Mossberg on Sony Tablet P: Very Portable, But Divided Screens a Non-Starter


Mossberg: Tablet P Doesn’t Make the Cut

WSJ Personal Technology Columnist Walt Mossberg reviews Sony's Tablet P.

While Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has had considerable success with its third iteration of the highly popular iPad tablet -- selling three million devices during its first weekend after launch -- many competitors in the market have had a tough time gaining traction.  But could it be that they’re trying too hard to replicate the iPad instead of focusing their efforts on creating a truly differentiated product?

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Sony (NYSE:SNE) may be doing just that with its new dual-screen Tablet P, and indeed, it has quite a radical design, according to Wall Street Journal Personal Technology Columnist Walt Mossberg.

Sony is known for industrial design, Mossberg explained in his weekly All Things Digital segment on FOX Business.  And the company has taken some bold steps to make its tablets look different from the iPad, something that’s been a problem for all the other companies, he added.

Mossberg said the $550 Android tablet is much more portable than most iPad-sized tablets.  The seven-inch device literally folds in half, but in order to accomplish this small-footprint design, it has two separate screens divided by a black hinge, which he called disruptive.

Some apps (about 40) have been written by or altered by Sony to take advantage of the dual-screen design of the Tablet P and that makes sense, Mossberg said.  But a lot of other apps, including biggies like Web browsers and Google Maps as well as most others from the Android market, just span across both screens.  “They all have this hinge going across them and I just think that’s a non-starter, especially since it’s $550.”

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The screen design wasn’t Mossberg’s only issue with the device.  He also felt it had paltry memory, weak battery life, and a poor speaker.  Finally, the tablet lacks LTE mobile data functionality, a feature the latest iPad just added.

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