There was plenty of excitement in midtown Manhattan today as press gathered at the Sony Club to view the much awaited tablets we’ve been talking about since a global announcement in April. It was the first time US press had a chance to see and touch the (codenamed) S1 and S2 Tablets and they were eager to get as much detail as possible.
Kunimasa (Kuni) Suzuki, president of Sony Corporation’s VAIO & Mobile Business Group and Consumer Products and Services Group and Phil Molyneux, president and COO of Sony Electronics, greeted press and bloggers and showed off the S1 and S2 Tablets.
They focused on four differentiating factors:
- Optimally designed hardware and software. At first glance the S1 looks like a typical tablet but at closer look you notice that it features a tapered design which makes it easier to hold in one hand and is also built with an incline to make typing on a surface more comfortable. The S2 immediately looks very different since it has a clamshell design with dual screens to optimize mobility and fits easily in your back pocket or purse.
- Swift and Smooth Technology: Or as the Japanese say “Saku Saku,” (sounds cooler in Japanese) enhances the overall user experience and usability. It includes Quick View technology which enables quick display of websites and we even demonstrated a side by side comparison of quick view turned on and off on the S1. It was amazing to see how much faster Quick View brought up the BBC and Sony Store websites. Quick touch panel is another technology that makes the screen highly responsive when you scroll or multi-touch and was experienced by the audience who got to test out this feature.
- Network entertainment: Because of Sony’s vast network of entertainment properties we are able to provide access on the S1 and S2 to an extensive array of entertainment content and services. These include Ebooks from our Reader store, music and video from Qriocity, and games from Playstation® PS1 and PSP® titles. In fact the S1 and S2 are Playstation certified devices and include the Playstation logo on the back. Both models come preloaded with the vintage Crash Bandicoot and Pinball Hero. Crackle is also preloaded.
- Cross device connectivity: This feature allows you to transfer photos and personal videos from the tablet to other devices that are DLNA compatible. There was also a demonstration of how the S1 can be used as a remote control for a compatible TV. Great way to impress your friends!
If you’re wondering about apps, today we also announced with Adobe the Adobe® AIR® App Challenge, Sponsored by Sony (www.airappchallenge.com) to encourage developers to create innovative Android applications for a chance to win $200,000 in total cash prizes.
Also on hand was David Haight, VP of Business Development at AT&T who announced that AT&T will be the exclusive mobile broadband provider for the Sony S2 tablet in the U.S. S2 will run on AT&T’s 4G network and at AT&T wi-fi hotspots and there will be both pre and post-paid rate plans available.
There were several questions about pricing and availability but we are not ready to share those details yet so you’ll have to be a little more patient.
The press got to take pictures of the tablets at the end and after a “paparazzi-like” moment the executives quickly left to catch a plane to San Francisco where they will do a similar presentation for West coast media later today.
There’s been a flurry of press coverage already but we’d love to hear what YOU think about our announcements.
Here are some of the early reports: