The Sony Xperia Tablet S is Sony's second generation Android tablet that features an updated design, the latest Tegra 3 quad core CPU, Android OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (upgradable to 4.1 Jelly Bean) and an excellent consumer IR remote. The 9.4" Xperia Tablet weighs 1.26 pounds and it's much slimmer than the original Tablet S. Both share the folded magazine design, but the top wedge is much slimmer on the new model. That gloss black, stippled faux folded cover doesn't extend quite as far, which leaves room for large expanse of aluminum. That means the tablet looks a bit classier and not as plasticky as the first gen model.
Sony's TruBlack display is lovely as ever with deep blacks and rich, warm colors that are perfect for movie watching. Clearly that's a focus for Sony who includes their Crackle and Video Unlimited apps along with Netflix and Hulu Plus. The resolution is standard at 1280 x 800, but things look a little sharper since those pixels are fitted to a 9.4 rather than more common 10.1" panel.
The Sony Xperia Tablet S starts at $399 for the 16 gig model, which is competitive with other name brand Android tablets with quality specs but no special features like the full HD display on the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 or the active digital pen on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (both starting at $499). Sony's price gets steeper if you want more storage, with the 32 gig priced at $499 and the 64 gig priced at $599. We'd like to see a smaller incremental jump in pricing for the higher capacity storage models. With the holiday season approaching, we suspect Sony might offer discounts as they did in the past with the last gen tablet.
The tablet has a 3.5mm headphone jack, a full size SD card slot (that expands storage, it's not just for file transfer) and a proprietary sync/dock/charge connector. The connector supports adapters for USB host ($20) and HDMI ($40). Sony offers a nice selection of accessories that include a keyboard case that's slim and light with a Microsoft Surface design.