Although some previewers of the S1 and S2 tablets are making feature-by-feature comparisons between the Sony tablets and the best-selling iPad, at least one Sony senior executive contends that the tablets were never meant to directly compete. In fact, Sony seems to be aspiring to the No. 2 spot for its tablets -- right below the iPad -- before the S1 and S2 have even been released [source: Reynolds].
Other non-Apple tablets, such as Samsung's Galaxy Tab, are expected to give Sony tablets some stiff competition. Like the S1 and S2, the Samsung runs on the Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) operating system, which is optimized for the larger screens that tablets sport.
And, like the Samsung tablet, Sony's S1 and S2 tablets will have WiFi and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) connectivity. Devices that are DLNA-enabled can wirelessly stream digital content to each other, regardless of brand. For example, if both a tablet and television have DLNA capabilities, an operator can stream a movie from a Sony tablet to a television [source: Android Central].
Both of Sony's tablets are viewed as extensions of Sony's PlayStation-certified lineup, a series of products that are compatible with the gaming stations [source: Parrish]. In fact, the S1 and S2 will feature Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processors and allow users to play PlayStation One (PSOne) games adapted for Android, as well as games available in the PlayStation Suite. The PlayStation Suite is a Sony-run app store with downloadable games for Android tablets and phones, and is slated for a late 2011 release [source: Hollister].
The S1 and S2 tablets come with factory-installed software to download books from Sony's Reader Store, as well as music and videos from Sony's Qriocity service. The S1 and S2 tablets also will have infrared sensors so users can operate them as next-generation remotes, controlling other household devices like Sony Bravia Blu-ray players and televisions [source: Ionescu].
In the end, these unique features -- PlayStation compatibility, access to Sony's massive media collection and connectivity with other household items -- may be the underpinnings of Sony's tablet success.