Cracking Open the Sony Tablet S: Back
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.
@Bill Detwiler: I know it's been awhile since this article was written but a question has arisen that requires your input Was just wondering if there's any way of confirming from the tear down that this tablet has this functionality? The reason I ask is that a few of us at XDA developers have noticed that occasionally this tablet exhibits the ability to be able to give this functionality then mysteriously it disappears in an official Sony update are in software that is able to demonstrate it. In my own case I was unaware that this tablet had such functionality but was pleasantly surprised when I installed "BlueIR" universal remote app. Imagine my surprise when every time I pressed a on-screen remote control button I received a haptic feedback! This functionality also presented itself when I installed another universal remote control app called "Dijit Universal Remote". However after using these apps for short while to test their suitability for the UK cable market the haptic feedback functionality mysteriously disappeared, even though "BlueIR" universal remote app has a settings functions to actually test and alter the strength of the haptic feedback. Any hardware confirmation would be useful as you can imagine, regards.
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I did some more digging, I believe I may have discovered what some of the unidentified chips in the pictures may be: Pic #62 - Rohm Semiconductor White Backlight LED Driver for Medium to Large LCD Panels (Switching Regulator Type) Pic #65 - ST Microelectronics L3G4200D Gyroscope - 3-Axis, Digital Pic #72 - On Semiconductor Positive and Negative Overvoltage Protection Controller Still not sure what Pic #49 or #71 are...
Pic #58, can you provide the text on the chip? It's illegible in the picture. Thx. ... Oh, it's in the title of the web page. Never mind... :-P
I am veeery curiuous regarding the flash memory at image 63. It seems like they have used a pitch adaptor for this. The pitch of this BGA is troublesome and requires an expensive PCB production process(micro via). This is probably a good way for reducing the cost. Bill, could you please describe how this is done? I see there is used some EMI(?) foam in between the adaptor and the main board PCB. Thanks!
Has anyone from Techrepublic reviewed this product? To see or know of this in action. Sony does promote this as a use for a Universal controller as a key feature. I can see this working well with a full Sony entertainment studio, but could be troublesome with some other devices setting up. All my Sony products work well with one another and usually right out of the box. Now onto my opinion. I think the design is very unique to what you see from tablets. Sony makes good quality products, but does seem to lack management and software design issues. I would like to get my hands on one of these, but I find the price tag involved is not worth what they are charging. I think it said this one comes with Android 3.1 Honeycomb as well, and personally I hate android. I was hype about Windows 8, but then after I got to look at the design, I became less interested in this as well (Might give me a reason to pick up Droid 3.1). I don't like the fold over case being smaller than the unit, because it looks less protected. I do think the other design "P" is much better, but not released. Especially if your carrying around something, compacting is better, and the look gives me a little more hope that Windows 8 won't be as bad, but I didn't like the navigation of windows from the demo they showed at BUILD. Video Unlimited - It seems there is another video Streaming service that Sony has incorperated into these. I don't know if they just changed the quitrocity name, but it mentions this, would really suck if these don't work together and try to charge you another price for something you purchased on the other. It also mentions Crackle app to view free full length hollywood films, and something I am going to look this into for my phone. Other than that the Screen looks very Clear, and I know nothing on responsiveness to touch. I might be looking at a Lenovo Tablet over Sony's though.
I've been asking for this ever since the 1st iPad came out! Incude IR capabilities and within a month there will be a whole slew of apps to control your home theater gear! Too bad this comes in a Sony product - they're just never willing to take that extra step to put their products over the top. Hey Asus, Toshibe, etc: are you listening?! Now if we could just get a cell phone wedged into a tablet...
... with the inclusion of the IR emitter/controller, Sony envisions this device being a giant universal remote control as well as the usual Android tablet blah, blah, blah features we've all come to expect. I'd say it depends; with internet connectivity, it could easily be a contender for the kind of unified remote market that is dominated by the Philips Pronto and Logitech Harmony remotes. If they actually spend the time developing the software so that it integrates fully with their home theater product line, we might see a level of functionality that competes with the business-class Crestron hardware. This might be all it takes; once you add that functionality you are looking at hitting two markets at once: You get the home theater buff who's already thinking about spending $200-$700 on one of the above mentioned remotes, plus he gets a serviceable NOT-IPAD tablet in the bargain. This will also influence his future decision on purchasing home theater equipment, provided Sony's integration with this device makes that worthwhile and reasonably plug-n-play. I have my doubts; in Sony's recent history they haven't shown themselves to be that forward-thinking in general. My experience has seen repeated interesting hardware innovations with great promise, always held back by management's decisions to try and keep everything so proprietary & restrictive that it drives people away from the Sony ecosystem.