Could Sony Tablet P and Tablet S shake up the market?

The Sony Tablet P and Tablet S debuted at the IFA in Berlin this week.

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    The Sony Tablet S is shown at the IFA fair in Berlin. Sony also took the wraps off the clamshell-shaped Tablet P.
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"iPad killer." That phrase sure does get thrown around a lot these days, although the idea that any one device can swiftly dethrone the well-entrenched Apple tablet seems increasingly far-fetched. But what about two new devices? Today, at the IFA conference in Berlin, Sony took the wraps off a pair of tablets, one of them a flatscreen gadget called the Tablet S, and the other a fold-up, two screen gizmo called the Tablet P.

No points for inventive names, Sony! Still, the tablets themselves are pretty interesting: The S will get a base price of $500 – matching the base price of the Apple iPad – and the Android Honeycomb operating system. Sony expects to ship the tablet in mid-September. The P, meanwhile, has neither a set price nor a set release date, although it's likely the thing will arrive in the next few months.

Already, the Sony Tablet S and Tablet P are receiving rave reviews in the tech press. In a write-up of the Tablet S, Gizmodo's Brent Rose raves that the device is "worthy of the Sony we love, with a unique and nearly genius form-factor, saving us from the multitudes of same same same Android tablets." Rose is particularly impressed by the shape of the S, which "resembles a paperback that's been folded back at its binding."

"I thought it was dumb, for a minute," Rose writes. "The heaviest components are moved into the thick part, which shifts the weight toward the strongest part of your hand. The Tablet S is 5 grams lighter than the iPad 2, but this optimized weight-distribution makes it feel much lighter and more comfortable to hold with one hand. And the slope means it's got better lap and tabletop viewing angles – no smart cover required."

Rose also got his hands on the Tablet P, which will be released later this year by AT&T. (The carrier apparently has an exclusive on the device.) The device will ship with two 5.5-inch screens, Wi-fi and 4G capability, and the Android 3.2 OS. It also boasts a light weight – 0.8 pounds – and that completely unconventional clamshell shape.

"The best thing about the Sony Tablet P? Portability," Rose writes. "If you hate carrying a bag around (like me), being able to slip the tablet in your jacket pocket is a big plus. The hinge that splits the clamshell is sturdy. I mean it feels like it could stop a bullet, which is great. It weighs only 13 ounces, which is featherweight for a tablet." How do you think the two new Sony tablets will fare? Drop us a line in the comments section.

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