If thin is in, then Sony's new Xperia Tablet Z must be the height of fashion. The electronics giant's latest Android offering measures a mere 6.9 mm thick, making it thinner than even the iPad Mini. At 1.1 lbs, the Xperia is a little heavier than the 7.9" Apple tablet. However, it boasts a larger 10.1" screen with a much higher 1920x1200 display resolution. Sony doesn't say whether this "Reality Display" uses an IPS panel, but the Xperia seems like too premium of a device to dip into TN territory.
The chassis mixes steel and aluminum with a glass-fiber back panel that reportedly has a soft-touch feel. According to The Verge, which got its hands on the thing, the design is "up there with the best." Impressively, the Xperia is dustproof and waterproof, as well. The IPX5 rating provided by Sony suggests the tablet can survive being sprayed with nearly 40 liters of water over a three-minute period. (Thanks Wikipedia.)
Under its stylish exterior, the Xperia sports an unnamed quad-core processor with a 1.5GHz clock speed. 2GB of RAM is included along with 32GB of solid-state storage. While Sony doesn't quote run times, it does note that the battery has a 6000 mAh capacity.
With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean running the show, you get "Project Butter" UI responsiveness enhancements but miss out on the lock screen widgets and other goodies included in the latest 4.2 release. The Xperia has dual cameras, of course, plus 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, and LTE connectivity. Sony has also integrated virtual surround sound for movie playback. Unfortunately, there's no word yet on pricing or whether the Xperia Tablet Z will be available in the US.
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