Sony Previews S1 and S2 Tablets, Still No Release Date or Pricing

Sony Wednesday revealed its S1 and S2 tablets in a limited press preview. Sony also announced that the data service for the S2 tablet will be provided exclusively by AT&T in the United States.

Sony's tablets were first announced in April, when Sony revealed that it planned to release both a traditional tablet, the S1, as well as a novel clamshell model, the S2. Both devices will run the tablet-optimized version of Android, "Honeycomb," and there's no word on pricing just yet.

S1 Tablet

The traditional S1 tablet will be a Wi-Fi only device. The S1 features a 9.4-inch screen and is wedge-shaped--the company says this makes the tablet easier to hold and easier to sit on your lap. The S1 will come pre-loaded with both Qriocity and Crackle, Sony's cloud-based media services, and will also have PlayStation certification. In other words, the device will be able to run both PSP and first-generation PlayStation console games.

Engadget reports that the S1's finish allows for easier gripping, and that the screen has a wide viewing angle--probably due to Sony's extensive experience in the TV business.

S2 Tablet (Click to Zoom)
The S2 features a clamshell design, similar to the Nintendo DS's form factor. The S2 has two screens, each of which is 5.5 inches wide--that means the two screens together will be about as big as an average tablet screen. When the S2 is closed, the device looks a lot like an eyeglass case and should be easy to stow away in a coat pocket.

Like the S1, the S2 is also PlayStation certified, and will likely make a better gaming device--the lower screen can be used for controls. Sony plans to preload several games on the device. Both devices feature cameras, dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processors, and the Android Honeycomb OS.

AT&T will provide HSPA+ data for the S2, but there's no word on how much that will cost. I assume the data pricing will be similar to the iPad's data plan, which can run as high as $25 for 2GB (per month).

Sony still hasn't revealed a solid release date (aside from "this fall"), or any price points. I would venture to guess that, if Sony's serious about being a competitor in the tablet market, the S1 and S2 will fall in the $500 price range. There's a possibility that the S2 will be subsidized with an AT&T data plan, but only time will tell.

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