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Sony Xperia Tablet S review

6.9/10 AVG.
RATING



6.9/10
Informr score
The Sony Xperia Tablet S currently has an Informr score of 6.9 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 14 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The Sony Xperia Tablet S is one of the latest devices launched to market with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. It comes in a splash proof casing and weighs 572 grams total, but it isn’t quite like many other Android-powered tablets available on the market today. From the hardware design to the numerous software enhancements, Sony made sure to inject certain elements in the Xperia Tablet S that would distinguish it from the competition.

One of the first things you will notice upon seeing or picking up the Tablet S is the fact that it has a somewhat large bezel surrounding the touchscreen display. This display measures 9.4-inches diagonally and features a native resolution of 1280x800. This means it’s going to be possible to watch 720p HD video content. And with the help of the 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor plus 1GB RAM combo inside, this Sony tablet should have no trouble with that at all.

You would think that with all the models of Android tablets that have become available over the past few years, manufacturers would have run out of design ideas for their devices already. But Sony manages to come up with an interesting new design that has an area that sticks out at the back, an area where the Xperia branding resides. Other than that, it looks plain and simple. And more importantly, it doesn’t get in the way of users during usage, and even supports a number of different docks and covers for different scenarios.

Since it offers up to 64GB of internal storage—which can be expanded further with the use of microSD cards—and up to 12 hours of battery life pre charge in terms of video playback, this tablet should serve as a reliable companion for media consumption. However, the fact that it doesn’t run the latest version of the Android software by default may seem like a dealbreaker for some, especially those don’t want to wait for an official Sony update months after they purchase their devices.

Need to Know: Sony Xperia Tablet S

1. The NVIDIA Tegra 3 and 1GB RAM combination makes it easy to take care of full HD content, whether through movies or video games. (The Good)

2. Offers 12-hours of battery life in terms of video playback. (The Good)

3. Doesn’t run the latest version of the Android software. (The Bad)

4. Not as slim and light as other tablet models. (The Bad)


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.3 GHz
Screen Size
9.4"
Camera
8+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


What Hi-Fi

It all adds up to an accomplished do-it-all tablet, and one of our favourite Android devices around. The problem is that the iPad with Retina Display is just £70 more expensive – and worth every penny.

- Andy Clough, What Hi-Fi
Expert Reviews

It's a shame that Sony had to pull the Xperia Tablet S for so long in order to fix its splash-proof seal, as in the meantime its been surpassed in many ways by the Google Nexus 10, which has a significantly better screen for the same money. The Xperia Tablet S’s splash-proof design and family-...

- Tom Morgan, Expert Reviews
Tablet News

For the design we give it a 7.5 out of 10, for the hardware an 8 out of 10 and for the OS and UI an 8 as well. Sony Xperia Tablet S gets a total grade of 7.83 out of 10 and it’s a bit of a disappointment for us, since we were expecting a bit more, to be honest. I’m not sure we’ll s...

- James A., Tablet News
PhoneArena

The Xperia Tablet S does offer some features to differentiate it from the competition, though, apart from the distinctive looks, like the useful universal remote control function. Other than that, you can find plenty of good Android tablets with this screen resolution and processing power for even l...

- Daniel P., PhoneArena
GSMArena

The Sony Xperia Tablet S is fairly unique in design and features, but established competitors and relative newcomers like Barnes&Noble are providing excellent products of their own at very competitive price points. So, while the Xperia Tablet S might be a good companion to your other Sony gadget...

- GSMArena team, GSMArena


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Quick view

Screen Size
9.4"

The Sony Xperia Tablet S's screen size is 9.4 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
1.3 GHz

There is a Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-core 1.3 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
8+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the tablet's onboard 8+ megapixel camera. There is also a secondary front facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
16/32/64 GB

Internal memory is 16/32/64 GB. An external, SD, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
6000mAh

The tablet is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 6000 mAh battery. Sony's performance ratings are 16.7 days standby time, 10 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

Xperia Tablet S Specs

Overview
Release date September 7, 2012
Regions available USA, Canada
Networks
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System

Compare Android Tablets

Secondary OS No
Processor Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-core 1.3 GHz
Internal Storage 16/32/64 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Digital compass Yes
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 6000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 5 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 12 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time No
Standby Time Up to: 16.7 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 17.4 x 24.0 x 1.2 cm (6.9 x 9.5 x 0.5 in)
Weight 572 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 9.4 inches
3D No
Sensors Ambient Light, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Wallpapers
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech Yes
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Unknown
Multiple Numbers Per Contact No
Contact Groups No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared Yes
Bluetooth 3.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption No
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info SD, MicroSD, MicroSDHC
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support Yes
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
8+ megapixels
Dual lens
No
Zoom
Yes
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
Auto focus, Geotagging, Panorama, White balance, Exposure compensation
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WMA, WAV, OGG
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types DOC, DOCX, PDF, PPT, PPTX, XLS
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Sony SGPT121, Sony SGPT122, Sony SGPT123

- Splash Proof
- Universal IR Remote Control Capability with Macro Functionality
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Sony Xperia Tablet S Reviews
Where to buy Sony Xperia Tablet S
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Critic Reviews


What Hi-Fi

Still one of the best Android tablets around, especially for movie buffs

from What Hi-Fi

It all adds up to an accomplished do-it-all tablet, and one of our favourite Android devices around. The problem is that the iPad with Retina Display is just £70 more expensive – and worth every penny.

Read full review

It all adds up to an accomplished do-it-all tablet, and one of our favourite Android devices around. The problem is that the iPad with Retina Display is just £70 more expensive – and worth every penny.

Read full review

Less

Expert Reviews

Sony's best Android tablet yet

from Expert Reviews

It's a shame that Sony had to pull the Xperia Tablet S for so long in order to fix its splash-proof seal, as in the meantime its been surpassed in many ways by the Google Nexus 10, which has a significantly better screen for the same money. The Xperia Tablet S’s splash-proof design and fami...More

It's a shame that Sony had to pull the Xperia Tablet S for so long in order to fix its splash-proof seal, as in the meantime its been surpassed in many ways by the Google Nexus 10, which has a significantly better screen for the same money. The Xperia Tablet S’s splash-proof design and family-friendly guest mode are genuinely useful features that should appeal to parents of young children, but given its high price, it's difficult to recommend when the Nexus is such good value.

Read full review

Less

Tablet News

Not much of a change, still riddled with problems

from Tablet News

For the design we give it a 7.5 out of 10, for the hardware an 8 out of 10 and for the OS and UI an 8 as well. Sony Xperia Tablet S gets a total grade of 7.83 out of 10 and it’s a bit of a disappointment for us, since we were expecting a bit more, to be honest. I’m not sure we’l...More

For the design we give it a 7.5 out of 10, for the hardware an 8 out of 10 and for the OS and UI an 8 as well. Sony Xperia Tablet S gets a total grade of 7.83 out of 10 and it’s a bit of a disappointment for us, since we were expecting a bit more, to be honest. I’m not sure we’ll see a future Android tablet from Sony, after this model’s problems.

Read full review

Less

PhoneArena

Distinctive, elegant look

from PhoneArena

The Xperia Tablet S does offer some features to differentiate it from the competition, though, apart from the distinctive looks, like the useful universal remote control function. Other than that, you can find plenty of good Android tablets with this screen resolution and processing power for eve...More

The Xperia Tablet S does offer some features to differentiate it from the competition, though, apart from the distinctive looks, like the useful universal remote control function. Other than that, you can find plenty of good Android tablets with this screen resolution and processing power for even less. Overall, those who'd appreciate the more distinctive, elegant look will find the Xperia Tablet S right up their alley.

Read full review

Less

GSMArena

A well-equipped tablet that should offer snappy performance, the unmatched versatility of Android and cool looks

The Sony Xperia Tablet S is fairly unique in design and features, but established competitors and relative newcomers like Barnes&Noble are providing excellent products of their own at very competitive price points. So, while the Xperia Tablet S might be a good companion to your other Sony gad...More

The Sony Xperia Tablet S is fairly unique in design and features, but established competitors and relative newcomers like Barnes&Noble are providing excellent products of their own at very competitive price points. So, while the Xperia Tablet S might be a good companion to your other Sony gadgets, it probably won't be the Android tablet that makes it big.

Read full review

Less

Digital Trends

It looks good, has a smooth user interface, and its size makes it comfortable to hold

from Digital Trends

There is a lot to love about Sony’s new tablet. It looks good, has a smooth user interface, and its size makes it comfortable to hold. The downsides are mostly quality-control issues. Sony has fixed a paralyzing Wi-Fi bug, but we’ve had issues pressing the power button and found eleme...More

There is a lot to love about Sony’s new tablet. It looks good, has a smooth user interface, and its size makes it comfortable to hold. The downsides are mostly quality-control issues. Sony has fixed a paralyzing Wi-Fi bug, but we’ve had issues pressing the power button and found elements of the hardware a little cheap, despite the fact that the tablet looks and feels quite premium. The camera is also disappointing, even for a tablet. The Xperia Tablet S starts at $400 and for a price like that we expect a tablet that can compete with the best.

Read full review

Less

Business Insider

Incredibly light and sturdy

from Business Insider

The Xperia Tablet S performs on par with most other Android tablets out there. Which is fine, but I don't see how this thing can be successful by appearing so dull. It doesn't have anything killer that sets it apart. And I think there are plenty other decent Android tablets, like Google's Nexus 7 or Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 that are much better values....

More

The Xperia Tablet S performs on par with most other Android tablets out there. Which is fine, but I don't see how this thing can be successful by appearing so dull. It doesn't have anything killer that sets it apart. And I think there are plenty other decent Android tablets, like Google's Nexus 7 or Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 that are much better values.

It's good, but not great.

Read full review

Less

Good E-Reader

An impressive device, but was marred by a not too friendly price tag along with a few other quirks

from Good E-Reader

The original Tablet S was an impressive device, but was marred by a not too friendly price tag along with a few other quirks. The Xperia Tablet S is without many of the irritants of the original and while it still can’t be considered the best example of the perfect tablet, it still makes a...More

The original Tablet S was an impressive device, but was marred by a not too friendly price tag along with a few other quirks. The Xperia Tablet S is without many of the irritants of the original and while it still can’t be considered the best example of the perfect tablet, it still makes a strong case for itself with the asking price of $399.

Read full review

Less

The Verge

Plenty to like, but at twice the price of the Nexus 7 it's hard to justify this purchase

from The Verge

The Xperia Tablet S is one of my favorite Android tablets yet, but to be honest I can't totally explain why. I suppose it's because it's one of the few devices I've tested with no glaring flaws — there's no hideous UI skin, no major performance issues, no critical features missing. I like most (but not all) of Sony's software additions. I've used the remote features a lot, more than I expected to. Guest Mode made the Tablet S more amenable to social situations than any other tablet I've used, too....

More

The Xperia Tablet S is one of my favorite Android tablets yet, but to be honest I can't totally explain why. I suppose it's because it's one of the few devices I've tested with no glaring flaws — there's no hideous UI skin, no major performance issues, no critical features missing. I like most (but not all) of Sony's software additions. I've used the remote features a lot, more than I expected to. Guest Mode made the Tablet S more amenable to social situations than any other tablet I've used, too.

But at the end of the day, the $399 Xperia Tablet S is double the price of the Nexus 7, a tablet with virtually identical specs (even the screen is the same resolution, though it's smaller), Google's latest and greatest OS, and the promise of timely updates in the future. Sony's case for the price premium is more compelling than most other tablet makers — primarily its remote control capability — but unless you're dying to replace your Logitech Harmony, it's hard to recommend against saving $200 and buying a Nexus 7.

Read full review

Less

Engadget

Slimmer design and faster guts

from Engadget

The Xperia Tablet S was Sony's second chance at getting the Android tablet space right. It also represented an opportunity for the company to extend the esteemed Xperia brand to another product category. If we were to judge it based solely on its ergonomic build, then yes, the S wins high marks for comfort. We're not entirely sold on this folded-over magazine shape as a standard for the line going forward, but for now it works, and we're eager to see how it evolves over time....

More

The Xperia Tablet S was Sony's second chance at getting the Android tablet space right. It also represented an opportunity for the company to extend the esteemed Xperia brand to another product category. If we were to judge it based solely on its ergonomic build, then yes, the S wins high marks for comfort. We're not entirely sold on this folded-over magazine shape as a standard for the line going forward, but for now it works, and we're eager to see how it evolves over time.

Unfortunately, the S also misses the mark in everyday performance, doling out an uneven software experience that stumbles more than it pleases. Granted, most tablets we've tested hiccup at least a little, but for $399 you might be better off low-balling it for the same specs. While the Xperia Tablet S does feel like an improvement over its predecessor, it ultimately leans too much on the crutch of signature design while skimping on a polished user experience.

Read full review

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