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.

Sony hefting cost of data theft

Hackers continue to sting Sony Corp. much like an aggressive swarm of hornets chasing larger prey. The company said Wednesday that email addresses and phone numbers, but not credit card information, of some 2,000 users of mobile phone venture Sony Ericsson Canada’s website had been compromised. This follows a series of cyber attacks that swiped personal data, including some non-U.S. banking and credit card account details, concerning a combined 100 million users of Sony’s PlayStation Network, Qriocity music and video streaming service and the Sony Online Entertainment gaming network.

The price of coping with data theft is quickly adding up for the company. Sony said in a statement Monday it estimated its costs associated with the spate of breaches to be about $170 million, or 14 billion yen, for its fiscal year ending March 2012. That includes security enhancements, legal costs, identity theft insurance services offered to affected customers and incentive offerings for customers such as free game time, music and videos.

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