When Sony launched the Xperia Z tablet as a companion to the Xperia Z smartphone in January we were pretty disappointed it was a Japan-only announcement. However, now the Japanese electronics giant has launched the tablet globally, making the sleek looking device available to consumers in Europe and the U.S. as well.
There are plenty of Xperia Z tablets on show at the Sony booth at Mobile World Congress and we have taken the opportunity to have a closer look and handle the 10-inch Android slate. Holding the Xperia Z in your hands it's as desirable as its smartphone cousin. At only 495 grams it's lighter and easier to hold with one hand than the equivalently-sized iPad but still feels like a premium device with solid build-quality.
Despite the thin 6.9mm profile and light weight, Sony says the Xperia Z tablet is water- and dust-proof. I am still not sure if I want to take my pricey tablet to the beach, but in theory that shouldn't be a problem with the Sony.
The technical specification is on par with the quality exterior. The Xperia Z features a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.1 OS, LTE connectivity and NFC technology for easy sharing with other Sony devices. The screen is of the WUXGA variant (1920 x 1200 pixels) and is 10.1 inches large. With a 8.1 million pixel back-illuminated pixel "Exmor R for mobile" CMOS sensor, the camera specification is quite decent for a tablet too.
The Sony Xperia Z tablet certainly looks and feels like a high-end product and the Snapdragon quad-core processor provides enough steam for even the most demanding apps. Water- and dust-proofing is a real stand out feature in the tablet space, but realistically in the market Sony will be facing the same problem as all other makers of Android tablets: Apple's iPad is still by far the best-selling tablet and that is at least to a degree due to the larger offering of good tablet-specific apps for Apple's iOS. That said, the Sony is a step into the right direction and if Android developers can be convinced to increase their tablet efforts, the Xperia Z could help reduce the iPad dominance in the 10-inch tablet sector.
Xperia Z tablet headline specs: