This article was originally published on March 24, 2012.
Sony’s latest Android tablet , the Tablet P is a small and handy, hinged device with an even more radical design and this one shows the limits of novelty. When you open it, twin small screens are revealed. Content can appear on one of the two screens, or be spread across both. It can operate over either a Wi-Fi or a cellular-data connection.
The Sony Tablet P has two displays sizing up at 5.5-inches a piece. Considering that each 5.5” TruBlack LCD panel boasts a resolution of 1024 x 480, it’s detailed enough to make out fine text without much fluff.
This new tablet is packaged with a 2 gigabyte removable memory card and 4 gigabytes of internal storage, of which 1.8 gigabytes is available to the user. You can buy a larger memory card, up to 32GB.
There is a VGA front-facing one placed in the top right corner when it’s fully opened, while the other 5-megapixel auto-focus camera is placed oppositely in the outer casing.
On the left edge of the Tablet P, there’s a lonesome notch that’s used for its internal speaker, while on the right side, it lays claim to most of its buttons and ports. Specifically, it consists of the flush dedicated power button, proprietary power port, microUSB port for data connectivity, microphone, and volume control.
Sony has modified or created some apps so they take intelligent advantage of the dual screens. For instance, the email app uses the bottom screen to list your messages and the top one to show whichever message you’re reading. Similarly, the stock video player, and many games, use the bottom screen for control buttons and the top for the content.
But at launch, there are only about 40 such specially adapted apps out of the hundreds of thousands of Android apps the Tablet P can run. Sony has built-in on-screen buttons that can switch some apps from single-screen to combined-screen mode. Because it folds up, the Tablet P is much more portable than iPad-size tablets, or even 7-inch tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire.
A strip is placed in the lip of the tablet that helps us open up the tablet, and in that lip lies an LED light that pulsates in green whenever it receives notifications. Placed near the hinges of the tablet, there are latches that enable us to remove its rear cover, which then allows us access to its 3,080 mAh battery and microSD card slot.
It fits in a pants or jacket pocket or a modest-size purse. But when closed, its surfaces are rounded and have an overall thickness of a whopping 1.03 inches. Sony sells it online for $550. The battery is removable and a spare can be bought for $70.
The biggest distraction we see is the over 1/4″ bezel separating the two screens. A dual screen design provides an optimized entertainment experience and a unique portability no other tablet can provide.