Look Out iPad. Here Comes Android

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  1. Buba says:

    (Personal Computers) First, a disclaimer: this is not a full ievrew. It is based on less than one hour hands-on experience. I am buying one. IN SHORT, I am very positively impressed by Sony S1 and think it is one of the best, if not the best, Android tablets made so far. My other favorite Android tablet is Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. I would not regret to own either of them, but I now prefer Sony S1 for its unique handholding ergonomics (see detailed discussions below). Running a comparison among the top tablets including iPad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and this one (Sony S1) makes me feel we consumers are really spoiled. These products are all so good for what they are. It is like comparing different flavors of ice cream, and one might end up wanting to eat all of them. But still, the Sony S1 manages to somehow stand out with a few quite significant unique features. On the other hand, even the best iPads and Android tablets cannot replace my Windows-based laptop computer. Like many, I do work on my computer. In fact I can’t work without my computer. As much as I like the convenience of the current tablets, none of them comes even close to giving me the whole spectrum of business software applications and the ecosystem. This is not a complaint against a computing device that costs less than $500. It is just a statement of reality. To name a few of PC software and system tools that lack a reasonable substitute on either iOS or Android: (1) sophisticated file system management (local, LAN and cloud), (2) the Office system (beyond Word, including PowerPoint, Excel), (3) NaturallySpeaking Pro (business-grade full-text speech recognition), (4) image editing and other multimedia creation and editing programs (such as Photoshop), (5) OneNote, (6) Microsoft’s unmatched handwriting recognition, (7) Visio (vector drawing software), and (8) CRM, QuickBooks, business databases and other professional software. To me, a computer for work has to have almost all of these capabilities. I’m waiting for the Windows 8 tablet to come out to replace my laptop for this purpose (more about this at the end of this ievrew). But this ievrew is not a fight between Windows and iOS/Android (which are frankly entirely different leagues serving different purposes). It’s just some thoughts of a happy consumer with regard to a good product. In the following, I will list and comment on some major aspects of Sony S1, starting with the ones that distinguish Sony S1 from the crowd the most, and ones that I personally think are more important. 1. THE DESIGN & ERGONOMICS: Of the numerous tablets I have handled, Sony S1 feels the best in hands, noticeably better than both iPad 2 and Samsung galaxy 10.1, or any other tablets for that matter. This is largely because of its asymmetrical shape. I would not be surprised that a large number of people will feel the same way. But I think there is something more than just a feel. In my particular case, there’s a very significant practical benefit, in fact a health-related benefit. Due to longtime use of Windows-based convertible tablet computers (yes they do exist, and not to be confused with the tablets we talk about here), the skin of my fingers got a slowly-burnt condition which is very sensitive to any heat (I suspect it is radiation related, but I don’t know for sure). Sony S1 gives me a cool handle to hold it, and I immediately know it is healthier, not just more comfortable. I would buy Sony S1 for this reason alone. I can’t speak for others however. In addition, the way Sony designed this tablet beems with quality and even pride. Once you have seen and held a Sony S1, a rare gleam of hope arises: finally a tablet that is not just trying to emulate the iPads. I don’t hate iPads. I just want to see some freedom to break away from the Apple Way and good choices other than Apple products. So a tablet like Sony S1 gives me a bit of extra satisfaction other than its just being a good product. Call me biased. But I’m entitled to my opinion. 2. UNIQUE FUNCTIONALITIES: Although the Sony S1 tablet is based on Android Honeycomb, Sony introduced a few very unique features. The first interesting one is that the tablet works as a universal remote control, not only to Sony TVs but also electronics of other brands. I haven’t tried this yet, but in theory, once they have that infrared sensor built in, they could make it work as a truly powerful universal control with good software implementation. Another feature is that the Sony S1 has DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) for streaming contents directly to a DLNA capable TV. Considering that newer TVs and many other home electronics are increasingly becoming DLNA certified as a matter of standard now, this is a good thing. In addition, Sony is pitching its tablet as a PlayStation-certified


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