Sony bets both ways with Android tablets, phones and Windows 8 slates

Sony has unleashed a volley of new products at IFA in Berlin, with several key releases for Android fans and those gearing up for Windows 8 - including a tablet-ultrabook hybrid

Sony has revealed three new Android smartphones and a new Android tablet, as well as two new Windows 8 tablets, one of which is a convertible ultrabook of sorts.

VAIO Duo 11
The Vaio Duo 11 can be used as an 11.6-inch tablet or, with a sliding movement, an ultrabook. Image credit: Sony

The devices were shown off by Sony at the IFA technology show in Berlin on Wednesday, with Sony chief Kazuo Hirai saying his company was working towards "deeper convergence of hardware, content and network services" as part of its turnaround and growth strategy .

"We are truly becoming one Sony," Hirai said, pointing to the bringing together of the company's various business lines. "This is Sony's unique strength."

New Androids

As part of this strategy, Sony's line of Android tablets is being brought under the same Xperia banner used for its Android smartphones.

The first fruit there is the Xperia Tablet S, the successor to last year's very similarly-named Sony Tablet S . The new version is slightly less plasticky and comes armed with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor. It will run Android 'Ice Cream Sandwich' 4.0 on its release in September.

Sony Xperia Tablet S
The Sony Xperia Tablet S comes with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor Image credit: Sony

One standout feature of the 9.4-inch tablet is the fact that it is splashproof.

Sony's new Xperia smartphones look quite similar, with screen sizes and pricing being the main differentiators — although the company has not yet been specific as to what those prices will be.

The flagship in the line is the Xperia T, which has a 4.55-inch touchscreen. It has a 13-megapixel camera and a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, as does the 4.3-inch-screened Xperia V.

The Xperia J will be the cheapest of the three. Details are scarce about this device, other than the fact it will have a four-inch screen. Until the end of this year, all the new Xperia smartphones will also come with 50GB of free cloud storage.

Windows 8 slates

Sony displayed two new Windows machines on Wednesday. The Tap 20 is a 20-inch touch PC that is aimed at family use. As it has an internal battery, it is essentially an enormous tablet.

The Vaio Duo 11, on the other hand, could easily find itself being used in a business context.

The Duo 11 uses what Sony calls a 'surf slider' design that allows it to be used as an 11.6-inch tablet or, with a sliding movement, an ultrabook.

The full-HD device can be equipped with 128GB or 256GB of SSD storage and Intel processors from Core i3 through Core i7.

The Duo 11 weighs 1.3kg. It does not have a trackpad, relying instead on a pointer with buttons. Both of the new Windows 8 devices will be available at the end of October.

All of Sony's new devices are NFC-enabled — the company is very keen on easy pairing between them as part of its convergence strategy.

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