IFA 2011: Our tablet touchscreen interface is even better than Apple’s, says Sony

Sony has boasted that the company's new touchscreen interface is better than Apple's in the wake of yesterday's launch of the Series S and Series P tablet devices.

This morning, WHFS&V Editor Dominic Dawes attended a round table discussion with Sony on the launch, getting a closer look at the new tablets, further clarity on pricing, and some interesting details around the bold claim at the top of this story.

That claim is based on technical features that, according to Sony, have made its touchscreens faster, smoother and more pleasurable to use than any tablet rival.

The company has worked on optimizing web browsing, with a ‘Quick Touch’ function that makes for very smooth zooming – ‘pinch in, pinch out’ – as well as a permanent function called ‘Quick View’.

Quick View simply re-orders the way data is loaded to make sure the page – and especially the most important stuff, such as the text – is loaded faster than on rival devices. That’s what has led Sony’s engineers to make the bold claim that in terms of touchscreen interactivity, its new products outshine even Apple’s iPad 2.

In addition, the P Series boasts that neat – and innovative – clamshell design, allowing you to fold it into a handily pocket-sized dimensions, as well as use it in either dual-screen or whole-screen modes.

It has 1024 resolution, and the screen, when fully flat and used in its entirety is seven inches in length. Its Storage capacity is 4GB, with room for an extra 2GB on an SD card. The P Series is 3G as standard, as well as wi-fi.

For writing purposes such as email, it folds neatly into two-screen mode, with the keypad on the lower screen and what you’re writing on the upper.

One downside: we heard yesterday about Sony’s new e-reader product, which has the neat feature of allowing you to click on a word and have the device perform either a Google or Wikipedia search of it – so you can cross-reference and learn as you read. Genius.

Can the new tablet devices do this? Well… no. It seems a small thing to moan about, but it’s precisely this sort of worthwhile, life-enhancing usability (remember when texting started?) that could make a product like Sony’s tablet really turn heads away from the dominance of Apple.

Either way, it will be interesting to see if the Sony tablets have enough in their arsenal to worry the current tablet market leader.

Pricing for the new tablets has been confirmed for Europe. The following prices are in Euros:

S Series 16GB – €479

S Series 32GB – €579

S Series 32GB 3G – €599

P Series 4GB 3G – €599

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Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for T3 and What Hi-Fi?, having previously been the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across the print magazine and website for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features on everything from turntables to TVs, headphones to hi-fi separates. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung; reported from CES, the Bristol Show, and Munich High End for many years; and written for sites such as the BBC, Stuff, and the Guardian. In his spare time, he enjoys expanding his vinyl collection and cycling (not at the same time).