Barcelona, Spain — Sony announced at the Mobile World Congress that the tablet will debut in the U.S. in May, with the 16GB model to start at $499, and the 32GB edition at $599.
The 10.1-inch Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) tablet is said to be the world’s thinnest tablet at 6.9mm thick and is lightweight too at just 495g.
The slate has a high definition 1920 x 1200 resolution display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU and 2GB of RAM, while NFC and microSD support are also present.
In addition, the Xperia Tablet Z boasts dual-facing cameras (2MP on the front, 8MP on the rear), a powerful 6000mAh battery and is water-proof to the point where it can be submerged in three foot of water for up to 30 minutes.
Market researchers who have caught sight of the Android tablet at the European technology conference have so far been impressed with Sony’s offering.
“Sony's is the best Android tablet I've seen by a mile,” said mobile industry analyst Benedict Evans on Twitter. “Lighter and thinner than iPad, but no apps.”
“With this latest tablet, Sony brings together both a quality physical aspect and a superior entertainment experience to bear on the product, manifested through its precision engineering and high-end components,” said Informa analyst David McQueen.
“Although intended as additional proof of the company’s desire to be as a lead player in the premium Android device market, the new Tablet Z will undoubtedly go head-to-head with Apple’s iPad."