back to article Sony Tablet P split-screen Android fondleslab

Now here’s an odd one. Sony has created what looks like a monster Nintendo 3DS but is actually an Android Honeycomb tablet computer. So you get a sort of flattened tube that folds out to reveal two screens. Will it work? Should it work? Read on… Sony Tablet P Android fondlecrab: Sony's Tablet S This is actually one of two …


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  1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    I really wanted this to be good. Fantastic Idea - poor execution.

    If the 2 screens had met edge to edge it would have been perfect for both ebooks in portrait, and movies in landscape.

    Would have got double bonus points if it could fold around 360 to put the screens back to back for reading, kinda like having a Broadsheet and Tabloid paper in the same device.

    Seems we reached the cutting edge of hinge design 15 year ago on the psion revo and its been downhill ever since.

    Although Im wondering if Sony may have a problem syncronising the screens perfectly which may explain the movieplay back decision.

  2. Mondo the Magnificent

    Splitting the difference

    So, unlike the Galaxy or iPad, the Tablet P cannot be used as a chopping board once it reaches the end of its useful life..

  3. jai


    shoulder buttons on the top screen? so nearly impossible to use while your thumbs are on the controls on the bottom screen then. and so totally useless to play anything more complicated than the likes of Crash Bandicoot on.

  4. Wize

    Split P soup

    Shame they couldn't have hidden the join a bit better. Will be a pain if you are trying to drag something from the top screen to the bottom because an android app doesn't know about the gap.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Credit to Sony for giving it a go

    But it still looks like a bit of a nightmare to use, the twin screens and thick border were always going to be a major issue and I really don't think anyone can say it really "works".

  6. Hardcastle the ancient

    Is it me, or is that an awful lot of money, when a dsi can be had for a third of the price?

  7. Jon Pain

    Not there yet

    Whack a screen, speaker and mic on the outside and you've got yourself a phone akin to the Nokia 9110. Now I think that would be a winner.

    But in the current form?

  8. John Riddoch


    Wow, Sony actually shipped something which uses SD cards and not their proprietary memory cards!

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      All of their phones I have had so far use MicroSD

      I have a couple of Experias - they all use microSD

      1. Danny 14

        indeed me too

        my xperia mini pro comes with an uSD too. Havent seen a memory stick pro in many years.

  9. It wasnt me
    Thumb Down

    But its a sony.

    It all looks qquite good really, not a bad I dea and no doubt useful for some people / applications. But its a Sony. That feature list is a 'start-of-life' feature list. Expect parts of it to be remotely disabled with updates in due course as people find ways of making it do what they want it to do. Which of course is a euphemism for people doing stuff that Sony hadn't envisaged.

    Sorry Sony, it'll take a while to win back trust.

  10. Tim Jenkins

    mmmmm; shiny thing ; )

    "it’s not yet clear just who the market is for something like this"

    Presumably the same person who will buy a £1000 coffee machine from the John Lewis catalogue, which I like to think of as nature's way of balancing out the existence of the Argos one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, I don't think so

      I see your point but I think those people would just buy the most expensive ipad they could get their hands on. Nice try Sony but too expensive. Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't give it back if I received one as a gift but equally I would not spend my own money on one of these.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I would buy that £1,000 coffee machine

      Because it would look cool and make coffee. Whereas this Sony looks like a plastic turd and does nothing useful. And it's a Sony

  11. Magnus Ramage

    Tablet P vs MS Courier

    I'm interested how negative are the initial reactions to this one. When the (cancelled) Microsoft Courier folding tablet was announced, about 18 months ago, lots of people were very positive. The gap between the two screens (which I agree is the big issue here) was no smaller with that one, though it didn't have that huge fugly bezel and the screens were 7" each not 5.5". Pics and stuff of the Courier from El Reg are at

    Mind you, that was then and this is now. And this device has its problems. But the idea of a folding dual-screen tablet seems a thoroughly interesting one to me at least.

    1. karakalWitchOfTheWest

      The difference is/was...

      The best thing about the courier-concept - and still unmatched - was the software as demonstrated in the videos. I would gladly pay up to 1000€ for a courier, because the software demoed in the concept-videos would make my life easier.

      The Sony P is just another Android-tablet, and made worse by the poor execution of the dual-screen-thingie...

      I have a Android Tablet, but it isn't just a Courier and that makes me unbelievably sad...

  12. Chris 171

    P has prior art..

    As in the Vaio P from 2009 - Guessing the people that bought that will be the market for the Tablet P, Japan probably being the biggest market?

    Cant say I even considered it as I was already hooked on the Tablet S but there you go, good to see something different :)

  13. Alex Walsh

    Enough of this nonsense, where's the smaller xoom2 review?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why bother photo shopping screen images, you always make such a shite job of it! That one at the bottom of page one is such a bad job it's meaningless as a display of the units abilities. Please marketing depts, better if you leave the screen black, OK?

  15. dssf

    Two Screens, Two feeds?

    I wonder whether the two screens can display two different web sites. Imagine having one open for a social site content posting and another for source site content to be posted.

    Or, open two sites or books and sor of like OLE, hilight or quote text in one site and have your social feed automatically updated.

    Or, compare two articles, two books, two whatevers.

    If it were bigger and aimed at engineers, it might be useful in the CAD world... source image, and new image. Almost like a digital Tricky Tracer...

    1. Testy McTester

      Split screen

      And how is that any better than using a window manager on a single screen?

  16. LarsG



    Ho Ho Ho Ho and a Merry Christmas to all of you who still believe in elves and Santa!

    Ho Ho Ho

  17. Danny 14


    personally I would go with a samsung note. It would be a little more flexible and on the single screen probably better (plus you wont need to cart a phone about too).

  18. carl 10

    Or how about....

    Or how about a keyboard on one half and a screen on the other?.... Yes, I'm leaving.

  19. nanchatte
    Thumb Up

    @dssf: two browsers

    I played with it a while back in a shop in Akihabara. The one I used had software called "split screen browser" which does what you ask... quite interesting, but very narrow.

    Funnily enough, the 9in single screen pad also has the same browser software.

  20. tonyoung

    Or, how about ...

    ... the undersold, understated, but widely appreciated Asus Transformer? A little larger, but soooo well specced.

    It's got everything, including a proper keyboard, IPS screen, Gorilla glass, lots of connectivity - and it's getting cheaper by the day!

    With Ice Cream Sandwich on the way, why buy anything else? (Except, maybe, the upcoming Transformer Prime).

  21. John Savard Silver badge


    Of course it isn't as good as a laptop with a big screen and a real keyboard.

    But Android devices usually come with no keyboard and one small screen. So this, by offering two screens a bit larger than those, is an improvement on that.

  22. Zot

    Should have called it....

    ... "The Sony Purse."

    It looks clunky and unstable to use, and those black borders look 'old fashioned.'

    But that's just my first impression though.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Design nightmare worse than the eMate!

    Look up 'emate', you youngsters. One of the big design issues with that device was the high proportion of bezel to screen -- and this monstrosity is even worse, produced more than a decade later with far superior technology.

    So the CONTROLS of the movie player take up as much room as the image itself!? And the game screen is less than 1/10 the size of the folded-out device!! It's vaguely possible that some enterprising genius will find a way to leverage the two too-far-apart-screens with some kind of application that doesn't suffer from the design insanity... but I wouldn't invest in such an endeavour!

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