Before bringing the Xperia Tablet Z to light, which is arguably the best ever non-Nexus Android tablet, Sony has had to experiment for a while, releasing several mediocre slates. The last of the bunch has been the Xperia Tablet S, launched in September 2012 and received with mixed “critical” reviews and lukewarm popular enthusiasm.
But the Tab S is to become far more attractive than ever, as Sony will be rolling out an Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update for it starting today. According to a post on Sony’s Community Forums, the upgrade will be “pushed out to our production server on April 18th 2013 between 9 am – 10 am pacific standard time”.
Naturally, you shouldn’t go berserk if the update won’t hit your particular Xperia Tablet S by 10 AM today, given that these things can take anywhere between a day and a few weeks to reach all users.
For now, the JB release is meant specifically for folks in the United States, Canada and Latin America, but chances are European Tablet S owners will get it in a matter of weeks as well. Before grabbing the juicy new software pack, remember to make sure you’re connected to a stable Wi-Fi network and your battery is above the 50% mark.
We don’t know exactly how heavy this particular package is, but be sure to arm yourselves with patience, because the downloading and installing of Jelly Bean can take up to 90 minutes. As for tweaks, bumps and enhancements, you can expect to get Google Now integration, a much smoother UI, expandable notifications, Project Butter performance upgrades and plenty of other goodies.
A bunch of bug fixes are to come your way too, not to mention improvements to Wi-Fi stability and a battery life boost. Be sure to go to Settings – About tablet – System Update if the automatic prompt message to download and install is delayed, but again, try to keep calm if the first wave of 4.1 updates will dodge you.
Finally, if you’re not an Xperia Tablet S owner and wonder if the 10-incher is worth your attention now that it’s Jelly Beaned, know that the thing starts at $330 on Amazon, which is not too shabby. For that money, you’ll be getting a quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, 1 GB of RAM, a 6,000 mAh battery, 16 GB of internal memory, microSD support, an 8 MP rear-facing cam and a 1,280 x 800 pix res splash-proof display.
Bottom line, this is no Xperia Tablet Z, but it’s not as far behind as you’d think.