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Turning our eyes to the camera app, it’s sporting Sony’s concoction, which so happens to minimize the viewfinder while adding this film reel for recent snapshots. On the right, there’s a large sized shutter key and toggle switch for the front-facing camera. Meanwhile, the left edge hosts a whole set of other icons that allow us to change the exposure, resolution, white balance, scene mode, and focus mode. Sure there are plenty of options available with it, but it’s slim in terms of manual options.

Sporting a 5-megapixel auto-focus snapper in the rear, the Sony Tablet S manages to capture some average looking shots that are more than acceptable to the eyes. Specifically, close-up details are rather soft in outdoor conditions, with colors appearing to be on the neutral side. Thankfully, it seems to handle macro shots with ease thanks to its sharp focus. However, indoor shots tend to come out a little bit overexposed – with low lighting shots riddled with graininess and fuzzy looks. Of course, it could’ve been countered with a flash of some sort, but it’s strangely missing with this one.

By now, we’ve been spoiled by 1080p video recording, but sadly so, we’re only given 720p with the Sony Tablet S. Again, details are on the soft side, but it manages to still come off appealing with its natural color production, continuous auto-focus, and smooth capture rate of 30 frames per second. Horrifically though, our ears are left recovering after hearing some of its squeaky and echo filled audio recording. It could’ve been great, but our ringing ears are telling us otherwise.

Sony Tablet S Sample Video:

Sony Tablet S Indoor Sample Video:


In addition to finding the already illustrious looking stock Honeycomb music player, Sony throws in its very own, which is arguably the best we’ve seen thus far on anything! Yes, it’s a bold statement, but it goes beyond just giving us a beautiful looking presentation as there are a lot of interaction and personalization offered by it. When browsing through albums, we get this cool looking 3D album cover interface where we’re able to move and pick up albums and place them anywhere on screen.

Once a selection is made, it displays the normal things we find – such as the album cover and on-screen controls. However, we utterly adore the eye-candy filled visualizations that are available with its selection – with one of them displaying the lyrics as a song is being played. Lastly, there are preset equalizer settings and manual ones to better adapt to the genre of music we’re playing. In terms of audio quality with its two rear speakers, they’re strong in output, but crackle at the loudest volume.

Again, there’s an alternative Sony inspired video gallery available with the tablet, which incorporates the same 3D stacking interaction like the music player. Sadly, the tablet struggles to play our test movie trailer encoded in MPEG-4 1920 x 1080 resolution. Nonetheless, it’s better able to play videos in lower quality, like 720p ones, with relative ease thanks to its flowing movement and brilliant looks.

Available on most Honeycomb tablets, the Sony Tablet S unfortunately omits any hard-wired video-out connection, but thankfully enough, there’s always DLNA as an alternative. With most of the multimedia centric apps, like the picture and video galleries, there’s a button that quickly enables us to share content with compatible devices wirelessly. Though nice, it still would’ve been an icing on the cake to find some sort of quick and easy video-out function.

For its entire multimedia centric prowess, the tablet is one of the few to be blessed with the ubiquitous “PlayStation Certified” branding, which allows it to play original PlayStation games with its emulation software. Not surprisingly, Crash Bandicoot is preloaded to give us a sampling, but we’re not too keen on using its on-screen controls – it simply doesn’t offer the responsiveness we’d like. Fortunately, you can remedy the situation by connecting a game pad thanks to its support for USB hosting. Additionally, Pinball Heroes is preloaded on the tablet as well.

Packing an IR blaster under the hood, the tablet is essentially a working universal remote with the aid of the remote control app. Not only does it work with Sony branded TVs, but we’re able to easily setup other brands and devices as well – like our DVD player and DVR box. Definitely not something you see often integrated with a tablet, it’s undoubtedly yet another sweet offering that complements the already awesome experience.

Available in 16GB and 32GB capacities, our 16GB model actually offers less than 9GB of internal storage – with another 4GB strictly reserved for apps. Well, there’s always the full-sized SD card slot to increase its capacity if it’s simply not enough for your needs.

Internet and Connectivity:

Relying on a Wi-Fi connection, complex web pages like ours are able to load up in a short amount of time – even allowing us to start interacting with the site the moment content begins to appear. Overall the web browsing experience is pretty good thanks to its smooth navigational controls and kinetic scrolling. And of course, Flash support is there in full form to provide us that near desktop-like experience. All in all, it runs moderately fine like most of the Honeycomb tablets out there.

Currently, the Sony Tablet S is only available in Wi-Fi form, but it’s reported that future versions will gain cellular connectivity. In our experience, it’s able to solidly connect to a nearby Wi-Fi hotspot with no apparent issues with signal strength or fluctuations. Also, it features other connectivity options like Bluetooth 2.1 and aGPS. As we mentioned already, it offers USB hosting support with its microUSB port, which allows us to connect USB peripherals to it.

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