Ina Fried

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Sony Jumps on the Honeycomb Bandwagon, Plans Two Android Tablets for Fall

Sony became the latest computer maker to toss its hat into the Android tablet ring, announcing plans for two models during a press conference in Japan.

The Japanese computer maker announced plans for two Honeycomb tablets–the 9.4-inch S1 and the S2, with its dual 5.5-inch screens. Sony said the tablets will be available globally starting this fall.

With the move, Sony will join a crowded field that includes Motorola, which led the Honeycomb parade with its Xoom, along with LG, HTC, Samsung, Toshiba and Acer, to name just some of those with announced plans. Meanwhile, Apple still dominates the field with the iPad, while HP and Research In Motion hope to tackle the tablet market with homegrown operating systems.

Both Sony models have built-in Wi-Fi as well as cellular options. In addition to the standard Web-browsing and other Android features, Sony is touting its tablets’ abilities to act as universal remote controls and connect to video and gaming services from the company.

The dual screens on the S2 allow users to combine both displays or use one for content and another for either controls or a virtual keyboard.

The company had been widely expected to cast its tablet fortunes with Android, following in the footsteps of its Sony Ericsson cellphone joint venture, which has bet on the Google operating system to power its smartphones.