Sony's Tablet S from last year had kind of a unique design, and made a good impression. Even if it wasn't perfect, it managed to distinguish itself from masses of Tegra 2 tablets at the time. With the new Xperia Tablet S, Sony is continuing with a similar design, and we are eager to find out whether the Xperia Tablet S will manage to impress us in a similar manner.
The box the tablet comes in looks a lot like the one from Xperia phones, and by using the Xperia moniker Sony is making it clear that it no longer makes a distinction between the tablet and smartphone product group. They both fall under the "mobile" header now. This development was not possible last year because Sony was still making smartphones together with Ericsson, while the Tablet S just had the Sony brand attached to it.
The Xperia Tablet S that we are reviewing here has 16 GB of storage capacity but no 3G, runs on Android 4.0.3 and costs around £350. An update for Jelly Bean, is on its way, but it's not clear when it will arrive. There will also be a 64 GB version, and a 16 GB version with 3G. These aren't available yet, which according to Sony has to do with extra quality control.
The tablet runs on a Tegra 3 SoC with four 1.3 GHz cores and the companion core. It has 1 GB of RAM. These specs make it clear that Sony is not aiming at the true high-end segment where you find faster SoCs such as in the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700T and the Exynos 4 Quad in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. The Samsung tablet also has twice the RAM.
The Tegra 3 in this Xperia Tablet S is not slow by any means as you will see in the benchmarks, it's just not the fastest of them all.