Building on its relationship with Google, Sony revealed two new Android-based tablets the company will begin selling this fall.
The “Sony Tablets” are based on Android 3.0 “Honeycomb” and will have 3G and 4G wireless capability. They have distinctive curved cases and what Sony calls an “off-center of gravity form factor” that “offers stability and a sense of lightness.”
Two models will be released – a traditional 9.4-inch slate and a funky folding model with dual 5.5-inch displays.
Displays on the folding “S2” model can be used as a single large screen or to display content on one screen and use the other as a keyboard or for email. It looks like a replacement of the clutch-like Vaio P “lifestyle PC” that debuted in 2009 and is now being marked down by Sony.
What may make the devices stand out are the Sony online entertainment services that the devices are designed to access, including the PlayStation mobile gaming service (if the network is restored by then …) and digital books distributed through Sony’s Reader store.
Sony’s also giving the devices infrared technology so they can work as universal remote controls for A/V devices including its Bravia TVs and video components. They’re also DLNA compatible so they’ll be able to select content on a home network and output to large screens and wireless speakers, Sony said in its release.
The release quote from Kunisama Suzuki, senior vice president and deputy president of Sony’s new consumer products and services group:
“Sony Tablet delivers an entertainment experience where users can enjoy cloud-based services on-the-go at any time. We’re aiming to create a new lifestyle by integrating consumer hardware, including Sony Tablet with content and network.”
I wonder if these devices will also work as consoles for the next generation of Google TVs made by Sony. What would really be cool, though, is if Sony started bundling one of these tablets with new TVs, similar to the way HP tried bundling a tablet with printers.