Which tablet should I buy? iPad 2 vs Sony Tablet S

Computerworld Australia reviews the iPad 2 and Sony Tablet S

Sony’s two recently unveiled tablets, the Tablet S and Tablet P, are rumoured to become the first real competitors to Apple’s iPad and iPad 2. The Tablet S will be introduced into the Australian market at the end of October, and is available for pre-order on 28th September. The dual-screen Tablet P is expected to launch sometime next year.

See Which tablet should I buy? iPad vs Xoom.

Here we compare Sony’s Tablet S with Apple’s iPad 2.

The Tablet S will be available in 16GB and 32GB versions, like the Apple iPad; however, the iPad 2 also offers a 64GB option. The Tablet S 16GB version will sell for $579 and the 32GB for $689, cheaper than the iPad 2 equivalents, which are priced at $729 and $839 respectively.

While the iPad 2 is run on iOS 4.3, the Tablet S will run on Android 3.1 (Honeycomb), a platform designed specifically for tablets. Tablet S users will be able to upgrade to the Android 3.2 platform when it becomes available.

The Android 3.2 will introduce a new compatibility zoom mode that gives users a new to way to view fixed-sized apps on larger devices, linking adequately with the Tablet S’s Infrared Remote.

The Tablet S, like the iPad 2, has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities, but Sony’s tablet has introduced the Infrared Remote (IR). This built-in remote allows IT executives to control and connect to their TV, Blu-Ray players, and stereo systems.

DNLA technology allows the Tablet S to ‘throw’ personal content such as video, images and music to compatible TV’s or wireless speakers, perfect for business meetings. The Tablet S also contains a USB port, allowing easy accessibility to a number of other media.

The iPad 2’s processor is the 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 while the Tablet S uses a NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor with Dual Core ARM Cortext –A9 CPU. The Dual-core ARM Cortext-A9 CPU is the world’s first dual-core CPU, which allows faster web browsing and response time, and is the first mobile CPU with out of order execution allowing for more efficient processing and a better overall performance.

The new Sony tablet is 10 grams lighter than the iPad 2, weighing 598 grams. The Tablet S is similarly sized to the iPad with a 9.4 inch display, but unlike other competing tablets, it is differently shaped to the iPad. It is wedge-shaped, imitating a magazine that has been folded over.

This design allows the device to be held over a long period of time and its wedge shape makes it feel extra light in one hand. When set down, the shape allows easy angling for typing. The Tablet P is smaller, has two screens and is opened like a book. While reading e-Books on the Tablet P, the two screens show pages on both sides.

The Tablet S 9.4 inch display includes a capacitive touch panel and 10-point detection and TruBlack display. TruBlack controls and lessens reflections from sunlight or bright light for high contrast and visibility allowing strain free use indoors and outdoors. This is an improvement on the iPad 2, which has received complaints regarding reflections making use difficult outdoors.

Battery life in the two tablets are similar, with the Tablet S having a Li-ion 5000mAh battery that offers 8 hours usage, while the 25 watt hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery in the iPad 2 offers up to 10 hours life on its Wi-Fi version and 9 hours on its 3G and Wi-Fi version.

Like the iPad 2, the Tablet S contains front and rear cameras. The Tablet S and iPad 2 both have VGA-quality cameras on the front and 5 megapixel cameras that can also record 720p video at the rear.

While the Tablet S and the iPad 2 share many similarities, some of the innovative specifications and new features of the Tablet S are rearing it up to become one of the first major competitors to the iPad 2. Only time (and sales) will tell.

Apple iPad 2 vs Sony Tablet S: Specs

iPad 2 Tablet S
Size 241.2mm x 185.7mm
Platform iOS 4 and later Android 3.1 (Honeycomb), to be upgradeable to Android 3.2
Weight WiFi (603.277g) WiFi 3G (607.813g) 598 grams
Storage 16GB, 32GB, 64GB 16GB, 32GB
Wireless & cellular Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology, UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) WiFi (b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Infrared (IR) Remote
Display 9.7 inches (diagonal), LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology. 1024 by 768 pixel resolution at 132ppi 9.4 inches capacitive touch panel, 10 points detection TruBlack display (controls and reduces glare and reflections from sunlight or fluorescent light for high contrast and visibility for strain free use indoors or outdoors)
Processor 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip NVIDIA Tegra 2 mobile processor with Dual Core ARM Cortext –A9 CPU
Camera, photos & video recording Back camera: video recording, HD (720p) up to 30 frames per second with audio, still camera with 5x zoom; front camera: video recording, VGA up to 30 frames per second with audio, VGA-quality still camera Face focus VGA camera (front), 5.0 megapixel camera (rear)
Power & battery Built-in 25 watt hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery, up to 10 hours (9 hours 3G), charging via power adapter or USB to computer system Li-ion 5000mAh,8 hours based on standard usage

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

This article is also available in Indonesian: Perbandingan antara iPad 2 dan Sony Tablet S.

This article is also available in Simplified Chinese: 我该购买哪种平板电脑? iPad 2 与索尼 Tablet S 的对决.

Tags iPad 2tabletsApple iPad 2Sony Tablet S

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34 Comments

LS

1

I am not sure how to compare the batteries. One is measured in apples, and the other in oranges :)

as

2

The 2 can't really be compared, if you want IOS and compatability with other apple devices then you would go for the IPAD, if you want android then you would compare the sony with other android devices such as the HTC, ASUS, ACER or Samsung (all of which beat the sony on performance and battery life)

laura

3

Love the sony tablet!!!!!!!

Colin

4

Errr - Platform for iPad is wrong. iOS is also written specifically for touchscreens.

Wonder if the person(s) who wrote this has appropriate technical knowledge. Doesn't seem like it.

Matt

5

"The Dual-core ARM Cortext-A9 CPU is the world’s first dual-core CPU"

Excuse me? How many things are wrong with this statement!! Can't even spell the name of the processor.

And WHO (apart from this article) has rumoured the Sony tablets to be the "first real competitor"?? The Galaxy tab and Xoom leave the iPad for dead already.

DV

6

And do we really see them comparing prices of a quad band 3G iPad and a pure Wifi-only Sony? The Wifi only iPads are cheaper. Or is the table wrong, as it is in so many other minor details? This would be complaint material if it was an ad, it is so misleading.

How about some real differences, like how useful is the USB port (iPad has a crippled port), or how well integrated the OS is with Sony hardware features, or whether the claimed battery life is realistic?

A list of misinterpreted, miscompared specs plus marketer's bumpf is not a review!

(Unless you want to be compared to the zombie content plague on the automated aggregator sites, in which case it's all over.)

Ning

7

This article proves that you CAN write a comparison review of two tablets without even seeing them. Everyone can read specs sheet...

Jacob

8

u know wat flytouch 3 is amazing

Sean

9

Uh, why did you compare the price of the 3G iPad to the WiFi only Sony Tablet? The iPad is CHEAPER than the Sony Tablet...

Mitch

10

Im thinking of getting Ipad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10,1 or the Sony S Tablet and i think Sony then either Ipad 2 or Galaxy tab 10.1 but il probably wait till next year or the year after.

Mitch

11

Im thinking of getting Ipad 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10,1 or the Sony S Tablet and i think Sony then either Ipad 2 or Galaxy tab 10.1 but il probably wait till next year or the year after.

Mehdi

12

This article is clearly written in favour of Sony by cleverly distorting the facts, first of all the Apple A5 chip is the second mobile dual core chip, the A4 was the first. "The Dual-core ARM Cortext-A9 CPU is the world’s first dual-core CPU" this is a lie.
The weight difference is less than 1.5% difference, no one can distinguish such a small difference, I mean really...
It talks about the possibility to upgrade to the latest Android version, silent about Apple's major upgrade iOS 5 that is far more sophisticated. It is silent about the screen resolution, and talks about the useless IR that is outclassed in iOS 5 air functions.
And about the so called Samsung and Xoom tablets, they sell only a fraction of what the iPad does because they are cheap rip-offs made of cheap materials and won't last.

driftkingtonyd

13

Sony tablet s is brand new and will be awsoom and the ipad cost a lot more but it is a little bit bigger put heres the thing ITS SONY i got sony tv sony hi fi sony ps3 sont the best make going

mike

14

The sony tablet looks great and cheaper. I big kicker for me is the expansion port where the ipad2, there is none. You are basically stuck with the built in memory that apple gives you where the tablet s can be expanded if you want.

rama

15

Sony tablets s rocks

philip

16

All the bigest seller is Android supports Flash! I rest my case. this will definatly put a strain on Apple,

JC

17

Hi, I was just looking at the Sony S and I currently own the ipad 2. I actually took my iPad in store with me to compare them. The main reason for me looking at the Sony is for flash player that's it. Flash works great on the Sony, I tried a cam site out on it :))) and the salesman snuck over and says hi what are you looking at there? Ha! I'm testing flash I replied haha. Anyway after that I started to compare many of the other things iPad can do. I use the pages app alot and I don't know if there is anything available yet on the Sony. Another freedom of the iPad is having 3G makes life so easy, and a small charge power cable. The Sony's is massive, kind of still laptop size...yuk. The whole idea is portability and getting the weight and load size down. Something they seem to have forgotten there. I like the Sony look but android is still a long way off apple. Maybe next year when windows 8 is released and Sony change to that, it will sell well. Till then I will stay without flash and hope for HTML5 to get up to speed. Who knows what iPad 3 will have and it's not far away. Cheers :D

Steve Miller

18

IPad or Sony? Are you serial? The real question is: iPad or Samsung. Sony is a has been, also ran, going by the way of HP's and RIM's tablets. You can pay full price now, or wait six mths, and pay a third of their asking price.

dan

19

Sony makes great looking products, but they are all crap.

I bought into the sony style for years. Until you are stuck with trying to have any of their crap fixed, it's a real up hill battle.

Maybe I'm missing something here, that is better left alone.

Sony products are scary. Nice house. Nobody home.

Dan

Harsh

20

sony is the best

Dany

21

Why cant you try a different tablet,Everyone is going behind Ipad why not you try sony.

Yiddish

22

I prefer ipad

Emil Schanzer

23

Apple is grossly overated. They don't make the best computer or cell phone and i doubt the ipad is at the top. The competition is clearly better. The best thing about Apple is its soaring stock but their products are not up to par with the stock.

TJ

24

THIS IS THE WORST ARTICLE EVER WRITTEN.
The writer is a moron.

Llama

25

Going to sleep just thinking about this crap ZZZZzzzzzzz.....

Pedro

26

I have an iPad 3 and it sucks big time. I should've bought the Sony at least it has flash. IPad is just an apps device which cost money even the free ones cost because of upgrades or theyre just a tease, it also keeps dropping wifi. Over all the only thing ipad3 has good is the screen sharpness and hmmm I guess that's it, oh camera is good too. Don't waste your money on it get anything but apple products they are completely worthless p.o.s.. I know I have one unfortunately.

Olly

27

Samsung galaxy 10.1 is the best....
Ipad3 (still no flash)..come on,dats LAME.

Julius

28

Folks - everything looks good when going on specs alone. Specs mean s**t. What you are buying into is either iOS or Android.
iOS is optimised for ONE tablet, namely the iPad (ok,iPhone - same thing smaller screen). Android is optimised for? Oops almost forgot, Google make it but Motorola, Samsung, Sony, ASUS, Acer, Lanovo et al, optimise it according to their SPECIFIC requirements. If you want to buy into the (closed and - almost - hassle free) iOS environment you will experience not just a tablet which is measurable purely on spec but an environment which provides a smooth, highly consistant computing environment. On the other hand, with android, IMHO, you are buying into the spec, but are offered nothing in the way of consistency - other than Google play. So forget the specs. Buy on quality of experience. After all, the user experience is unique (to THAT user). All I can say is don't judge a tablet on spec alone. DISCLOSURE: I own, iPad 1 & 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 & 7, Lenovo Thinkpad Tab, HP Touchpad, Motorola Xoom 1, Samsung Galaxy Note.

apple ipad 3 review jon4lakers

29

Not that you will need to have access for the web necessarilly with an I-phone, but anyone with an I-phone,
check your wireless connectivity. You have the same problem.

I'm also locked out of my home network on my I-phone. Same software problem I am guessing ... same company.

apple ipad 3 review jon4lakers

30

Not that you will need to have access for the web necessarilly with an I-phone,
but anyone with an I-phone, check your wireless connectivity.
You have the same problem. I'm also locked out of my home network on my I-phone. Same software problem I am guessing ... same company.

ipad 3 keynote

31

huh? ditch the iPad for 5 devices and spend also more?

huh?

ipad 3 keynote

32

huh? ditch the iPad for 5 devices and spend also more?
huh?

Robert Carey

33

You should not buy an ipad merely because it is an Apple product made under slave labour conditions. Anything BUT Apple.

Dylan

34

I have play with both Ipad2 and Sony tablet S. Sony tablet is more easy to use, you don’t need itunes (I hate that software) to share media, just plug and play. USB, love the infrared remote, feels lighter and easy to hold. Only downside is no USB charging. I found out, when you put higher quality picture or video to ipad, It downsize via itunes, so it can process faster, which is sneaky, so you can’t really compare the performance when higher pictures or video playing by both units.

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