Sony Tablet P Review
With two beautifully bright 5.5-inch screens, the Sony Tablet P makes an unusual but positive first impression. Dreams of them reaching right to the inner seam have been dashed, though – there’s an unignorable 8.5mm between the two. The general interface is designed around that and works well enough, but for many activities it can be pain.
Android 3.2 has been weaked to work with the dual-screen system, and does so in style. The desktop has five homescreens that are smoothly accessed with swips across either display, and the ‘apps’ tab that’s fixed at he top gives access to all of the software onboard – handy for keeping the desktop tidy.
The Sony Tablet P‘s 2GB built-in memory is doubled by a bundled 2GB microSD card, but even 4GB is far too small for a device taht will be used for hi-res movies and big games – especially one costing $779. You can change the microSD card, of course, but its slot underneath the battery means it’s far from hot-swappable.
The clamshell design means this is one tab that will happily slip into jacket pocket, although the skinny-jean brigade are going to have a problem with the 24mm closed thickness. It’s undeniably a looker, though, with solid, luxurious build quality.
Nvidia’s Tegra 2 keeps everything running at a fair old lick: the 11 availabe PS One games play as smooth as oiled butter. It’s a shame the battery isn’t so powerful, draining quickly under heavy gaming and movie watching. It doesn’t hibernate too well either and came out of bag totally dead on more than one occasion.
A Day in the Life of a Pocket Tablet
Features of Sony Tablet P Touch Screen
A Browse at Breaky
The Sony Tablet P is great for catching up on the news over Weetabix. It loads pages quickly, zooms and scrolls smoothly – even over the black border between screens, thanks to a little momentum – and the design means it can rest on the table with the top screen facing me.
Unlike the average tab, the Sony Tablet P flits in my coat pocket, so it works for listening to music on the move. Tracks streamed from Sony’s Music Unlimited sound a bit tinny though, so listen to the SBTRKT album.
The Train Game
The Sony Tablet P has a dedicated PS Store so i idle away my time playing MediEvil. Shame just 4-inch of the top screen is used to display the game. The virtual joypad on the bottom is fiddly, too.
As i plonk the P on my desk a crowd appears, keen to poke and prod this strange foldable anomaly. Disappointment follows when they see how few apps take advantage of the dual-screen layout, instead either squeezing themselves into the top screen or awkwardly straddling the two.
Movie on the move
A party in town tonight, which means a long train journey. Luckily, i planned ahead and downloaded a film. Restricted to just the top screen, the picture’s not huge, but at least it’s sharp and impressively vibrant.
With no camera i’m limited to capturing the action on the Tablet P. The 5MP cam actually takes reasonable shots, but i’m getting more than a few weired looks holding the unfolded tab up, and the lack of flash limits what i can snap.
The Tablet P’s Reader app gives you a page per screen, which makes for a lovely book-like experience at bedtime.
Tech Specs: Sony Tablet P
OS Android 3.2
Display 2 x 5.5-inch 1024×480 TFT capacitive touchscreen
Storage 2GB + 2GB microSDHC (upgradeable to 32GB)
Processor Dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 @ 1GHz
Connectivity Headphone socket, micro USB2.0 (x1), Wi-Fi (b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1, microSDHC
Camera Rear: 5MP Front: 0.3MP