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Summary:

With so many iPad lookalikes in the tablet market, it’s actually refreshing to see a new design. And the freshest of them all may be Sony’s new Tablet P with its dual screens in a folding clamshell case, which looks intriguing in this first look video.

sony-tablet-p-featured

With so many iPad lookalikes in the tablet market, it’s actually refreshing to see a new design. And the freshest of them all may be Sony’s new Tablet P with its dual-screens in a folding clamshell case, launching later this year with support for AT&T’s LTE network.

I’m not convinced the Tablet P will be a tablet sales leader — especially if AT&T continues to think subsidized LTE tablets should cost $699 — but I do credit Sony for its efforts in both the hardware and the software on the Tablet P. The clamshell runs on Google Android Honeycomb, but you might not know it based on this video first-look from Netbook News from the IFA show in Berlin.

Typical of Sony, the Tablet P looks like a refined piece of hardware. The device uses two 5.5-inch IPS displays, allowing for wide viewing angles, although I think I’d find it challenging to get past the bezel between the two screens. And the company is clearly leveraging its other lines of consumer electronics; in the video you can see how the Tablet P searches for and connects to a Sony-branded television and wireless speakers.

Of course, there’s an immediate downside to any device that uses a heavily modified user interface on top of Android when it comes to updates. As Google improves its Android tablet system, Sony will undoubtedly have to spend time and effort to rework such custom user interface elements; a process that can take months if Sony even chooses to make the changes. That means as nice as the Tablet P may look now, it could lag behind other tablets that gain new features and functions through Android updates. The good news is that Sony will have Android 3.2 on the Tablet P when it begins to ship.

  1. I think that we as tech consumers have recently been spoiled. When you purchase a laptop, do you ponder the potential for software upgrades in the future? Perhaps, but mainly you purchase based on what is currently on the laptop or promised by the manufacturer (in the event of immenent upgrades.

    Yet, many are worried about the speed of updates to mobile tech devices (and, yes, I do it to an extent as well). If the Sony Tablet P meets a users needs today, why worry about future software updates? If it doesn’t meet your needs today, don’t buy it.

    Sure, having the future functionality of future Android updates would be nice. But not purchasing a product that meets your needs just because it may not get better in the future is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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    1. You don’t have to consider updates with a laptop – It’s just always been a given we will get them.
      I think Apple set the standard for mobile updates so we now expect that. These are no longer static “phones”. If a friend is getting updates on theirs and you’r not, you feel cheated.

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  2. Lame.

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    1. You don’t like? A different video on each half shell!

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  3. I hope this isn’t the replacement for the Vaio P, because I’d still like to see a 8″ Windows 7/8 device from Sony with a more advanced Cedartrail chipset. I’m actually surprised they haven’t jumped on the Oaktrail bandwagon yet.

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  4. It’s so fat. Nintendo DS++, brought to you by Sony.

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