While the Tablet S sports a "folded magazine" design, the clamshell design of the Tablet P is likely to be more controversial. The fact that the Tablet P comes equipped with 3G as standard and not an option is a clear indicator of exactly where Sony sees the Tablet P positioned.
Demonstrating the portability of the tablet, our Sony agent folded the Tablet P shut and slipped it into his inside jacket pocket. At 380g, it’s light enough to do this, meaning you can take your Honeycomb tablet experience with you on the move.
Sure, with the latest run of 7-inch tablets, like the ViewSonic ViewPad 7x we recently reviewed, we can see that some might want to take their Honeycomb experience with them on the move - a few more screen inches than your phone makes a big difference to watching movies on the move.
But with the Tablet P you get a 5.5-inch screen, which isn’t that much bigger than your phone, but offers a sharp 1024 x 480 resolution, and then you get the same again.
Of course it isn’t simple. As a clamshell design you have two screens and depending on what app you choose to use, they’ll either work together or separately so there is some method in Sony’s madness here.
Fold the Tablet P flat and you get 1024 x 960 pixels at your disposal. In the browser this means you suddenly have a lot more space to view your website, accepting that there will be a black bar across the middle of the page. Although this is quirky, the browser experience is actually pretty good.
Fire up Sony's Reader app and you’ll get portrait reading across both screens. You then swipe the pages and both screens clear out giving you the next page(s).
The Sony Tablet P is, naturally, PlayStation Certified so you’ll find Crash Bandicoot pre-installed if that’s what you want to play. In many ways, the Tablet P makes more sense as a gaming device than the Tablet S, as you get the controls on the bottom screen and the game in the top - but if you’re interested in gaming, why not shoot for a PlayStation Vita instead?
Of course the counter argument to the convenience of separating things onto two screens is that you do miss out on that big screen wow factor. While Sony may be taking advantage of the dual screens with their own apps, we’re not sure that all third-party apps will put it to best effect - something we’ll have to look at in more detail when we get the Tablet P in for a full review.
As with all Sony products the Tablet P is well put together, but we’re not sure about the hinge design which seems a little crude although solid enough. Connectivity is still a little on the light side only offering a Micro-USB connection and whilst you get the DLNA connected features to shoot movies onto your TV, you don’t get the IR remote control functions.
Internally you get the defacto Nvidia Tegra 2 chipset to power the whole thing and internal memory sits at 4GB, although you can expand this up to 32GB via microSD card.
Sporting Android 3.2 at launch, we’re not totally sold on the concept of the Sony Tablet P, but if it has piqued your interest it is expected to land in November and can be yours for around £479.