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Sony shows off its Tablet S, Tablet P devices

Sony has confirmed the specifications of its upcoming Android tablets, the imaginatively-named Tablet S and Tablet P - including the specifications of the two touch screens that make up the clamshell Tablet P.

The Tablet S is Sony's 'mainstream' Android tablet. Featuring a 1GHz Nvidia Tegra 2 processor and a choice of 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, the device is dominated by its 9.4-inch 1280x800 TFT display.

Unlike rival tablets from the likes of Asus, the Sony requires no custom charge or data cable: instead, the Tablet S uses a USB 2.0 micro-AB connector which can act in host or client mode, allowing the device to be connected to a PC for data transfer or wired in to a peripheral device.

The rear of the tablet includes a 5.11 megapixel camera with the mobile equivalent the Exmor technology found in Sony's digital camera line, along with a VGA camera on the front for video chat via Google Talk. Connectivity is handled by 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, plus the option of in-built 3G on the 16GB model.

As you would expect, the Tablet S is running Android Honeycomb, and while the version on display at IFA in Berlin is the slightly outdated Android 3.1, Sony has promised to finalise an upgrade to Android 3.2 before the tablets are launched in the European market.

The tablet's design features a wedge-like shape which brings to mind the MacBook Air: although Sony quotes the thickness at 10.1mm, that rapidly rises towards the top of the device - when held in landscape mode - to 20.6mm, something Sony claims makes the tablet more comfortable to use.

The fairly sedate Tablet S is joined at IFA by the Tablet P, an altogether more interesting device which owes much to the cancelled Courier project at Microsoft. Instead of a single display, the clamshell device packs a pair of 5.5-inch 1024x480 touch-screens for dual-display goodness.

Despite its difference in display type, the remainder of the Tablet P's specifications are much the same as the Tablet S - except for the fact that the Tablet P will only be made available in 3G-enabled form, suggesting that Sony has partnerships with mobile networks in mind.

Speaking of partnerships, Sony is clearly hoping to sell some of its other gadgets on the back of its new tablets - and vice versa - pushing compatibility with its Bravia HDTVs for 'throwing' video at a big screen, DLNA compatibility for its wireless speaker products, and an infrared transmitter for use as an incredibly expensive remote control.

Both tablet types get around six hours of web browsing per charge, a far cry from Apple's ten-hour lifespan for the iPad. Whether that harms Sony's chances in the increasingly crowded Android market remains to be seen.

The Tablet S is due to launch in Europe later this month, and the Tablet P in November. Pricing for either device has not yet been released. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.