I haven’t been posting much lately. One of the reasons is that I have been trying to finish some games, catch up on some TV-series and well I also got my paws on the SONY Tablet S1. Got and got… I went out and bought it on the release day after reading up a lot.
So, I have a tablet and these are my impressions of the device.
First look – getting the box opened
When you open it up, you are greeted to the entire package – literally. Except the Tablet itself there is a quick start guide on how to set-up WiFi. That’s it. Thank you SONY. feels like having Bear Grylls telling you to swim if you get into water on the survival course…
Disappointment? Yeah I would say so, I mean I have a Desire hTC mobile and have had some contact with the Android devices but if this is your first… It’s not Windows and it is not Apple we’re talking about. This is still, in my opinion, an enthusiast OS. Once getting it going – you will be prompted to update. Once that is done – welcome problems. Oh, the device is sleek – not ultra thin – but very handy and small. The screen is wonderful, really it is. The black and contrast level is great, the keys are well placed and the entire thing just feels well – like the best thing you can get in plastic. I won’t lie – the plastic do feel a bit awkward at first – but once you get going – no problem.
Up and… running?
After getting the thing up – I tried out some of the programs that came with the tablet. SONY comes with three major differences: The SONY Reader app, the SONY remote controller app for the IR sensor and the SONY media player app. The tablet is said to be the best thing for media. Well, the tablet is sounding great, is looking great – but the program that should make all that happen: SONY Music and Media – is total CRAP! Yeah C-R-A-A-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-P!
The program doesn’t support: playing files from the SD card slot. More about that later, and it doesn’t support to play from your media server. Sure, you can start the DLNA app and play some files – but the a media app had tow major problems:
1. It constantly tells you that it can’t update internal database and library.
2. It hangs itself when you try to quit, there is no exit button and stop to play, and suddenly your task bar has two instances of the media player. Enter settings, running apps force close… Real smooth SONY.
How is the sound and picture then? Well – if you have music on the actual tablet – things run a wee bit smoother – still no1 will happen and you can’t still “exit” the media app – but the sound is great. The tablet has a good sound to begin with and the settings allows for more dynamic sound – if your stereo-phones can push it – the sound is good!
Image-wise, the tablet has a great blackness and also the sharp screen with 1280 resolution makes movies and images appear great. The reader app also benefits from having really good contrast and real black fonts.
Gadget – storage etc?
I got the 16 GB edition seeing that many said it had SD card slot and micro USB. Cool I said, got the thing and couldn’t play a single file from the SD card. Well, so despite the SONY logo, the SONY touches, the SD card reader and the PSN logo – it is still an Android device. The apps and the users are the Android movements best assets. The users – I love you – I seriously do! Friendly forums, helpful guides and a true “Yes we can” atmosphere. 🙂
A few apps later and I can play files from my SD card. Media taken care of (took me like fifteen programs oh sorry apps – to figure out which were good or not. Also – the big names like Winamp etc won’t do you any good. Winamp is still shit for Android and trying to configure WiFi and SD card storage in Winamp rendered the program has forced shut down and gone to F*** itself.
The rest of the gadgets? Can I truly use it as the universal control – to control EVERY player in my house – yes – except your…. PS3… WTF?
OK, I got it to find some of my players, amps, DVD players and even Xbox and then programmed my entire sound system on it – but the PS3 that I use for Blue-ray? No – sorry we are SONY and we will prove it by fucking ourselves – and you when it comes to the PSN brand. This would be – if I hadn’t paid for the thing really hilarious. It supports Xbox out of the box and via easy set-up no less – but PS3… great job SONY. This applause is to you. Do you see the two long fingers making the fuck you very much here? No? Well that’s specially for your PR people. May they all get stuck in the elevator to hell and being enforced to control the elevator music via the SONY Tablet S1’s excellent media program only…
SD card and memory etc – what’s the deal?
Yeah well, first of all – the thing says 16 GB of memory – but you only get 8 to play around with. The rest is system and the second is 4gb’s for apps. That clarified, the SD card works by default as a transfer and backup tool. When you slot it in – the transfer program starts and you can copy back and forth. Or you say screw you – open up your file browser app and get a hold of the SD card and from there you can open any files you can make the system recognize. Like MP4 files for video. Don’t bother going anywhere else. Search for “making mp4 movies for the android system” and you will find guides on how to optimize for best effect. Music – sure you can open that via the file browser app – one at a time. But Mort player can have the SD2 card as a library folder – ta da – so no need to sweat it. As far as I have read and found out – you can plug-in up to 32 GB SD cards.
Surfing the net
Yes, we have the browser that is almost Chrome – but it is still the same shit as on Android phones. The browser itself works decent and the surfing experience works OK – but control – forget about it! The browser loves to interpret history, cache and such things differently than you. It loves to surf Google and finding images on Google works great – until you hit page 3 and the rest of the images are grey boxes. WTF? I don’t know why – but well – apart from that. It beats smart-phones all hands down. The screen is nice and precise, the tablet is running fine and surfing is a breeze. A few pages can’t be rendered properly – Like SONY’s own shop for instance – that’s why I can’t tell you anything about the charger/dock… YouTube via the app is still the best app so far. Looks amazing and watching HD movies on this baby is a blast.
The SONY Tablet S1 has a lot of problems – main problem is Android itself and the second is Android by SONY. Thankfully some of the problems can be easily remedied by using the correct apps, but still, if my mum had bought this or say your elderly office dude 1a – the Sony Tablet would probably look impressive as a flyer in the corridors before it chops the head off some unlucky guy. The sub-par guide from scratch makes the entry-level very steep – like after climbing the wall down the streets to Himalaya in course 2… The SONY Tablet S1 have some great features that sets it apart though – the IR sensor, the SONY reader due to the amazing screen and listening to music is still a very nice experience thanks to what’s inside it. For all other experiences – Crash Bandiccot aside – the tablet is still a tablet running Android with all flaws and pro’s of that system. 3.2 Honeycomb isn’t ready yet. It has some great ideas – but it leaves too much out of the hands for those aspiring some control and coming from the Windows background – and has too few built-in controls and tool tips to make average users feel entirely safe understanding what they just agreed to do in that last screen. Share all?
It’s clear that Google and SONY wants us all into the great cloud of wireless and media less data storage and usage. But since SONY Tablet S1 has the WiFi set to close down as soon as the screen closes down – the WiFi is lost immediately. Change this to never and you get a tad more joyful experience. There are so many things that should have been better when it comes to the OS and programs that from average users point of view – I am amazed that “normal” people even considers buying an Android device these days. When Win8 comes – the world will most likely change – and Android will return to the guys that knows the system best – the home developers that make the Android even working as it was supposed to.
Final words – the SONY Tablet S1 is a great device and it has so far stolen my laptop and hTC time completely. But also – if you are not above average user – consider waiting for a more famous and familiar OS…
If you buy it: go here! Seriously – Now – GO – GO! http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1294
Oh and thank you XDA forums! Thank you very much!