Sony iPad rivals buck the trend: S1 & S2 seem serious

Sony S2 tablet
By Richi Jennings. April 26, 2011.

Sony (SNE) (6758) is delighted to inform us that it's going to launch two Android tablets later this year: the excitingly-named S1 and S2. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers blog a good news story for Sony, for a change.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention How to decant wine, as imagined by Ross Butter...

Martyn Williams is living the dream in Tokyo:

The tablets, which carry the development names S1 and S2, will be launched worldwide from the fall, Sony said [today]. ... It did offer some basic specifications and demonstrate prototypes. ... Both tablets will run Android 3.0 ... "Honeycomb."


S1 is a slate design and has a 9.4-inch screen. ... It looks similar to most competing tablets, but ... it's shaped like a wedge ... [which] makes it easier to hold. ... S2 is a folding device equipped with dual 5.5-inch screens ... small enough to fit in the inside pocket of a jacket.  

Tony "Stony" Smith spots Sony's schedule slippage: [Stop it -Ed.]

Sony ... is waiting until the autumn to ... launch a pair of of them. ... Previously, it pointed to a summer release. ... Neither may look like the preview images ... posted today, the company warned. The design is "subject to change".


[They'll have] Wi-Fi and 3G network connectivity, but that's all Sony has said. ... It's waiting for Nvidia to release its next-gen Tegra processors. Sony can't mention these as they haven't been announced. ... The S2 is particularly interesting since it opens up to reveal two displays. ... [You] will recall that Toshiba tried this configuration last year.  

Brian Caulfield mentions the "i" word:

It seems everyone has lined up to take a shot at Apple’s iPad. ... Add another brand to the list — perhaps the biggest yet ... [with] some unique touches.


The S2 has two 5.5-inch displays that can be used together to ... or used for separate tasks. For example ... use one screen as a “soft keyboard,” while grinding through email on the other.


Sounds good, on paper. Catching Apple’s iPad, however, has proven difficult so far.  

Here's Thomas Ricker's inevitable (and deserved) "told ya so":

Yes, the very two Honeycomb slabs we told you about exclusively back in February.


The S1 features a Tegra 2 SoC and customized "Quick and Smooth" touch panel UI with "Swift" web browser. It can also be used as a remote control ... thanks to integrated infrared. ... The dual-screen S2 clamshell [has a] pair of ... 1,024 x 480 pixel displays, Tegra 2 SoC, and camera. ... Kunimasa Suzuki just pulled the hinged tablet from his jacket pocket.


Sony takes advantage of the two screens with a custom book-style UI layout for its e-reader app, email ... and others. ... [They're] on their way to a global release in the fall -- possibly sooner in the US. ... Our sources told us back in February [of] a $599 MSRP on the S1 while the S2 would likely come in at $699.  

Daisuke Wakabayashi and Yoree Koh tag-team the announcement:

The executive hosting this event, Kunimasa Suzuki, is one of the so-called Four Musketeers appointed by [CEO] Howard Stringer to overhaul the company's electronics and services business. ... S1 [is] for the home ... S2 for portable use. ... [S1 has] front and rear cameras. ... Sony is using the Japanese term "saku saku" [literally: light and crisp] to describe the tablet web-surfing experience. It has a "quick and smooth" touch panel.


Sony seems to be positioning [S2] as a device to access your social networks ... easier to use than a smartphone. Facebook and Twitter feeds show up in a single, comprehensive stream.


Andy Rubin, senior vice president of Google's mobile division, takes the stage. ... [He] said his father worked closely with Sony. ... He got to play with prototypes of the first Walkman. ... "I was obviously the envy of all of my friends." ... Mr. Suzuki said he will give Mr. Rubin "free samples" of the S1 and S2.  


And Finally...

How to decant wine, as imagined by Ross Butter

[hat tip: b3ta / warning: possible naughtiness in b3ta link]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's also the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld, plus The Long View. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills
Shop Tech Products at Amazon