Sony Tablet P Review

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.



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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.

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