Sony has started shipping an updated Xperia Tablet S in Singapore at S$749, after a difficult year trying to grab hold of a tablet market that is increasingly dominated by Apple and Android rivals Asus and Amazon.
The new Xperia Tablet S is not to be confused with the original Tablet S, which sports the same magazine cover design but is thicker. Sony will hope that its new 9.4-inch tablet will do better than the previous model, which looked great as a concept but hardly shook up the market.
The new device updated with a faster chip, for one, but besides being thinner, it unfortunately doesn’t stand out from the crowd too much.
Sony’s new tablet comes with 3G instead of 4G or Long Term Evolution (LTE), like on Asus Padfone 2. The Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, while fast, does not pull ahead of others like Asus which also use the chip in its tablets.
And while rivals have moved on to version 4.1 or 4.2 “Jellybean” versions of the Android software, Sony is still shipping the Xperia Tablet S in 4.0. If you’re a fan of Sony’s souped up interface, that’s fine, but geeks looking for the latest will look elsewhere.
The Xperia Tablet S does stand out for one thing – it’s said to be splash proof . That means you should be able to use it on the beach or poolside.
Unfortunately, even for that, Sony will have to win back customers’ trust after manufacturing defects caused leaks in earlier Xperia Tablet S models and forced the company to stop selling the tablet temporarily in October.