Sony finally announced pricing and began preorders on its pair of tablets at $499 and $599, but reviewers say that’s too close to the iPad’s pricing for Sony to become the number two tablet supplier—it’s stated goal.
The Sony Tablets due to ship this month, do have some unique design elements. The Tablet S is distinguished by a unique wedge shape or S-curve design which makes it easier to hold. It has a 9.4 inch screen and supports WiFi and 3G.
The Tablet P has a unique folding design for its two 5.5 inch screens and adds a 4G option from AT&T. Both use 1GHz Tegra 2 processors.
Sony has paid attention to back end services and will offer latest movies from every studio in a service called Video Unlimited. Music Unlimited will launch in October with a catalog of over 10 million songs. The tablets can also play versions of PlayStation games through an emulator (but only games are available initially — Crash Bandicoot and Pinball Heroes. The tablets can access eBooks from Sony’s Reader Store and there’s a cloud service for storing and sharing photos and videos. You can network the tablets with other devices via DLNA and “flick” a movie from a TV to the tablet.
Still, Reuters said, “Sony’s hopes of dominating consumer electronics once again with its new tablets suffered a crushing blow on Wednesday from analysts and gadget reviewers whose first impressions were overwhelmingly bad.”
“Consumers want tablets, but they are not prepared to pay the same amount they’d pay for an iPad for something that’s not an iPad,” said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi.
Engadget called the tablets “underwhelming,” compared to both the Apple iPad and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.