Sony launches Xperia Tablet Z: ‘2013 will be the year of the Android tablet’

25 Feb 2013

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z

Tech giant Sony is stepping up competition in the tablet computer market in a big way in 2013 and has revealed what it claims is the world’s slimmest tablet yet, the Xperia Tablet Z. The waterproof tablet is being tabled as a companion device to the Xperia Z smartphone and part of a new NFC ecosystem Sony is creating for the digital lifestyle.

The device was unveiled this morning in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress.

The screen size of the device is 10.1 inches and it features an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera – both boast 1080p high definition.

The tablet computer’s WUXGA display has a density of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels and promises a TV-like viewing experience.

Sony claims it is the world’s slimmest and lightest design. It is 6.9mm thin and weighs 495 grams. Holding the device in your hand, it is certainly impressively light.

It is powered by the Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 1.5GHz asynchronous quad CPUs and 2GB of RAM. An SD card of up to 64GB can be added.

Stephen Sneeden, Xperia product marketing manager, Sony Mobile Communications, said the new tablet computer has 20pc better resolution than the Apple iPad.

The new device is decked out with an array of built-in speakers, creating four ‘speaker halls’ on the left and right corners. The tablet has Sony’s S-Force Front Surround 3D technology.

It will be available in two versions – LTE plus Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi only.

The Tablet Z is expected to launch in Japan at the end of March and in the rest of the world at the end of spring.

The computer also includes a Battery Stamina mode that lets users select to out apps that draw down battery power when the device is on standby.

Consistent experiences

xperia z family

The Xperia Tablet Z, Sneeden explained, contains the same NFC capabilities as the Xperia Z smartphone and users can just tap the devices together to exchange content, like movies and photos.

Sneeden said there are now 30 different products in Sony’s ecosystem that have NFC embedded in them, including a content backup station and a TV remote control.

The Tablet Z has some nifty tools built in, including software that enhances the type of content users are watching. For example, a YouTube video that is grainy will be auto enhanced.

Like its smartphone sister, the Tablet Z is waterproof for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1 metre.

It also comes with Sony’s latest camera technology, including Superior Auto, which calibrates the camera based on light conditions to ensure the user takes the perfect shot every time.

While pricing information wasn’t available, Sneeden said the Tablet Z will be targeted at the premium segment.

He said that while Android smartphones have been out in front, the combination of tablets and smartphones using Android’s Jellybean technology means the apps ecosystem should flourish.

“This device is going to be the select alternative in the Android tablet ecosystem.

“We are predicting huge growth in the tablet market.

“We think that by going after the market with consistent experiences for our smartphones and tablets it will be easier for developers to develop apps for both,” Sneeden said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years