A £400 “fondleslab” of electronics is hard to justify at the best of times, especially when a laptop ticks most of the boxes.
I was initially thoroughly unimpressed by the Tablet S. Although it looks smooth, the plastic construction does disappoint, especially in comparison with the machined loveliness of Apple’s finest. Sony’s curved, weight- balanced design does reduce wrist ache, though, and provides the perfect angle for typing. The screen’s also a tasty 9.4in, 1280 x 800 LED with a couple of features borrowed from Bravia such as the TruBlack™display. There’s the relatively standard front and back webcams, 16GB internal memory (32GB also available), NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 1GHz processor and accelerometer.
The sit up and take notice moment comes when you spot some of the extras Sony has included. First, there’s the built-in infra-red Universal Remote – the tablet screen transforms into an entertainment mission control at a button press. It also doubles as a Sonos-style remote, enabling “party streaming” of music to wirelessly connected Sony speakers throughout your house. The Tablet S is also the first tablet to be PlayStation certified. This means PlayStation One classics such as Crash Bandicoot, Twisted Metal and Destruction Derby are raring to go. At £349 I’m tempted, but this is more door wedge than design classic. Still, at last the iPad has a pedigree competitor.
16GB 3G £449