I was hoping for.. The strange and wonderful Sony Tablet P. What an odd device. This came out in 2011., A year after the Apple iPad, first debuted on the market. And with the release of Android 3, the tablet only version of Android. That came out that year. Many manufacturers were making Their own tablets. Sony did make a sort of a more conventional Android tablet. The Sony Tablet S., But then alongside they, also released this weird but wonderful. Sony Tablet P. A folding tablet using two different screens. There’s, an interesting article on engadget China, showing the prototyping and development stage of this tablet.. During the initial concept phase, they were considering the possibility of using an x86 based CPU tablet., But with Android 3 coming onto the market, they decided to go with the Arm. Platform. I’m particularly amused by the idea that, during the prototype phase, they built a prototype using two VAIO UX’s., So getting two VAIO UX screens and then mounting them together into a foldable form. Factor. Enabled them to have a look at what a folding screen concept would be: like., OK, let’s, open this tablet and have a look., OK, so there’s, two five and a half inch screens. There top and bottom and, as you can see, Qndroid operates on both of Them simultaneously., And just comparing this to a typical phone at the time., Which typically had three and a half inch screens.. So this tablet would have been quite a luxuriously large amount of space.

Compared to things you would normally carry in your pocket and a quick comparison to the VAIO UX., Which came out five years prior to the Tablet P and the VAIO UX has a four and A half inch screen. And something you may notice, is that the Tablet P has huge sized bezels around the screens. Overall. The Tablet P is kind of an odd looking device.. It has a sort of an odd looking. Retro futuristic, look about it.. The Tablet P originally shipped with the special tablet, only version of Android. Otherwise known as Honeycomb. Sony pre installed a range of apps on here.. So if we have a close look at this particular unit., This one is already running android 4.0.3, and this one came like this when I got it – and this is also the most recent version of Android – that you can upgrade these too. As well as this unit. I also have a second one and this one’s faulty.. I got both of these really cheap, so it’s, not a problem., But it does give me an opportunity to have a look inside and see what’s going on.. So this unit here when I go to power it up just get a backlight and then trying to power it up. Not much happens and backlight is sort of going off and flickering there. I’ll get my repair mat out to take it apart. On. And we’ll have a look first thing: I’ll do is I’ll, take the top cover off as well.

. So when I take the top cover off., We can see that this one has a sim card slot.. So this is actually the 3G version., Whereas this unit here is just Wi, Fi only., So I wouldn’t mind getting this working or at least taking apart and getting some of the parts out.. Maybe I can transfer the 3G over to the other one. If this one can’t be fixed., All right, let’s get the screws out and have a look.. Ok screws are out. Going to get the knife out and see. If I can get some Yeah that wasn’t so hard there, we go. See if we can get some clips to release. Oh there we go OK. All right. We have a main board: the connectors through the hinge. Connectors. Look good and clean I’ll release some more connectors. That one’s got a door on it. There. We go. Door is open. That one has a pull tab., Get some pliers and pull this one out. Yeah that’s fine., So that door is released. Unplugged and that one there that has another pull tab here. It does. I’ll, get the pliers and pull that one.. The pull tab came off right all right. Well, I’ll just do this. Yeah. That was all right., So yeah that board’s pretty loose now. Just carefully other side of the board. There’s, a Sandisk flash memory. I’m, not sure what’s under that can. Looks like it’s removable.. Ok, some some unknown chip.

. It doesn’t necessarily look like the main CPU, but I guess it is from the components on the bottom.. I guess that’s what it could be. Anyway, I’m still exploring this unit.. So I’ll have a look under the top section, see what’s there.. Ok, let’s split it open. There, it goes. clip clip clip clip around. There we go right. All right, so The other board was the main section with the main CPU, and here we have maybe the Wi Fi and 3G module., But the sim card slot is here And that’s, coming from the top on both sides., So the the two cables that come through from the bottom module. One comes through. This hinge, the other one comes through this hinge., So I’ll run a test by plugging this board back in and seeing if anything has changed.. Sometimes you get lucky.. So I think this is probably the LCD connector. Into position close the latch, and I think that was the touch screen. Just push that in. That’ll do all right, let’s see what happens. And I’ll also get the battery from this one.. I think both batteries are OK, but we know for certain this battery is good., Sometimes it’s good, to use things that you know work. All right battery in OK. Backlight comes on., That’s, pretty normal., Even the other one. Does that it’s the powering up is the problem hit power., No, no real change. So really the next thing to do is to start part swapping with the other unit.

To sort of isolate down where it is and sort of see. You know. Is this the main board that’s not starting up or something like that, But uh I’m not going to do that right! Now. I’ve got one that works. This one, this one I can mess about with another time.. Maybe if I want to get 3G working, I can use these parts. So for now, I’m, not going to reassemble. I’ll just put everything into plastic bags and just keep it safe for another time.. So is a dual screen tablet any good, and I think that nice thick band between the two screens should give you an idea., And this tablet was actually a big flop and it was withdrawn from sale only a year later., Which is a bit of a problem With some of the supposed ‘in built’ applications., For example, came with golf.. If I choose that it’ll try to download the files., But unfortunately it can’t find them because the servers have been taken offline.. So it looks like they’re, probably about a hundred apps and games that were designed to take advantage of the two screens., But they’re now not available.. In fact, I can’t find any archives of any of the apps that were designed for this model at all.. So it looks like all of the apps that were designed to take advantage of the dual screens are now completely gone. To make matters worse. There’S, not a lot of software that’s compatible with such an old version of Android.

. I was able to install Grand Theft, Auto 3, which seems to run OK.. The Tablet P has options to run apps on just one screen or split over both screens and when doing that, it’s, not often a great experience for a dual screen: tablet., Microsoft and LG. In 2020 are still trying out dual screen devices.. I haven’t tried these devices for myself., But so far the reviews are saying: it’s, not a great experience.. The lesson here is don’t arbitrarily split, the user experience over two screens.. It seems the most successful devices with dual screens have been products that define each screen as a separate experience.. Examples of this would be the Asus Zenbook Duo or the Nintendo DS, 2DS and 3DS.. Where does all this leave the legacy of the Sony Tablet P, With the servers offline and the custom apps gone, and no third party archives.? This has become a true tech relic and one of my favorite tech relics., So instead I’m looking for ways to turn this into a living sculpture., A reminder of hope that we can learn from our mistakes and build a better world. Computer End Program.