Sony S1 and S2 dual-screen tablet

Sony has made its 9.4-inch Sony S1 and 5.5-inch dual-screened S2 Honeycomb tablets official with a press event in Tokyo today.  We've been hearing about these since mid-February, and recently the Japanese paper Nikkei has said Sony has plans to enter the U.S. market before the end of Summer 2011. That's not to be the case, however, as Sony says we'll have to wait until fall 2011 before these come to market.

The S1 is a 9.4-inch tablet with an "off-center of gravity design" that supposedly makes it easier to grip and more comfortable to hold.  Kunimasa Suzuki, Deputy President of Sony’s consumer products and services group likens it to holding a magazine.  The S2 is a 5.5-inch dual-screened tablet that has the ability to use the screens as one large canvas, or feature specially coded applications running in each independently.  This sounds very much like the Kyocera Echo.

Both the S1 and S2 house Nvidia Tegra 2 processors, and the ability to integrate with other Sony products. And they both sport the Playstation Suite moniker, like the new Xperia Play smartphone. An example was given where the S1 can act as a remote for Bravia marked equipment.  These two look very interesting, and ones we'll certainly be following.  You can find a short video and the press release after the break.

Sony Announces Optimally Designed “Sony Tablet” with Android 3.0 that Complements Network Services for an Immersive Entertainment Experience

-Also strengthening VAIO in expanding PC markets-

 Sony Corporation (“Sony”), announces “Sony Tablet” that delivers the perfect combination of hardware, content and network with seamless usability for a high-quality, engaging entertainment experience. Based on decades of engineering heritage, Sony is developing two tablets with unprecedented design, including S1 (codename) which is optimized for rich media entertainment and S2 (codename) which is ideal for mobile communication and entertainment. “Sony Tablet” will become available in the global market starting in fall 2011.

“Sony Tablet” is equipped with the latest Android 3.0 which is designed for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. Both tablets are WiFi and WAN (3G/4G) compatible and users can not only browse the internet or check e-mail but they can also smoothly access digital content including videos, games and books through Sony’s premium network services and more, on-the-go at any time.

S1 has a 9.4-inch display for enjoying the web and rich content on a large screen. Its off-center of gravity design realizes stability and ease of grip as well as a sense of stability and lightness, offering comfortable use for hours.

S2 has two 5.5-inch displays that can be folded for easy portability. In contrast to existing tablets, its unprecedented dual screen presentation and usability allows its displays to be combined and used as a large screen or for different functions such as playing video on one screen while showing control buttons on the other.

“‘Sony Tablet’ delivers an entertainment experience where users can enjoy cloud-based services on-the-go at any time. We’re aiming to create a new lifestyle by integrating consumer hardware, including ‘Sony Tablet’ with content and network,” said Kunimasa Suzuki, Corporate Executive, SVP, and Deputy President of Consumer Products & Services Group.

“Android 3.0 is a new version of the Android platform with a new holographic user interface that is designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes, particularly tablets. I'm excited about “Sony Tablet” as it will further spur the development of applications and network offerings which users are looking for.” said Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President, Mobile, Google Inc.

Also, in the mobile computing category, the market for PCs which realize high productivity is expected to steadily grow, particularly in emerging markets. Therefore, Sony will also remain committed to strengthening its VAIO brand and introduce increasingly compelling products which offer new value propositions to the market.

“Sony Tablet” features.


Designed for portability and intuitive gripping

With its off-center of gravity form factor, the 9.4-inch S1 offers stability and a sense of lightness, offering comfortable use for hours.

The dual screen S2 comes with two 5.5-inch displays which can be used together as one large screen to browse websites and more. They can also be used for different functions as users can watch a video on one screen and input commands on the other, or check email on one screen and use the other as a soft keyboard.

Seamless Usability and Performance

Through Sony’s knowhow for combining hardware and software, “Sony Tablet” realizes optimal usability and performance. Because of Sony’s rapid response technologies, users can perform smooth, quick touch-screen operations and enjoy fast and efficient website loading. The keyboard arrangement is also optimized for the large screen, making email and SNS communication a breeze.

Rich entertainment experiences through various network services

Through Qriocity1 music and video services, users can enjoy rich video and music content. Also, through PlayStation®Suite, users can immerse themselves in high quality first generation PlayStation® titles. Additionally, users can easily download ebook content from Reader™Store2 and use both tablets as digital reading devices. The integration with various services allows users to take their entertainment experiences on-the-go. Furthermore, “Sony Tablet” is equipped with functionality that organizes content for easy access.

Remote access functionality with AV devices

Through “Sony Tablet”, users can control home entertainment devices as well as enjoy content in new ways. S1 uses infrared technology and works as universal remote controls for a variety of AV devices starting with <BRAVIA>. Users can perform functions like turning on their TVs, changing the channel and adjusting the volume. Also, through DLNA functionality on “Sony Tablet”, users can “throw” personal content to large screen televisions or music to wireless speakers.

In 2010, Sony launched a network platform called “Qriocity” which connects many of Sony’s network-enabled devices, and has been expanding its services into global markets. Also, Sony Computer Entertainment has been providing various contents and services for PlayStation users through PlayStation®Network, which now has over 75 million registered accounts (as of March 20, 2011) worldwide.

Simultaneously, Sony will continue to announce various devices which leverage these services. Starting in early 2011, Sony Computer Entertainment announced the next-generation portable entertainment system (codename: NGP) while Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications brought “Xperia™PLAY” to the market. Sony is introducing “Sony Tablet” to deliver an entertainment experience which integrates hardware with network services that deliver rich content.

With the establishment of Consumer Products and Services Group in April 2011, Sony will focus on accelerating the development of innovative next generation products and aim to deliver a new lifestyle by strengthening the integration of hardware and network services.

Reader comments

Sony unveils the S1 and S2 dual-screen Android tablets, coming this fall


In other words it will feel weird to hold and few will be interested. Ipad was successfull for a reason. No one had been smart enough to use the same design.

@Meccariello-Lol absurdity at it's best in that comment. The ipad design is just like all the rest square.... Please oh please tell me what is so unique about it's design that no one has ben smart enough too duplicate?

I applaud sony and kyocera for trying something different and bringing a bit of innovation to the markets. It's different ideas like these that develop technology and man. So those who complain let it go and give em credit. Otherwise YOU come up with something different and market it.

Oh you poor suckers! You think developers will write apps for the growing cesspool of different form factors and hardware in the Android hell? I am a mobile developer, and I originally considered Android first till I looked at the current situation and decided to go iOS for the time being. Nearly every mobile developer I know is in the same boat. We all want to develop for the growing Android universe, but it's currently a massive mess. I've had an android phone for a year, and after I picked up an iPod Touch to develop on, I really want to go back to the iPhone. The UI is just not there yet on Android.

Google needs to work harder and strong arm these hardware guys harder. Don't be evil? More like don't be relevant in 5 years if you continue this crap. The Android cesspool is worst than the Windows cesspool by a factor of 10. Amazing Google was too stupid to learn from the game console makers. Windows game PC hardware = cesspool. Uniform game consoles = nirvana for developers.

Dude, quit your whining and get to work! A developers Job is never easy so stop complaining. As a hobby, I code web sites for different people and organizations. MY job would be a lot simpler if there were only one web browser in existence, but since I live in the United States, where there is competition in almost every market, my work is cut out for me. There are many different web browsers with formatting issues that have to be accounted for. Not only that but there are different and older versions of each of these browsers that behave differently to certain code. and don't get me started on mobile browsers! Then there are the screen resolution issues. Serious developers account for these issues because we live in a world where the computing market is very diverse an has evolved to suit many individual needs.

If you are a serious developer, then you crack your knuckles and get to coding. It would be completely stupid to deprive yourself of the largest mobile platform in the world because you are too lazy to ensure that your code works for the majority of devices on that platform. Most of the serious developers are doing it... successfully. So, you can continue your iOS only attitude for sheer laziness if you want. I guarantee that someone one ups your app in the Android market, which will be better than the iOS version.

That is all.

So the only reason that you don't develop for Android is that you're to lazy to do so. Right. What does the UI have to do with this? Last time was I checked, Android's UI is perfectly easy to use and allows far more customisation options than moving icons around on a screen *cough* iOS *cough*.

The video game argument is irrelevant as developers don't develop for every hardware combination under the sun, they develop for DirectX or OpenGL. The main reason the PC has a lower gaming market share is due to price, which is exactly what Apple is doing by pricing the iPhone so highly above Android devices.

Now, what exactly does this have to do with Sony announcing 2 new devices? Also, you really like the word 'cesspool'.