Monday, January 21, 2013

Thinner than an iPad mini: The Sony Xperia Z 10.1-inch tablet

Sony saved some device introductions for the post-CES timeframe. On Sunday, the company unveiled the Xperia Tablet Z.

The new tablet sports a number of hardware specs that will likely get the attention of Android fans: It comes with a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm APQ8064 processor, a 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 screen, an 8.1-megapixel Exmor R camera, NFC, LTE (MDM9215M radio), a microSD expansion slot and Sony's own "S-Force" virtual surround sound technology.

In addition, the Xperia Tablet Z is only 6.9mm thick. Compare that with Apple's tablets, which are always touted as the thinnest around. The iPad mini is 7.2mm thick, and the iPad 4 is 9.4mm thick.

In addition, the Xperia Tablet Z is both waterproof and dustproof. We've never had a problem with dust, ourselves, but water, we have had issues with. Normally, though, if we drop a device into a toilet (the most likely way to water damage your device, honestly), it is a smartphone.

Considering, however, how many tablet owners take their tablets into the bathroom with them -- it's probably good to have a tablet that is waterproof.

The Tablet Z will be available in black or white. Sadly for U.S. consumers, Sony said the Xperia Tablet Z is targeting the Japanese market, where it will be released this spring. It is unclear if or when it may ever reach North America.

The all-important "how much" question is left similarly unanswered. That could be a key to how sales of this device work out, but another question remains: Since this tablet has LTE support, will Sony get U.S. carriers to opt in to sales?



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