Sony tried to differentiate its Tablet S from the pack of Android tablets by incorporating a wedge shaped design similar to that of a folded-back magazine, but it never really took off. Having gone back to the drawing board, Sony this week announced the Xperia Tablet Z with a more traditional design, but still discernible from all the other slates. How so? For one, Sony's billing it as the world's slimmest and lightest tablet in the world.
It measures just 6.9mm thick and weighs 495g, compared to the fourth generation iPad, which measures 9.4mm thick and weighs 652g. The Xperia Tablet Z is even skinnier than the iPad mini by 0.3mm, though not as light as Apple's 7.9-inch slate.
The other unique feature of the Xperia Tablet Z is that it's water resistant up to 1 meter. Sony says it's unaffected by 30 minutes underwater and can even withstand water jets, though if you often lose electronics to water jets, you may want to reassess how you use your devices.
Sony's also billing the Xperia Tablet Z as being the first slate to run Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 Pro processor (1.5GHz). Other features include a 10.1-inch Full HD 1080p display, 2GB of RAM, up to 16GB of onboard storage (expandable via a microSD card slot), 8.1MP rear-facing camera with 16x digital zoom, 2.2MP (1080p) front-facing camera, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, HDMI output, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (upgradeable to 4.2 after launch), and various other tidbits.
The Xperia Tablet Z will launch on March 1, 2013. No word yet on price.