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Sony's 10.1-inch Xperia Tablet Z is thinner than the iPad mini

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sony tablet z official 640
sony tablet z official 640

Hot on the heels of the Xperia Z smartphone which it showed off at CES, Sony has just announced a larger companion — the Xperia Tablet Z. It's a 10.1-inch Android 4.1 tablet with a 1920 x 1200 display, a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, and an 8-megapixel camera that Sony says is the first backside-illuminated sensor it's put in a tablet. Taking pictures with a tablet may not be the best idea, but Sony seems keen to promote the Tablet Z's shooting capabilities nonetheless, touting its automatic low-light mode.

The thinnest tablet we're aware of

Most impressive of all is the thickness, or lack thereof; the Xperia Tablet Z is just 6.9mm thick, which compares favorably to the 7.2mm-thick iPad mini — previously the thinnest tablet we were aware of. Despite this, the tablet is said to be waterproof and dustproof, though we're not yet sure to what degree. It looks like Sony has abandoned the "folded-magazine" design of 2011's Tablet S and last year's Xperia Tablet S in order to achieve the thin dimensions.

Another feature promoted by Sony is something called "S-Force Front Surround 3D" which apparently helps convey the movement of sound and a spacious feeling, but we'll have to try that one out for ourselves. The Tablet Z also supports LTE and NFC, and will be available in black or white. Sony says this product is aimed at the Japanese market, where it'll be released this spring — no word on pricing or availability elsewhere, but we'll let you know when we hear more.