I have just spent a couple of weeks with the Android powered S series Sony Tablet computer… What does this have to do with photography I hear you mutter… well, a lot, actually! Read on…
I’ve started photographing slightly different subjects, these include families, children and people that, for a change, are not on a stage singing – so I wanted something to take my images to meetings with families and prospective corporate clients in Melbourne – I didn’t want to cart my Macbook Pro along. It got me thinking – aside from the iPad, what are my options to carry around my images in such a way that it’s easy to find and display them to people? I wanted the screen to be nice and crisp and punchy, and I wanted it to be light and to have good battery life.
A couple of days of wondering was followed by an email from Sony, announcing their newly launched S Series Tablet, sporting an Android OS and sufficient picture displaying power. A quick email later and I had the S series sitting on my desk, eyeing up my old iPad with a watchful 5mp camera… (the back one takes photos and 720p HD video) I wanted to give it a thorough going over, but this review is mostly about how it displays images, not about how good it is at everything else it does (for those of you wondering, I thought it was very good!)
Now, I’m pretty much open to whatever works these days, it used to be all “gotta be windows and Canon!” now I’m more “whatever works when I need it to’ …so, I wasn’t put off by the Android OS (I’m mostly Mac at home right now, so when I told my Android fanboy dad that I had an Android device coming in, he was chuffed!) …though it did take about half an hour to find all the things I was looking for, order them into places where I could get to them easily… The processor is a dual core (it has one engine that kind of acts as if it’s two engines, for those of you that don’t do computer speak) which is an NVidia 1Ghz job, all I’ll tell you here is that it is totally sufficient for a bit of web (real quick, actually) and some text and a heavy PDF eBook (I was looking through the dPS Click eBook for reference) and the main reason that I got hold of the little device (598gm or about the same as iPadII) which was to show people my portfolio of photographs and hopefully get myself a shoot as a result – it’s important, I think, that when you’re talking to prospective clients that all of your gear works as it should, that you can show someone what they want to see, fast and clear.
The Sony springs to life very quickly from stand-by, and with my most used icons well within reach – it was mere seconds before we were browsing through the various collections of images that I had on offer, portrait, babies, children, music (if they wanted to see them!) and all the while it didn’t slow down or do anything weird… The most important thing here is that the slightly smaller (9.4″) Sony 9.4-inch TruBlack™ touch-screen display was very nice to look at – the iPad is also pretty sweet, no arguments there, but with the angle on the back of the Sony, we had it sitting on a table, coffee to the side, and it looked very good!
The battery is listed as lasting up to 8 hours, it seemed to me to do that and more – I was using it on and off daily, sometimes reading “Click” sometimes browsing the web and sometimes showing images to people – video is also very good (Though I didn’t love the audio – headphones totally overcame that! I use Beats Studio)
The Sony uses DNLA which in easy word terms means that you can share content between certain devices, think Wifi TV’s and things like that – I don’t have a wifi tv, but have heard from others that it’s sort of cool! Though, don’t go to a client’s house expecting to flick your portfolio up onto their 1958 HMV! — When it does work, with the right connected gear, it is very impressive!
The Sony S series tablet has a whole host of features, including a wild all singing all dancing remote control – no longer needed my seven remotes… (My wife almost let me have one just for that fact alone!) but with everything my iPad could do, the Sony was never found lacking in my two weeks of use. This includes tethering directly from the device to a dSLR [I've not done this as I don't have a cable, but here's a video for you If you've done this, what was it like? Comment below!]
Coming in at a little cheaper than the iPad equivalent, it’s well worth considering as a photographers tool! $458 on Amazon.com | Sony S Wi-Fi Tablet (32GB)
And it may well be my photographs, or my hilarious quick wit, or, it may be how good the images looked on the Sony S series Tablet that secured me two shoots in the time I was using it to display my portfolio….
The Sony S series is available on Amazon, or via Sony Australia for $499.00 for the 16Gb Wifi version, $599.00 for the 32Gb Wifi version and $649.00 for 32Gb and Wifi / 3G.
A great all around digital life organiser / social media tool / computer on the go / portfolio – 7 of a possible 10 stars on the Simon Pollock scale. I don’t get to keep the Sony, it was provided for review purposes only, back to my banged up, version one iPad for now…