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Sony Xperia Tablet S review - Hands On

  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S
  • Sony Xperia Tablet S

Sony has brought its tablets under the Xperia brand this year, where they logically belong, alongside its smartphones. The new Sony Xperia Tablet S was unveiled yesterday, it being a super-sleek update of last year's decent Sony Tablet S. Today we got an extended demo and hands-on session with the new device.

Sony Xperia Tablet S

The Xperia Tablet S appears to be Sony’s only tablet this year, with no crazy experimental model alongside it as with last year’s Tablet P. Sony looks to be betting everything on one device, but that device is certainly a big step up in build quality compared to last year’s efforts. It’s not a bad idea given that the Android tablet market still isn’t booming, and it seems to work pretty well for Apple to date too.

Sony Xperia Tablet S
It looks and feels fantastic to hold

Back to that improved build quality there’s an aluminium back plate and glass front cover, the Xperia Tablet S oozes class. It feels very sturdy, yet is still thin at 8.8mm. This increases up to 10.5mm at the top, where the tablet maintains the original Tablet S styling with the folded-over magazine motif. It’s not as thick as previously but it’s still a nice touch, both stylistically and practically – making the tablet easier to hold on. At 570g it’s also a little lighter than most 10in designs.

Sony Xperia Tablet S
Here's the Xperia Tablet S getting a good drenching

A huge new feature is the splashproof design, with IPX4 certification. This means you can use the Xperia Tablet S in the kitchen, or give it to your kids (a recurring theme with the S) and then just rinse it over afterwards under a running tap with no harm done. If you’re not a family man, or woman, then this tablet is far more likely to survive the odd splash in the bath.

Sony Xperia Tablet S
This simple, washable, stand is great for use in the kitchen

Further family friendly features include the guest mode. This allows the owner to create up to 6 additional, password protected accounts that only have access to a limited selection of apps. This would allow a parent to select a handful of games that can be played, while locking away their own apps and even the browser, social networking and email access. Users can even set their own wallpapers.

Sony Xperia Tablet S
Selecting apps from the tray for a guest account

We’ve long been wondering why Google (who supports multiple users on Chrome) hasn’t supported user accounts for Android tablets, and this is a good half-way house.

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