CNET First Look
The Sony Xperia Tablet S receives thoughtful refinements and one thoughtless changeThe Sony Xperia Tablet S is one of the best designed tablets available, but Sony's change to its Wi-fi disconnect policy is just dumb.
-The Sony Tablet S was one of the more impressive Android tablets when it debuted in 2011. Now with its Xperia Tablet S, Sony has revised the design, upgraded to Tegra 3, and added some new features, but defending on your needs, that may not be enough to compete with more media focused tablets that are actually cheap. Hi, I'm Eric Franklin and today I'll take a first look at the Sony Xperia Tablet S. The Xperia has a very thoughtful revision of the original tablet S design. It's no longer wedge shaped. It's nice and straight now and lays flat. It's very light and comfortable in the hands and retains that roll back magazine feel. The tablet ships with ICS, but according to Sony, Jelly Bean is coming soon. Physical features include a 1-megapixel front camera and 8-megapixel back camera with no LED light. There is a volume rocker on the side right next to a power button. On the other side is a full sized SD Card slot right next to a headphone jack, and on the bottom are dual speakers. Sony also changed its charging port to much smaller solutions. The Xperia ships with bevy of Sony ecosystem apps for movies, music, and books. Guest mode allows you to set up multiple accounts with limited app accessibility. There's a quick launch for which the remote control app returns and allows you to not only control your TV this time, but your Blu-ray player, stereo, or even your cable box. The app offers more customization options and the ability to set macros for command sequencing. There's also the Xperia Tablet S exclusive app watch now, which for some reason you have to download and then access a pretty sleek looking TV guide. The Xperia supports a 9.4-inch screen and a 1280 X 800 resolution. That's smaller than 10.1-inch display running at the same resolution, which means higher pixel density and sharper text. Tegra 3 means games run well with Tegra 3 effects. Local HD movies run smoothly. There are some problems though. They can sometimes take up to 6 seconds to wake the tablet up after pressing the power button, and then there is a WiFi disconnect policy. There are 3 options and none of them allow WiFi to stay on when the tablet sleeps or the screen turns off. At $400 for 16 gigabytes, the Xperia isn't a bad deal, but there are cheaper options out there whether you're looking of media consumption or a full pledged tablet. Check out my full review for any updates on the performance which I've mentioned for complete recommendations. Once again, this is Eric Franklin and this has been the first look at the Sony Xperia Tablet S.