The arguments about whether or not a physical keyboard is better than a touchscreen-based one aren’t going anywhere any time soon, and now that dual-screen devices are beginning to see more light, those same conversations between friends will probably pick up speed. Kyocera’s Echo dual-screen Android-powered device was announced a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t as accepted as Kyocera or Sprint probably hoped it would be. That had a lot to do with the manufacturer, perhaps more than anything else. But the idea is still a good one, and it looks like Sony is ready to jump on the bandwagon with their S2 dual-screen tablet device that just broke cover.
Right from the get-go we can see that the device has an interesting design aesthetic. Not flat at all, and looking more like a cylindrical carrying case of some sorts, the S2 is a concept that may or may not ever see the light of day. In the initial report, it sounds like Sony isn’t even completely sold on the idea quite yet. But, that could change with a few design tweaks and if the plan holds true, we could see a Honeycomb-powered Android dual-screen tablet from Sony before the holidays hit this year.
But if Kyocera isn’t the manufacturer you want behind a dual-screen device, is Sony? There’s no doubt that for many, Sony’s name is a bit more respected than Kyocera, but is it enough that you’ll pick up a dual-screen device from them? Especially when it’s already been “confirmed” (as much as it can be from a source talking about a concept) that the device will feature a skinned version of the mobile operating system?
Obviously there’s not much to go on here, as the concept is just a drawing and we don’t even know what the final product will look like. But, the idea is still the same one we’re all fans of: a dual-screen device that’s not too big, and running an operating system that’s worth using. It boils down to whether or not Sony’s a name you want creating a dual-screen device that you’ll use every day (ideally).
The S2 sounds like an interesting device to me, and personally I wouldn’t mind using a dual-screen tablet from Sony. Truth be told, I think it will all come down to the proprietary skin that Sony puts on the device, and how it interacts with the software and how the user interacts with it. If Sony can pull off something better than Sony Ericsson has done in the past, then there’s a real chance that the S2 could be a hit. They may have to change that cylinder design, too.
If you are not a fan of Kyocera, would you buy a Sony-branded dual-screen tablet running a skinned version of Honeycomb instead? Or are you waiting for another manufacturer to jump into the game? Let me know in the comments below.