Sony held a big press event at IFA in Berlin today, but we spent also got to spend some time with Sony Electronics America COO Phil Molyneux in New York. What's interesting is that Sony isn't announcing the intriguing VAIO Duo or Tap 20 Windows 8 PCs in America just yet — Phil told us that SEA wants to announce those later in a more focused way. But we did get to talk about Sony's updated Tablet S, which looks quite nice.
"We put our focus and our energy into creating a beautiful new second-generation tablet."
Interestingly, Phil told me that Sony chose only to update the previous Tablet S and drop the funky dual-screen Tablet P. "The clamshell type, although it's very innovative, it seems consumers weren't embracing it to the level we expected," said Phil. "So we put our focus and our energy into creating a beautiful new second-generation tablet." That's sad news for fans of alternative form factors, but it's far from a surprise — dual-screen products have almost universally failed in the market, and Sony needs to prove it can deliver a compelling standard tablet before it does anything else.
As for the new Tablet S, Phil was very excited about the new apps that function as a standard universal remote with multi-device macros, and a new app that shows you everything that's currently on TV and lets you change the channel just by flicking a show's tile up towards the screen. It's cute, but it's basically the world's fanciest IR blaster, and Phil didn't have a lot to say when I pressed him on more advanced two-way communication between devices and remotes. But the Tablet S is splashproof, which is nice.