Sony's Tablet P and Tablet S are in many ways the perfect argument why rival tablet makers have little choice but to follow in the iPad's footsteps: for the most part, alternative approaches have quite simply failed.
It's no surprise then that the follow-up Xperia Tablet we heard about for the first time last month comes with a far more conventional design, one that's now been revealed in a decent-quality pic. But has it lost the originality that was one of the few plus points of the original in the first place?
Considering it's one of the highest-profile electronics firms on the planet, Sony sure seems to struggle a lot. It's regularly reporting huge losses, has been responsible for some massive stuff-ups and controversies down the years, and when it comes to the mobile sector anyway, has under-achieved with its products for so long you genuinely question whether its has the slightest clue what Mr J Public actually wants.
So with some product pics now added to the original XDA post that brought it to our attention in the first place, it's time to ask: is the Sony Xperia Tablet going to change our opinion?
Doesn't look like it, does it?
Sony has clearly been stung by the lack of success of its Tablet S (let's not even talk about the Tablet P) and the brief has clearly been to rein in the quirkiness of the original in favour of a far more conventional – dare we say corporate – design.
It's a nice-looking piece of kit and all that, and is a whole lot slimmer, but we have an entire year of Sony and HTC smartphones that prove that making it thin just isn't the formula for success that a lot of people seem to think.
Maybe redemption lies on the inside, then? Possibly. Hearing “Sony” and “quad-core” in the same sentence isn't a bad start, but there's a fair case for arguing that all of Sony's screen-friendly technologies and software bits and bobs are largely going to be sold short by a display that remains exactly as it was before – 9.4 inches across and with a 1280 x 800 resolution.
At least Android will be pegged at version 4.0 or later – though why we should even have to say that about a tablet launching in September 2012 – but the biggest concern is suggestions that prices will start at $449.99 for the 16GB version (32GB and 64GB will also be available).
I'm willing to bet my entire Mobot stipend for the year – such as it is – that it won't cost that much six months later.
So no, this is no more Sony's knight in tablet armour than the original two were. What it needs is to take a similar approach to its DSLR assault after buying out Minolta: hit multiple price points, do it regularly, and challenge the big boys by delivering high quality features at market-changing price tags.
It's one of the few companies around that can actually do it, and it isn't a million miles away from that rather successful approach taken by those Samsung chappies.
Via Unwired View