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. 

The Xperia Z tablet comes with a black or white back.
Headphone-jack, power button and volume rockers are located on the left side of the device.

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 combined SIM/Micro-SD slot is hidden under a sealed flap.
The Xperia Z tablet features two speakers with a total of four outlets to make it impossible to cover all of them accidentally when holding the deivce.

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:

  • 10.1” screen
  • HD 1920x1200p WUXGA display
  • Dust- and water-resistant
  • Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
  • 1.5 GHz asynchronous quad CPUs
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8 MP rear camera
  • 2MP HD front camera
  • Android 4.1 operating system