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Sony Tablet P review

Sony's dual screen Android tablet is distinctive but is it a clever must-have or a gimmick? Kevin Pocock finds out in our review.

The microSD slot is an essential feature since the Tablet P comes with just 4GB of storage.

What is far more sensible is the 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 chosen to power the device, and the accompanying 1GB RAM. These help the Android operating system feel responsive and quick. Switching between apps and loading web pages is handled smoothly, while the dual 1024 x 480 pixel displays are crisp, providing comfortable viewing for extended use. With this in mind, the potential for productivity is certainly there.

However, how productive you can be is dependent on battery life. The Tablet P lasted six hours and 22 minutes in our light usage test, and while that's not too bad, it does fall short of other tablets, notably the aforementioned iPad 2 and Asus Eee Pad Transformer, and even some smartphones.

Unlike other Android tablets, there's no full-size USB port for connecting peripherals such as physical keyboards or flash drives.

Further foibles are the tinny and unimpressive sounds produced from the Tablet P's speaker, often covered by your left hand when holding the device, but which is still uninspiring on full volume. The Tablet P's seeming indifference to maintaining a stable Wi-Fi signal at range can be trying. On the plus side, media can be streamed to DLNA network media players using an included app and there's also a library of classic PlayStation games.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

The Tablet P is an intriguing and promising device let down by some awkward functionality and, ultimately, lack of proper support for its unique dual screens. At this price we'd expect far more refined features that take better consideration of user needs.

Connectivity: HSDPA 3G Display: 1,024 x 480 pixels, 5.5in (x2) OS: Android 3.2.1 Honeycomb Camera: five megapixels rear-facing, 0.3 megapixels forward-facing GPS: assisted GPS Processor: 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 RAM: 1GB Bluetooth: v2.1 + EDR Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n Storage: 4GB internal Ports: 1 x micro USB2, 1 x combo audio in/out Slots: microSD card Dimensions: 180 x 158 x 14 mm (WxDxH) Weight: 368g Battery: Lithium Ion 3080 mAh Part code: SGPT212GB SunSpider: 2232.5ms Battery life (light usage): 9h04m

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