On the heels of the recently launched Xperia flagship smartphones, Sony has announced the Xperia Tablet Z for the Japanese market. The new 10.1-inch tablet sticks to the seamless design language of the Xperia Z, foregoing the grippy back and folded-magazine look of Sony's previous tablets for a more monolithic aesthetic.

The Tablet Z's 10.1-inch LCD TFT display will push a resolution of 1920 x 1200 with Sony's second-generation Mobile Bravia Engine working to enhance the quality of images and video. Running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at launch with Sony's now-familiar light skin on top, the tablet is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro processor clocked at 1.5GHz and has 2GB of RAM just like the Xperia Z phone; the tablet boasts 32GB of storage with an SD card expansion slot. The company has not announced whether the device will be updated to Android 4.2, which brings multi-user support to tablets. 

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z has a 10.1-inch screen

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z has a 10.1-inch screen

Also, like its smartphone sibling, the Tablet Z carries the IP57 certification, which makes it waterproof up to one metre, as well as making it impervious to dust. Unlike other tablet makers, Sony hasn't skimped on the rear camera for the Tablet Z. It has included its flagship camera sensor, an 8.1 megapixel Exmor R on the back and a 2.2 megapixel front-facing camera, both capable of doing 1080p video. However, it is not clear whether this sensor enables HDR mode for video recording a la the Exmor RS on the Xperia Z. An NFC chip allows the tablet to play nice with the NFC-capable speakers and accessories, as well as allowing wireless display mirroring with Sony's new range of NFC-toting Bravia televisions.

Even though the Tablet Z does not boast the same high-resolution screen of the Samsung-manufactured Nexus 10 or the Retina display of the iPad, it beats both tablets with a waistline measuring 6.9 mm. It is also lighter than Google and Apple's flagship tablets with a weight of about 495 g. Another unique feature and a first for Sony tablets is the debut of the company's S-Force Front Surround 3D technology. Usually reserved for Sony's high-end televisions, this technology emulates a 3D sound field allowing users to enjoy full surround sound with only two front speakers.

According to Japanese website Blog of Mobile, Tablet Z will feature a 6000 mAh battery and is expected to ship with Sony's in-house power optimisation software or Stamina mode as seen on the 2013 Xperia phones.

The Japanese model, which will be available in Black and White colours, will support LTE; however, there's no indication from Sony whether this will be carried over to other international variants if and when they will be announced. The company is yet to announce the pricing and availability of this slate, but February's Mobile World Congress could be the stage for a worldwide announcement.

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