We know what we’re going to see, with Galaxy and Ativ stuff having already been leaked and, in some cases, announced, but that’s not going to take away our liveblogging fun. Henry and I will be providing our usual dose of snark and sarcasm along with the news from Samsung’s London event, so join us for a magical journey (if IFA 2012 is anything to go by).
Today Sony announced the successor to their Xperia Tablet Z, a 10.1 inch machine running Android 4.1 and boasting some impressive specs. Design-wise Sony seem to have finally conceded defeat with the rolled-over magazine look that plagued their last couple of tablets being mercifully killed off. While it wasn’t as pronounced on the Xperia Tablet S as on its predecessor the Tablet S, which won our award for worst design back in 2011, we still feel that it drew away from the whole design. This time round Sony have given their new tablet a similar look to its upcoming smartphone sibling, the Xperia Z, and have come up with a classy, minimalist design which has been met with approval throughout the Digixav office.*
At a staggering 6.9mm thick, the Xperia Tablet Z is thinner than the iPad mini, and is the lightest 10-inch tablet in the world, weighing in at just under half a kilo. Like the Xperia Z, Sony says that the Xperia Tablet Z is waterproof for half an hour, up to a depth of one metre, and dustproof too. We only hope that these claims don’t prove to be as unfounded as those of the Xperia Tablet S.
Software is where this tablet really excels. The screen is 1920 x 1200, significantly better than the 1280 x 800 of the last Xperia tablet incarnation, and should rival the stunning display on the Apple’s 4th generation iPad. It packs Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, and comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. It’s quite likely that, as with the Xperia Tablet S, we will see Xperia Tablet Z SKUs with varying amounts of onboard storage at varying prices although, unlike the Nexus 10, there is a microSD slot for those who want a little extra storage. The tablet comes with a solid 8.1 megapixel camera on the back, but no details have been released for the front-facing camera yet. The 6000mAh battery isn’t anything to get too excited about, but it will suffice. It also has LTE and NFC support.
No details to do with price have been released, but with those figures we’re looking at £400+. We have no idea how they managed to fit all of those specs into a 6.9mm 495g slab. It’s interesting that the Xperia Tablet Z wasn’t announced along with its smartphone cousin at CES, but we’re sure that Sony have their reasons. No release date has been announced either, but we can presume that it will come out around the same time as the Xperia Z, sometime this first quarter. We’d have also thought that Sony might have wanted to wait for the imminent release of Android Key Lime Pie to release the Xperia Z family, what with the state of Android updates. All in all though, this will surely be the best 10 inch Android tablet on the market when it comes out, and will be the tablet to beat for Sony’s rivals.
*Only joking. We can’t afford an office at Digixav.