The Xperia Tablet Z is bringing something that feels cutting-edge to the crowded tablet space and it feels like an oversized smartphone. It is the lightest and thinnest 10.1” Android tablet yet with hardware specs that suggest a smartphone, including the 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad-core processor.

Sony subtly hides four speakers on the sides and they are claimed to deliver the audio quality yet in the tablet industry with sound-mixing and surround-sound options. The Tablet Z is waterproofed to some degree with the thin rubber edges that work as a sealant against moisture. This should protect the tablet when used in bathtub or rainy places.

Obviously, all of these won’t come cheap and Sony is aiming the tablet for the premium market. There’s no strong differentiation in the low-end category and with the Tablet Z, Sony can create something more iconic and aspirational. Sony has merged the smartphone, tablet and Vaio laptop teams; and we should see some nice integration in the future.

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