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Pricey Sony Tablet P Hits UK Shelves

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Sony’s ultra-portable clamshell-shaped Tablet P has gone on sale in the UK, costing £499

Sony’s second Android Tablet, the Tablet P, has arrived in the UK as part of the company’s first foray into the tablet market.

The Japanese electronic giant will hope that the clamshell design and portability of the device will differentiate it from the competitors, but its most distinguishing feature could be its price, which is a comparatively steep £499.

Ultra-portable

The Tablet P supports both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as two 5.5in touchscreens whose TruBlack display will offer “vibrant colours and truly amazing image quality”, claims Sony.

The Android 3.2 Honeycomb device’s appearance is more similar to a Nintendo 3DS than a traditional tablet and its portability is enhanced by a weight of just 370g.

Under the bonnet, a Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 1GB RAM and support MicroSD cards allow for fast browsing and ensure that users can make the most of Sony’s expanding content offering.

Sony has recently rationalised its content services under the umbrella of the Sony Entertainment Network, from which movies and music can be bought or streamed. This media can then be streamed to compatible TVs, speakers and home cinema systems using DLNA media apps.

In addition to the apps available on the Android Market, the Tablet P is Playstation-certified, meaning that it supports Playstation Suite software and is pre-loaded with classic Playstation games Crash Bandicoot and Pinball Heroes.

The Tablet P is Sony’s second tablet to be released this year since the company announced its intention to become the second biggest tablet manufacturer by the end of the year, despite its relatively late entry into the market.

Sony announced the tablets in April and the Tablet S was released earlier this year, boasting a 1,280 x 768 pixel touch screen.

However Sony’s ambitions will be difficult to achieve, given Apple’s continued dominance of the tablet market and the expensive price tags of Sony’s devices.