Sony Tablet S
Sony Tablet S Sony

Sony has rung in the New Year by permanently shaving $100 off the price of its Tablet S, joining the likes of many mid-range slate manufacturers, according to BetaNews.

The Japanese electronics giant will now sell a 16GB Tablet S for $399.99 and the 32GB version for $499.99. The company is further sweetening the deal by offering five free PlayStation Classic game downloads, 180 days of its basic Music Unlimited service, five free rentals from the company's Video Unlimited service and a store credit on purchase of the newly-discounted slate for a limited period only.

Although the new pricing isn't listed as permanent, it is unlikely prices will spiral upwards again. In fact, many tablet manufacturers, including Sony, slashed prices during the Christmas season. The Tablet S's last price-drop was December's $50 discount that just expired.

The biggest dip in price was seen for Research in Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry Playbook, which sold out for $300 a unit off its base price. More recently, service providers Verizon Wireless trimmed prices of Motorola Mobility Xyboards by $50, while offering a two-year data plan. Meanwhile, Apple's decision to price its iPad 2 at $499 seems to working out well for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company.

Unfortunately for many manufacturers, price-cuts seem to be the only solution for successful sales in the tablet arena. Now... is Sony's new move good enough to attract consumers?

Despite the cut, Sony continues to face stiff competition in the low-end tablet market, particularly from Amazon's Kindle Fire. The Android-powered tablet is not a bad device. The 9.4 inch device runs on the Google Android Honeycomb operating system and packs a dual-core 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor. The tablet also sports a 5 megapixel rear camera and a 0.3-megapixel camera up front.