I can’t say I’m totally surprised considering everyone and their mothers are jumping on the tablet bandwagon now that Honeycomb is nearing, but here goes the rumor anyway: Sony – without the Ericsson, apparently – wants in on the fun. Engadget reports that a 9.4 inch 1280×800 tablet by the entertainment company is in the works.
As for the outline that’s supposed to give us an idea of how this thing looks, I’ll let Engadget describe it to you because I’m having a bit of trouble getting my imagination going.
The tablet’s “wrap” design is meant to remind the owner of something personal in the way that it mimics an open paperback stuffed into the back pocket, or a magazine folded backward upon itself such that only a single page is visible to read. A design that also gives the tablet’s display enough angle to comfortably touch-type when placed on a table.
It also makes one-handed operation a bit less taxing on the wrist by shifting the center of gravity to the bulbous edge of the device as in our mock-up above. A trick meant to reduce the torque that makes 10-inch tablets uncomfortable to hold one-handed for an extended length of time (when reading an ebook, for example).
So even though the S1 is about the same size and weight as Apple’s iPad, we’re told that it feels lighter since most of the weight is shifted directly into the user’s hand and over the wrist. Naturally, the screen UI rotates allowing for right- or left-handed use and we’re told that it’s still comfortable to hold in landscape mode where the bulging edge is typically held at the top.
Other rumored specs include a Tegra 2 processor, front and back facing cameras, a USB-A port for standard-sized USB devices, an RF module, and more. It’s also said that a Q button may be incorporated for Qriocity functionality. Qriocity is a new media service Sony announced at CES last month. If you want the rest of the full run-down (aesthetics stuff, really) head on over to Engadget.
But we’re going to skip that fluff and jump right into pricing and availability: $600, and September seems to be the target date. Take it all in with a grain of salt people: that’s how rumors work.
[Update]: How could I forget about the “Sony taking their time to customize Honeycomb” bit? Yea, they’re doing that. Let’s hope they don’t mess around with that bottle of honey too much.