platform. For starters, the app panel sports a heavenly white background, while the alternate “favorites” interface is laced with plenty of eye candy visuals to capture the glint in our eyes. Overall, it doesn’t come off as being campy like some if its rivals, but rather, it has this futuristic appeal to it.

At first, we’re taken back by the whole look of the platform, because of its boxy layout as opposed to the more traditional widescreen format. Nevertheless, we’re able to adapt quickly and soon find ourselves moving in and out of things with ease. Seeing that it’s sporting two separate displays, most of its core apps have been optimized to take advantage of it. More on that in the next section.

Interface of the Sony Tablet P - Sony Tablet P Review
Interface of the Sony Tablet P - Sony Tablet P Review
Interface of the Sony Tablet P - Sony Tablet P Review
Interface of the Sony Tablet P - Sony Tablet P Review

Interface of the Sony Tablet P



Functionality:

Diving deeper, most its core set of organizer apps have been retooled to make use of the two displays, but honestly, they don’t really take advantage of it. In fact, there is simply too much dead space found with most of them. For example, it’s most evident with the alarm and calculator, with their separated functions, but with the calendar, it’s unfortunate to not find any enhancements to it whatsoever. Surprisingly, it remains intact and essentially appears to be super-sized. As for the contacts app, it does an okay job since our contact listing is placed in the top screen, while the bottom one displays the pertinent contact information.

Organizer apps - Sony Tablet P Review
Organizer apps - Sony Tablet P Review
Organizer apps - Sony Tablet P Review
The contacts app - Organizer apps - Sony Tablet P Review
   

The contacts app

Organizer apps


When it comes to typing messages, the Sony Tablet P utilizes a practical layout with its on-screen keyboard. As expected, the on-screen keyboard it takes up the entire bottom display, however, there’s one major problem. Remember those large bezels surrounding its displays? Well, they prove to be frustrating since our fingers really need to stretch out more than normal to hit something – so yeah, it’s uncomfortable at times. Thankfully, it’s responsive enough to keep up with our rate.

Virtual keyboard - Sony Tablet P Review

Virtual keyboard


Strangely, there’s no love given to the Gmail app, since it doesn’t offer the same two-panel layout of its Honeycomb brethren, but instead, its layout is more akin to Android smartphones. Certainly, it puzzles why that’s the case, but luckily, there’s the standard email app that’s optimized for the two displays. Much more practical with its layout, one screen allows us to scroll through our inbox, while the other displays the contents of the selected email.

Email - Sony Tablet P Review
Email - Sony Tablet P Review

Email


Gamers will undoubtedly take a liking to the Sony Tablet P’s PlayStation certification, which enables it to run some of the older PS One titles. Preloaded with Crash Bandicoot, just like other PlayStation Certified devices we’ve seen already, it’s one thing to be happy about its gaming centric aspect, but it’s another to actually enjoy playing them.  Again, those annoying bezels make it extremely cumbersome controlling our character with the on-scree controls.

The Sony Tablet P is PlayStation certified - Sony Tablet P Review
The Sony Tablet P is PlayStation certified - Sony Tablet P Review

The Sony Tablet P is PlayStation certified



Processor and Memory:

In today’s market, dual-cores no longer reign supreme, but that’s what we get with the Sony Tablet P. No longer regarded as a pencil pusher, the 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, coupled with 1GB of RAM, enables it to handle most basic tasks with minimal effort. Sadly though, it exhibits the same choppy and jerky operations that have been persistent with tablets running Honeycomb. Undoubtedly, it’s a distracting thing to experience, but it doesn’t debilitate the experience. Rather, it softens its overall processing power.

Storage wise, the tablet packs along 1.84GB of internal storage out of the box, which is further supplemented by its included 2GB microSD card.


Internet and Connectivity:

Needless to say, we were surprised to find out that the Sony Tablet P is nothing more than an HSPA+ enabled device – as opposed to being LTE. Nonetheless, it’s still admirable as it’s capable of loading complex web sites like ours in under 30 seconds. As with most things, the bezel separating the two screens prove again to be a distraction, but at least the web browsing experience is tolerable with its smooth navigational controls. Even better, its performance doesn’t lessen in the wake of Flash content.

Internet browser - Sony Tablet P Review
Internet browser - Sony Tablet P Review
Internet browser - Sony Tablet P Review
Internet browser - Sony Tablet P Review

Internet browser


After getting over the fact that it doesn’t offer 4G LTE connectivity with AT&T, we’re actually comforted by the acceptable speeds it’s able to put out with HSPA+. Additionally, the Sony Tablet P boasts all the usual connectivity items we normally expect to find – such as aGPS, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Indeed an unfortunate thing, it lacks mobile hotspot functionality.

17 Comments
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posted on 21 Mar 2012, 08:02 8

1. kshell1 (Posts: 1143; Member since: 05 Oct 2011)


for the love of God phone arena its a tablet stop putting down the cameras!!!! NOBODY in their right mind will casually see something and be like oh s**t i have to take a pic of that with my tablet!!!!!! and on the choppy performance, its honeycomb not ics or gingerbread what do you expect?

posted on 21 Mar 2012, 08:47 3

3. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3981; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


I agree with you, I really do BUT my problem with this tablet is the performance. I love the design but tablets have been out for some time & to have performance issues is clearly not tolerable.

If I was a Sony exec I would not release anything that doesn't perform correctly. I know it's a tablet so I will excuse the camera, but the choppiness & battery life I can’t excuse. The 2 major things all tablets must excel in are performance of its OS & battery life. If Sony could have had these 2 things right the score would have been maybe an, 8 to a 9. What is the point of having a mobile device with poor battery? What good is it? Sony should know best about portable battery life because they have the PSP & PS Vita. Also they make great cameras with their Cybershot line so why not implement even their basic tech to their tablets/smartphones because then their cameras would be average at best if not above average.

I just feel like they dropped the ball on this tablet. The idea was great idea, the design is sharp but the execution was VERY poor. I just don’t know how or why Sony would release anything that is not on par with an Asus Eee Pad Transformer. Even the original Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 with its 1GHz Humming bird processor delivered better in performance & battery life. I feel like the premium look of this tablet was wasted with its poor implementation of the OS & the inexcusable battery life!

If something is made to looks premium, then it should also work & perform like it’s premium right? That’s where Sony failed!

posted on 21 Mar 2012, 08:13 2

2. buggerrer (Posts: 286; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)


Tablet Pee!

posted on 21 Mar 2012, 10:46 4

4. sorcio46 (Posts: 395; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)


Tell me iPhonearena, why?
"we’re able to get to the 10 hour mark on normal usage before it’s completely tapped out" is an "Horrendous battery life" ?

posted on 24 Mar 2012, 23:18 1

7. xtremesv (Posts: 208; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


I'd like to know the answer to that also. So the "magical" iPad has "horrendous" battery life, uh?

posted on 21 Mar 2012, 14:58

5. -RVM- (Posts: 329; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Actually i liked this tablet. Both design and the idea.

posted on 23 Mar 2012, 12:54 2

6. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3009; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


I don't like it!! It looks nice but it's not all about how it looks is it??
What's the use of the two screen??? And it's separated by a huge beezel!!! That's disgusting!!

posted on 25 Mar 2012, 12:01

8. yourfather (Posts: 5; Member since: 24 Dec 2011)


It seems like a fine concept, it's just that there could be less bezel, and from what the pros/cons say, it has terrible battery life, well that could be improved upon. I think, though, that maybe in a year or so, after the bugs are worked out of it, I might just want to buy this. :)

posted on 25 Mar 2012, 12:02

9. yourfather (Posts: 5; Member since: 24 Dec 2011)


It seems like a fine concept, it's just that there could be less bezel, and from what the pros/cons say, it has terrible battery life, well that could be improved upon. I think, though, that maybe in a year or so, after the bugs are worked out of it, I might just want to buy this. :)

posted on 27 Mar 2012, 08:08

10. c.hack (Posts: 505; Member since: 09 Dec 2009)


Another junk droidblet. $199 on Woot in a month

posted on 27 Mar 2012, 15:26

11. downphoenix (Posts: 2302; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


Im shocked at the price. I just didnt see this being more than $350, maybe $400 no contract. This will drop in price quick.

posted on 28 Mar 2012, 08:58

12. thinking (Posts: 130; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)


It's a tablet, so I'm sure you'll have problems if you try to type assuming it's a phone.

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 05:54

13. DawsonLee (Posts: 26; Member since: 03 Apr 2012)


You know, it's a piece of masterpiece by Sony, might just buy it for the "Wow" factor, provided the price is right~

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 08:39

14. yourfather (Posts: 5; Member since: 24 Dec 2011)


Yeah, I would probably be purchasing one of these in the future, after all of the bugs are worked out of it. For now, I'll let the early adopters buy it, and let some time pass. But it does seem like a good product, however, there are a few design flaws that could be worked out. :)

posted on 29 May 2012, 16:00

15. elf.elf.baby (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 May 2012)


I would really like to know if the Tablet P changes orientation from dual landscape to dual portrait. Anybody know? My main use of this would be to have email open on the upper screen, or leftside screen, go thru a bunch, one by one, still on upper, click a link in each, and see the result in a browser in the lower screen, or rightside screen. Anybody tried this?
I have this feeling that email is going to hog both screens...

Thank you.

posted on 30 May 2012, 08:11

16. umarlone (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 May 2012)


very very nice and a pleasant thing.

posted on 30 Jun 2012, 19:04

17. fenwar (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)


I've had one of these for a couple of weeks now and despite its many flaws, I love it.

Don't underestimate how much of a killer feature that hinge is. it allows a multitude of comfortable viewing/holding angles and when sat on a table top it is effectively a tiny netbook. Depending on the size of your fingers you may not quite be able to touch type but Hacker's Keyboard configured to fill the lower display works extremely well. The hinge also makes it ultra portable (although not quite pocket sized) and allows me to prop it next to wherever I happen to be and keep tabs on whatever live sport I happen to be watching - :)

elf.elf.baby - if you're still wondering, it does auto rotate (and this is easy to toggle), the built in email app then uses a straightforward "list on the left, open item on the right" view. I haven't found a way to have two apps on separate displays, although task switching in android is so seamless it's not a problem.

Top 3 negatives possibly overlooked in the review above - does not charge off USB; rubbish speaker; non-rounded corners are uncomfortable to hold.

It's probably not for everyone, but it suits me down to the ground.

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Sony Tablet P

Sony Tablet P

OS: Android 4.0.3 3.2
view full specs
Display5.5 inches, 1024 x 480 pixels (206 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
NVIDIA Tegra 2, Dual core, 1000 MHz
1024 MB RAM
Size7.09 x 6.22 x 0.55 inches
(180 x 158 x 14 mm)
13.12 oz  (372 g)

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