How do you carry a tube-shaped tablet?
Sony knows they're going to have to get creative to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung. The old titan slacked off in recent years, but diminishing returns from the PlayStation and the near-crumbling of Ericsson have them jazzed up and energized once more. The Japanese manufacturer is now hard at work on a family of tablets like no others. The folded paper "style" S1 was just the beginning.
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Engadget has received tips of two new slates and a sketch for one. First off is the S2, dual-screen Android brother to the S1. The S2 is actually shaped like an oval cylinder in its closed position, but opens up to a dual-display tablet. The processor is tipped as a Tegra 2, WiFi+ 3G is expected, along with front-and-rear facing cameras.
The S2 may be PlayStation Certified, and it will definitely have support for Qriocity media. Don't expect stock Honeycomb as the launch OS. Sony appears to have heavily customized the UI for the dual-display form factor. One report gives the maps at displaying the map on one screen, with turn-by-turn directions on the second display. This way you can simultaneously see where you ARE, and what your next turn is. Cunning.
Internal sources within Sony report being skeptical of this new "tablet". The gap between screens may be too large, and the weird cylindrical form-factor sounds just a little bid hideous. If Sony does go through with the S2, expect a launch in Holiday 2011 for roughly $699.
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The Vaio slate is up next. This Windows 7 sliding tablet will pack a 9.4" touchscreen and an Atom Pinetrail processor. It'll match the Xoom at $799...but won't match the Xoom in terms of battery life with Atom inside and Windows 7. Expect a Fall, possibly even October, launch for this tablet.