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Here are the tablets Sony hopes will challenge iPad's dominance

Sony has unveiled two new tablets which will go on sale in Europe later this year.

Models show off Sony's new tablet computers, Tablet S, left, and Tablet P during a launch event in Tokyo yesterday.
Models show off Sony's new tablet computers, Tablet S, left, and Tablet P during a launch event in Tokyo yesterday.
Image: AP Photo/Koji Sasahara

SONY HAS LAID outs its plan to to become a player in the tablet market and succeed where it appears all others have so far failed in challenging the dominance of Apple’s iPad.

Two new touchscreen tablets, running a version of Google’s Android operating system, have been released with a combination of new features and different, unique designs, both with touchscreen capability.

The Sony Tablet S has a screen which is roughly the same shape and size as the iPad but is shaped like a wedge and has its cover folded back. 

“It is meant to look and feel like a folded newspaper,” said Omar Gurnah, marketing manager for Sony Tablet who is quoted in The Times (subscription required).

He added that the device felt a lot lighter than it is as the weighting is slightly off-centre and explained that the idea is that you can read it like a book or you can lay it flat whilst having it slightly tilted towards you.

Perhaps referencing the famous words of Apple’s recently departed CEO Steve Jobs, he remarked: “It just works.”

The other device is the Sony P Tablet, much smaller than the iPad, and shaped like a clamshell which can fit into your pocket when folded in on itself:

When used for e-book reading, it can be held vertically and show one page on each screen. When composing e-mail, the upper screen can show the message while the lower one shows a keyboard.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the two tablets will be on sale in Japan from 17 September and in the US and Europe between October and November this year.

Prices range from €460 for the Tablet S with wi-fi and €545 for the Tablet P with wi-fi and 3G, both 16 GB.

One analyst told AP the prices may be too high. Macquarie Capital Securities analyst Jeff Loff also added: ”We think the … clamshell design will fail.”

- additional reporting from AP

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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