Rumors about new tablets from Amazon and Sony have been floating around for a while, but — perhaps due to IFA 2011 kicking off this week — we’ve seen a lot of new information released.
First up are the two new Sony tablets (pictured above; more images here): the wedge-shaped S1 and the hinged S2. According to CNET UK, the S1’s doorstop shape makes it easier to read lying down on a desk, but apart from that it seems par for the course. The S2, on the other hand, has two 5-inch touchscreens in a clamshell design, which makes it quite different from other tablets; for example, the keyboard, when activated, takes up the entire bottom screen. (Sounds like Sony’s been taking tips from the Nintendo DS range.)
Both tablets run Honeycomb, though the S2’s version is obviously modified to cope with its unique design, and are “PlayStation Certified”, like the Xperia Play handset. Neither are really trying to compete on price; the S1 is the same price as the iPad 2, while the S2 is set to cost £100 more in the UK (which usually translates to around $100 more in the USA).
Then there’s Amazon’s new tablet. Okay, this hasn’t been officially announced, but the rumors are so numerous that it’s fair to assume they’re working on something. PC Advisor’s rumor roundup suggests that there’ll be both a 7-inch and a 9- or 10-inch model, with built-in support for Amazon’s Android Appstore and its Cloud Player, and will be priced far cheaper than other comparable tablets on the market. Presumably this, along with the great reputation of the Kindle, will help sell huge numbers of tablets.
Other recently-released tablets may have flown under your radar, like the Eee Pad Transformer with its detachable QWERTY keyboard. Keep an eye on the site for our official review!
All of this is pretty much the same story that we see in the mobile industry: Apple has one current device at any given time — which is incredibly popular — and Android has a wide range of devices with different designs, features, and capabilities. It works well in the mobile industry, but perhaps that’s because everyone wants a handset; can this strategy scale to the luxury market of tablets? Vote in the poll and leave a comment to let us know what you think!