32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Excellent and the best tablet (for me),
After having a long look at my options mentioned above I found there were three key things that made me pick the Sony over the Samsung or the Apple. These might not be key features for you but I do believe they are enough of a unique selling feature to make the Sony stand out. It still isn't perfect mind you and there are a couple of improvements that could be made to two of these key features, so I've added those in as well.
1) The IR remote control feature is hugely helpful and has allowed me to replace my 4 existing remotes for the TV, home cinema, music system and Sky+. So no need to buy that Logitech Harmony I was considering. On the downside unfortunately Sony haven't given the Tablet S the ability to control the PS3 via bluetooth - if they did that it would be a perfect device for controlling everything in my front room! I believe you could buy the IR USB add-on that Logitech produce for their Harmony remotes, but seeing as this tablet and the PS3 are both Sony I figure I shouldn't have to shell out for a third party piece of kit to make them talk to one another! Fingers crossed Sony will sort this out in the next update cos that would make it perfect.
2) The SD card expansion is a great feature. Cheap and easy to expand the storage and it also means you can carry several cards with various films, music, photos etc with you on your travels. Makes the device more flexible than the iPad in that respect. One improvement Sony need to make (again hopefully in the next software update) is to allow the inbuilt music player to recognise music albums stored on SD by default. At the moment you can play music off the SD cards but any albums are not made part of the 'Library' unless you transfer them onto the Tablets internal memory. This is quite annoying and can lead to a bit of deleting and transferring if you want to build proper playlists etc. Let's face it, travelling around with one of these tablets for a long period is so much easier if you can carry a few different tiny SD cards in the wallet with a selection of films, music, documents etc on there. A simple update is required and hopefully Sony will add soon.
3) The design of the Tablet S makes it comfortable to hold for long periods. The folded design may look odd but trust me the ergonomics of it really work and it feels good to hold, especially for reading e-books.
Overall things are also great. First off it has been confirmed by Sony that the Tablet S will be getting the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update this Spring, which was a relief! In general the standard boxes are ticked in that battery life is good, wifi signal is strong (have no problem streaming Netflix through 3 sets of room walls with no drop outs) and I haven't managed to have anything running that has caused any lag or delay at all. I like the interface too, not clunky and very simple to use with good selection of in built apps from Sony. Not completely sold on their Music and Video Unlimited services but there is no tie in that says you have to use them, so no worries there. Screen feels and looks amazing and overall the whole tablet has a solid, quality feel to it. Movies in particular look sharp and sound quality through the headphones is good
After having played with friends iPads and Galaxy tabs I can see there isn't much between any of them in general usage. Screens are good on all, they all perform quickly and without problems. It was only down to the key features I mentioned above meant that for me the Tablet S won out. And I've been very happy with it. And if Sony can make those two small changes I mentioned then it will be perfect.
p.s. For prospective buyers I will also offer a big tip. DO NOT spend the £80 on the Sony branded leather case! I picked one up from Amazon for £20 that is excellent quality, folds into a handy stand and has a good strength magnet keeping it closed. Having checked it alongside the official Sony one I cannot tell the difference in materials or quality.