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Forget Slates: Sony’s Android Tablets Come in Funky Shapes

• Mike Isaac via WIRED.com
 

Sony is betting you’ll buy one of its upcoming tablets for one big reason: They look like nothing you’ve seen before.

Codenamed the “S1″ and “S2″ for now, Sony’s two unreleased Android tablets depart from the usual square, flat slabs we’ve seen so far in 2011. Instead, the S2 design comes as a dual-screen, clamshell device, while the S1 is similar to many current tablets with one significant deviation — its funky, wedge-shaped form factor, which tapers from one end to the other.

“It looks like a magazine with the cover folded backwards,” a Sony spokesman said at a Wednesday event in San Francisco. “And the tablet’s center of gravity rests on the wider end with the hand holding the device.”

Sony's S1 looks like a wedge-shaped slab, a magazine with its cover folded around the back. Photo: Mike Isaac/Wired.com

The stakes are high for Sony, as the company is one the of latest entrants to the tablet market. Of course, the iPad remains the market leader with a year-plus head start on other tablets, and over 90 percent of the tablet market share. The first Android tablet to debut this year was Motorola’s Xoom, which received lackluster reviews and complaints on the lofty price. A host of other tablets followed in Motorola’s footsteps, but compared to the iPad, customers aren’t opening up their wallets for Android devices. Sony hopes its drastic departure in design will differentiate its two tablets enough for you to snag them up.

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