Sony S1 and S2 Android Tablets Coming this Fall: Worth the Wait?

Sony is getting serious about tablets. The company has announced that it will launch two Android 3.0 slates this fall that will leverage the Sony’s music, books, and video services, plus PlayStation games. Codenamed S1, the 9.4-inch model sports an “off-center of gravity design” that promises a sure grip, while the very intriguing S2 features two 5.5-inch displays. Between the Kyocera Echo and Acer Iconia 6120, we’re sensing a trend here.

(Note that these model names are just placeholders for now.)

Here’s a quick breakdown of what these two slates bring the the table, and check out the full gallery below.

  • Honeycomb on Hyperspeed: As if in response to the complaints about lag in Honeycomb so far in tablets like the Xoom and G-Slate, Sony promises optimal performance, smoother touchscreen operations and fast website loading because of its “rapid response technologies” and the company’s “knowhow for combining hardware and software.”(Sounds Apple-esque, no?)
  • PlayStation, Sony Reader, and More on Board: A lot of people think that only Amazon has a real shot at taking on Apple because it has a one-stop shop for MP3s, movies, TV shows, books, and apps. But Sony could prove pretty formidable here, too. The PlayStation Suite will let Sony Tablet owners play first-gen PlayStation games (though second gen would be better at this point). And there’s the oddly named Qriocity for music and video. Lastly, S1 and S2 users can download books from the Sony Reader Store.
  • Tablet as Remote Control: Apparently, only the S1 uses infrared tech to let you control TVs and other AV components, though it will start only with Bravia gear. However, both the S1 and S2 will be able to stream content wirelessly via DLNA.
  • S1 vs. S2:While we don’t know the exact specs, the 9.4-inch S2 is all about being light and comfortable enough to hold for long stretches. The dual-screen S2 is designed for both communication and entertainment. For example, you can use one screen to check e-mail while you use the other as a keyboard, similar to the Kyocera Echo.

We’re looking forward to seeing the Sony S1 and S2 tablets in action, but the fall is a long time from now, and a lot of Android tablets will likely see the light of day before then from Amazon, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, and more. The pressure is on Sony to make the wait worth it.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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