What would happen if you took the expertise from established manufacturers of laptops, e-readers, gaming consoles, mobile phones and TVs and distilled it into one product? The Sony S1 of course - a 9.4in PlayStation-certified Honeycomb tablet.
While Sony did rock the Mobile World Congress with the PlayStation Phone – aka the Xperia Play – and other mobile devices, it was singularly absent from the tablet brouhaha. However if two independent and highly trusted sources over at Engadget are to be believed, the Japanese manufacturer is planning something special for tablet lovers, to come this autumn. Codenamed the S1, Engadget has produced a mock up of the unique device, which shows it having a wrap design said to remind users of an opened book or magazine (rear of the image seen below).
The design is meant to allow for holding more comfortably for prolonged periods in one-hand. It will also allow for easier on-screen typing when laid on a table and it can be used by either left or right handers with the screen’s orientation changing to suit. While the mock-up seems to show a hollow area between the front and rear panels, there is in fact a battery, Tegra 2 processor and other circuitry stuck inside. However despite the unique design, it’s the combination of Sony's expertise in a wide range of products that could make the S1 a serious player in the tablet market. According to the sources, experts from the Vaio, Reader, PlayStation and Sony Ericsson teams have been brought together to bring the product to life.
Central to the S1 will be Qriocity, Sony's music, games, ebooks and videos on demand service that has just been launched in Europe and is launching in the US, Australia and New Zealand today. The S1 will come pre-loaded with PS One games, have a Bravia Media Remote and will be Playstation Certified, which could means users have access to the PlayStation Suite also. The 1,280 x 800 resolution 9.4in tablet will come with front and rear cameras, a USB-A port, an inbuilt IR port and may or may not come with a Q button – Q of course standing for curiosity!
The sources say the S1 will ship in September at a price point of $599 for a Wi-Fi only model. The price will obviously disappoint many, as it is about $100 above the price of a Wi-Fi only 16GB iPad but should Sony manage to cram all its knowledge from its various departments into one good-looking tablet, then it may just have a chance.