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Sony S2

Ardjuna Seghers



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Sony S2
  • Sony S2
  • Sony S2
  • Sony S2
  • Sony S2
  • Sony S2
  • Sony S2
  • Sony S2
  • Sony S2


Key Features

  • Dual 5.5in screens
  • Curvy clamshell design
  • Available in matt white or black outer shells
  • Wi-Fi and 3G as standard
  • Playstation Suite, streaming music and movies access
  • Manufacturer: Sony
  • Review Price: to be confirmed

Our full review of this product, which is now called the Sony Tablet P can be found here: Sony Tablet P

When we first learned of the Sony S2 Android tablet, we were excited. Very excited. And our eyes-on at Sony’s recent showcase event has done little to alter that. You see, the S2 is a tablet with a difference: it’s a dual-screen clamshell design.

S2 Tablet

While we’ve seen a few other examples of this in the past, none were running Honeycomb, nor were they backed by a company with the resources and design experience of Sony. The S2 features two 5.5in displays, which fold open like a book. This makes it far more pocketable than your average 10in tablet, and protects the screens from wear and tear.

But the advantages aren’t just limited to transport. You can angle the displays at various degrees just like on a laptop, so that when only using one you can put it on a table or desk at whatever angle is comfortable for you. When it comes to consuming content, it also opens up a whole world of possibilities.

S2 Tablet

For example, you can have the email or document you’re editing unimpeded on one screen while the virtual keyboard is on the other. Or play a Youtube video in one while browsing on the other. You’ll also be able to put the controls for games on one screen leaving the other unobstructed for maximum gaming pleasure.

Of course, how well all this works depends on how well Sony has integrated dual-screen functionality into the Android OS, and we hope that many of its own apps and games will be specifically designed to take full advantage. But the potential is undeniable.

S2 Tablet

As to the rest of the device, it’s glossy black with seamless bezels on the inside, and matt white or black on the outside. So yes, glare and reflections will be possible problems, but at least the outside shouldn’t be covered with fingerprints and easily visible scratches. Its rounded edges and curved back(s) should also make the S2 comfortable to hold, and it certainly looks attractive in a cute kind of way. Our only niggle is with the yellow power plug, which is a bit jarring with the rest of the black & white aesthetic.

S2 Tablet

Unfortunately the S2 doesn’t have an IR emitter like its larger S1 sibling, a real shame as that is one of our favourite points about the 9.4in device. Connectivity is also a little lacking with no HDMI output, though a USB 2.0 port does make up for this somewhat. And, just like the S1, it still has Sony’s neat ‘throw to TV’ function: simply hold the tablet in front of your telly, swipe your finger upward off the screen rapidly, and what you’re viewing on the tablet should appear on your television – ingenious!

S2 Tablet

Another feature unique to Sony’s tablets is their PlayStation Suite compatibility. Just like the company’s Xpreia Play, this gives you access to an impressive selection of games, including PlayStation 1 favourites and new titles specifically designed for the mobile devices and their Tegra 2 innards. In yet another nice touch, you’ll be able to hook up a proper PS3 controller to play your games with, though with its dual screens, the S2 should already provide a better gaming experience than most tablets that lack physical controls.

Where hardware is concerned, we’re dealing with the same Tegra 2 internals as Sony’s S1, and the S2 will have both Wi-Fi and 3G as standard, suggesting that it’s aiming for both mobile phone and tablet markets.

If Sony can make the dual 5.5in screens play nice with the Honeycomb OS, apps and content, this Tegra 2 clamshell tablet has the potential to be a game-changer. Already its pocketable form factor gives it a significant advantage over the iPad and other larger tablets, and with content to suit it could be a winner.


July 16, 2011, 12:18 pm

Much as I detest myself for saying this, I can't help thinking it needs Apple to do the dual screen form factor first before it takes off. It needs good software support and a large user base and both need to happen at roughly the same time. It's a shame only Apple seem to be able to pull that off.

Maybe if they get the basic functionality right with OS tweaks, a few good custom designed apps, browser etc... you won't need every app to be designed specifically for it. My gut instinct is that it needs OS level support from Google though.

Hopefully I'll be proved wrong on all counts.

iain coghill

July 16, 2011, 12:24 pm

I got a bit of a shock when I viewed this preview on my Android phone - you gave it a rating of only 1 out of 10 ! I assume (hope) the mobile version of this site is still in beta and this was just a wrinkle. Sadly I had to fire up the laptop to make this comment as the mobile site seems neither to display or allow adding of comments either.


July 16, 2011, 6:04 pm

The big big question is how much will it be? This is always the deal breaker with Sony!


July 16, 2011, 6:14 pm

Yup, there are still plenty of issues to address with the mobile (and main) site. Apologies for any inconvenience in the mean time.

simon lowe

July 16, 2011, 6:52 pm

so we have a very small notebook from sony

Tim Rice

July 17, 2011, 3:15 pm

Precisely. Is this what the market wants and needs, and even if it is, do we really think hot-and-cold Sony can bring it to mass market?

My view - a quasi-Nintendo DS form factor for the tablet market seems an unusual step right now, and I'm not sure the average consumer has any desire to see further market fragmentation so soon after tablets have carved a niche.


July 17, 2011, 11:16 pm

Fine if all you want to do is a bit of surfing and game playing, but a waste of time if you're interested in images or video.


July 20, 2011, 5:10 pm

OK, getting there, just replace the bottom screen with a keyboard and I'll have one

Zero 1

July 20, 2011, 10:35 pm

I actually think this thing looks pretty hot, if it is a reasonable price I might get one. As with all gadgets once the novelty wares off it will just sit there as another electronic junk lol. But it still doesn't stop me getting more and more gadgets. :p

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