An Experience with the Sony Tablet P in Las Vegas

Pepcom hosts a media-only show called Digital Experience on the eve before the first official day of CES. You may not see some of the highest profile products on display at Digital Experience but you might come across items that at least catch your eye.

I took a quick minute at the Sony table to check out their Tablet P. It is a meaty-feeling folding tablet device that weighs just shy of one pound (0.82 pounds actually).

Sony Tablet P

It features two 5.5-inch touchscreen displays, runs on the Android OS with access to apps from the Android Marketplace, front- and rear-facing cameras, WiFi connectivity, and is 4G-capable. It functions as a media player with video, music, and game content available from Sony. The Tablet P can also share pictures, videos, and music with compatible connected devices such as televisions and PCs.

The device is pre-loaded with “Crash Bandicoot” (uncertain if it is the 1996 game or later in the series). Other PSone and PSP games can be downloaded.

The Tablet P is also an e-reader with access to magazines, comics, and novels from Sony’s Reader Store. I did not see how the dual screens function in this role though I imagine it is a different experience compared with single screen e-readers.

Because the device folds in half, you lose that wide-open viewing field of single screen tablets. The separation between the dual screens is hard to miss and may not be for everyone. However, the ability to close the tablet and stow it away offers some versatility when it comes to portability. The Tablet P is on the bulky side when closed and will show a noticeable bulge when stuffed into the inside pocket of a jacket. Then again most other tablets are impossible to fit inside a jacket pocket.

The Tablet P is a novel design but it is hard to say the public has been clamoring for a folding tablet, regardless of its portability. Even if the performance of the device is stellar, the form factor may take some getting used to for some users.

Pricing and availability for the Tablet P have yet to be announced.

CES 2012

Photos from International CES 2012

Samsung 55-inch OLED television at CES

Shot at International CES 2012. A glimpse of the 55-inch televisions with organic LED screens that Samsung plans to sell later this year. I muted the audio in the video on purpose; it was really harsh on the ears.

I stood upon a mountain and watched the smoke rise

A couple of days after Sept. 11, 2001, I found myself at Washington Rock State Park in the Watchung Mountains. From a stony perch, I saw the still rising plumes of burnt dust from the World Trade Center. More than 40 miles separate that mountain from New York City; you could not discern specific buildings among the silhouettes in that funnel of ash, steam and smoke, but you knew the source.

Though I did not directly know anyone lost on Sept. 11, I remember how I felt that day. The morning started with confusion as I listened to the radio while I drove to the offices of my old newspaper. Details were sketchy then; no one in the news media knew exactly what happened at the onset. The usually hokey morning radio shows took on hushed, muted tones as the on air personalities disseminated information rather than jokes. None of the frivolities that typically preoccupied our lives mattered.

By the time I pulled into the parking deck on Church Street in New Brunswick, I heard enough to know it was a deliberate attack. After I left my car, I bumped into a coworker and shared a moment of mutual shock. There was little for us to say to each other; we heard similar broadcasts. One of the managers from Old Man Rafferty’s, a local restaurant the guys in our newsroom frequented for lunch, also emerged from the parking deck and said, “I just heard; they hit the second tower.”

At that point I already knew about the second tower, however to hear someone say it in person brought more tangibility to what was happening.

Detailed accounts from eyewitnesses can be found around the Web; rebroadcasts of news footage can be viewed on television, but we must each decide how we reflect upon that day.

There are dangerous emotions that can run through our veins in response. It’s not for me to decide what is the best way to react; I did not lose any loved ones. The day hit me like a mule kick to the chest as if someone stole into my backyard and snatched away part of my community. However, you will not find me going along with vitriolic negativity disguised as jingoism.

I don’t stand on a mountain anymore to look at Manhattan now that I work on the other side of the Hudson River. I won’t pretend that I am some newly-minted New Yorker just because I sometimes hunt for a spot to sit down with my laptop at cafés outside of Columbus Circle. I am proud to walk the city’s streets and wait for the express subway train that never seems to arrive when I need it.

We live in a world of opportunity that is also fraught with events we might not be able to control personally. Rather than ascribe to the notion that “everything happens for a reason”, I believe how we deal with such times defines us better than those who seek to assail our way of life.

Borders end not a triumph of e-books over print

It is never fun to hear that a business that you have been a patron of is shutting its doors. Borders, a chain of stores where bibliophiles sip on java while turning the pages of meaty doorstopper novels, is seeking approval in bankruptcy court to liquidate. The equation behind its demise is more complicated than e-publishing = death to print but changes in the publishing industry surely played a role.

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