Sony Tablet P

Sunday, 25 March 2012 0 comments


For a company that’s still getting its foot established in the US smartphone market, we were surely impressed with the Sony Tablet S when it was released for too long ago, which was remarked as Sony’s first step into the Android Honeycomb realm. Following in suit, the Sony Tablet P sports nearly the same hardware specs, but there’s something visually different about it. Of course, we know that Sony is all about making statements – and they’re surely doing it with this. Donning a foldable design, stuffed with two 5.5-inch displays, it’s obviously going to stand out amongst the crop for being, you know, different. Well, its fresh appearance is seemingly eye-catching, but let’s find out if it’s practical for a tablet.

Sony Tablet P Review
Sony Tablet P Review

The package contains:

  • Wall Charger
  • Quick Start Guide



Sony Tablet P Video Review 

Simply, we have to say that the Sony Tablet P is a quirky  little one – that’s because our curiosities are stirred upon gazing it for the first time. Thinking about it more, to us, it seems as though Sony has reinvented the clutch bag because when it’s closed,  it really looks like some kind of modern one. Thankfully, its unusual design contributes to its allure, but at the same time, we’re content with its overall sturdy build quality – even despite its all-plastic body. Unlike most of its rivals, the Sony Tablet P is easily tucked away in a bag due to its smaller footprint when it’s closed, thus, making it extremely travel friendly. Ultimately, we have to give kudos to Sony for concocting something that easily captures our attention, especially when it’s one of the few tablets to stay away from the usual slab design.
The unusual design of the Sony Tablet P contributes to its allure 

Sony Tablet P Review

On the left edge of the Tablet P, there’s a lonesome notch that’s used for its internal speaker, while on theright 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.

Left edge                             Right edge

Although it’s difficult to see, that’s a strip 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 thehinges 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.
A strip placed in the lip of the Sony Tablet P helps open up the tablet 
Back - open                              Battery compartment                     MicroSD card slot 

For those wondering about its cameras, 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.

Rear camera                         Front-facing camera 


Much like the long forgotten Kyocera Echo, the Sony Tablet P also comes to the table bearing 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. Along with that, it’s true to its name because the color black is prominently, you know, really dark in tone. Furthermore, its cooler production enables colors to jump out at us – though, its viewing angles are questionable since distortion is evident at moderate angles.

Viewing angles of the Sony Tablet P 

Unfortunately, the biggest distraction we see is the over 1/4" bezel separating the two screens, but even worse are the 1-inch sized bezels surrounding both sides of its displays. Essentially, they make it very difficult to type messages seeing we have to extend our fingers even further to press something. Frankly speaking, the dual-screen form factor is effective in garnering attention, but it simply doesn’t work out because we have more frustration just trying to handle it.


Well, if you’ve checked out the Sony Tablet S, the interface found with the Tablet P will be extremely familiar – that’s because it’s the same exact one. Specifically, it’s running Android 3.2.1 Honeycomb out of the box, so we’re naturally presented with the usual rich personalization experience. Beyond that, Sony is kind enough to sprinkle some of its own enhancements throughout various sections of the platform. For starters, the app panel sports a heavenly white background, while the alternate “favorites” interface is laced with plenty of eye candy visuals to capture the glint in our eyes. Overall, it doesn’t come off as being campy like some if its rivals, but rather, it has this futuristic appeal to it.

At first, we’re taken back by the whole look of the platform, because of its boxy layout as opposed to the more traditional widescreen format. Nevertheless, we’re able to adapt quickly and soon find ourselves moving in and out of things with ease. Seeing that it’s sporting two separate displays, most of its core apps have been optimized to take advantage of it. More on that in the next section.

Interface of the Sony Tablet P 


Diving deeper, most its core set of organizer apps have been retooled to make use of the two displays, but honestly, they don’t really take advantage of it. In fact, there is simply too much dead space found with most of them. For example, it’s most evident with the alarm and calculator, with their separated functions, but with the calendar, it’s unfortunate to not find any enhancements to it whatsoever. Surprisingly, it remains intact and essentially appears to be super-sized. As for the contacts app, it does an okay job since our contact listing is placed in the top screen, while the bottom one displays the pertinent contact information.

When it comes to typing messages, the Sony Tablet P utilizes a practical layout with its on-screen keyboard. As expected, the on-screen keyboard it takes up the entire bottom display, however, there’s one major problem. Remember those large bezels surrounding its displays? Well, they prove to be frustrating since our fingers really need to stretch out more than normal to hit something – so yeah, it’s uncomfortable at times. Thankfully, it’s responsive enough to keep up with our rate

Virtual keyboard 

Strangely, there’s no love given to the Gmail app, since it doesn’t offer the same two-panel layout of its Honeycomb brethren, but instead, its layout is more akin to Android smartphones. Certainly, it puzzles why that’s the case, but luckily, there’s the standard email app that’s optimized for the two displays. Much more practical with its layout, one screen allows us to scroll through our inbox, while the other displays the contents of the selected email..

Gamers will undoubtedly take a liking to the Sony Tablet P’s PlayStation certification, which enables it to run some of the older PS One titles. Preloaded with Crash Bandicoot, just like other PlayStation Certified devices we’ve seen already, it’s one thing to be happy about its gaming centric aspect, but it’s another to actually enjoy playing them.  Again, those annoying bezels make it extremely cumbersome controlling our character with the on-screen controls.

The Sony Tablet P is PlayStation certified 

Processor and Memory:

In today’s market, dual-cores no longer reign supreme, but that’s what we get with the Sony Tablet P. No longer regarded as a pencil pusher, the 1GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor, coupled with 1GB of RAM, enables it to handle most basic tasks with minimal effort. Sadly though, it exhibits the same choppy and jerky operations that have been persistent with tablets running Honeycomb. Undoubtedly, it’s a distracting thing to experience, but it doesn’t debilitate the experience. Rather, it softens its overall processing power.

Storage wise, the tablet packs along 1.84GB of internal storage out of the box, which is further supplemented by its included 2GB microSD card.

Internet and Connectivity:

Needless to say, we were surprised to find out that the Sony Tablet P is nothing more than an HSPA+ enabled device – as opposed to being LTE. Nonetheless, it’s still admirable as it’s capable of loading complex web sites like ours in under 30 seconds. As with most things, the bezel separating the two screens prove again to be a distraction, but at least the web browsing experience is tolerable with its smooth navigational controls. Even better, its performance doesn’t lessen in the wake of Flash content.

Internet browser 

After getting over the fact that it doesn’t offer 4G LTE connectivity with AT&T, we’re actually comforted by the acceptable speeds it’s able to put out with HSPA+. Additionally, the Sony Tablet P boasts all the usual connectivity items we normally expect to find – such as aGPS, Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Indeed an unfortunate thing, it lacks mobile hotspot functionality.


No arguing it’s becoming a theme throughout the Sony Tablet P, the camera interface is broken down to one part being a gallery, while the other is simply the viewfinder. On the top screen, we’re given an interface that mimics the look of a camera roll, which gives us a preview of shots that we’ve taken. Conversely, the bottom screen is reserved for the simplistic looking viewfinder interface. Although it’s not deep with its selection, some will find the available camera options to be useful for fine-tuning shots for the correct situation.

Camera interface 

Somehow, we’re not all that taken by surprise with the poor quality images that its 5-megapixel auto-focus camera produces. Of course, we’re talking about a tablet here, so we’re obliged to be forgiving. However, we can’t get over the disappointing results, as details are extremely soft looking, while its color reproduction tends to be a bit distorted – especially under indoor settings with artificial lighting. And you can forget attempting to use it in low lighting, because it’s remarkably grainy and noisy in appearance.

Outdoor samples made with the Sony Tablet P 

Strong                                       Medium                                     Low light 
Indoor samples 

Even worse, its 720p video capture lacks the look of being regarded as high definition – that’s mainly due to its soft details and heavy artifacting. Diminishing its quality even further, its audio recording is a tad bit on the hollow side. So again, please, really, stay away from recording videos with this.

Sony Tablet P Sample Video:


Refreshing on so many levels, the custom music player found with the Sony Tablet P is both eye catching and functional. Actually, it’s the same one found with the Tablet S, but it has been enhanced again to make use of the two screens – where one allows us to interact with our catalog, while the other plays the song. Unfortunately, the good fortunes don’t extend to its audio quality, as its audio output is one of the weakest on any device we’ve heard.

Before fathoming about watching videos on the Sony Tablet P, our brain was already thinking about how it would execute the experience – and unfortunately, there’s no right way going about it. Specifically, the video is only viewed on the top screen, since the bottom one is reserved for its controls. Initially, we were disappointed to find it lacking the ability to be viewed in full screen, but the more we thought about its distracting bezel, it made us realize this is the best route. Looking over our test video encoded in DivX 1280 x 720, it moves swimmingly with no issues plaguing it whatsoever.

Music player                   Equalizer              Watching videos 

Sadly, there’s no physical video-out function with this one, just like the Sony Tablet S. However, Sony’s Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services are available to give us a decent dose of multimedia fun. And as an alternative, the tablet offers DLNA functionality to share our multimedia content with other devices wirelessly.


Honestly, there aren’t a whole lot of preloaded third party apps on the Sony Tablet P, but the few ones that are available include Evernote and Foursquare. Naturally, we find the usual Google branded suspects, but aside from that, AT&T’s presence is known in apps like AT&T Connection Manager and myAT&T. Above all, we’re extremely saddened to not find or have access to the YouTube app with Honeycomb – meaning, we have to rely on the web browser to get our fix of YouTube.

Evernote             Google Play 


Sony tablet p review  
Seriously, it boggles our mind to even know that this dual-screen wielding tablet is powered by a3,080 mAh battery, which is even less capacity than the one used by the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX. Rightfully so, our concerns are justified as its battery life is abysmal with the Sony Tablet P. Voracious with its appetite, we’re able to get to the 10 hour mark on normal usage before it’s completely tapped out – and this isn’t even LTE! Disappointing to the max we have to admit!


So what can we say about the Sony Tablet P? Well, we still have to give credit to Sony for producing something that’s uniquely different – especially for a tablet. On paper, two displays sounds mightily tantalizing, but when it actually boils down to execution, it miserably fails because of the supremely annoying bezels that detract our attention from other things. Throw in that its hardware is seemingly dated now that we’re seeing more quad-core devices, it doesn’t get any better for this clutch bag like tablet. To make matters worse, its pricing is set to $400 with a 2-year contract or $550 outright, which still seems a tad bit steep for what it’s worth. Besides its cooling looking design, there’s nothing extraordinarily impressive about this one, and simply, it ends up being nothing short of forgettable.


  • Cool looking design
  • PlayStation Certified
  • Good build quality


  • Large bezels surrounding its displays
  • Choppy performance
  • Shoots terrible photos & videos
  • Horrendous battery life



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