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MWC 2013: Sony Xperia Tablet Z Release Date and Price are May for $499

Sony had a shy presence on the tablet segment with its Xperia Tablet S, but the Japan-based company wants to try its luck once more with Sony Tablet Z, officially introduced at MWC 2013, just a couple of weeks after it was exclusively launched on the Japanese market.

In order to have the spotlight on an already-crowded 10-inch tablet market, Sony is betting on a case that it’s only 6.9 mm thin, making Xperia Tablet Z in the thinnest tablet in the world. Sony Xperia Tablet Z is also light, weighing only 495 grams, while being dust proof and capable of resisting in 1 meter-deep waters for up to 30 minutes.

The rumors that surfaced in January were confirmed and Sony Xperia Tablet Z is equipped with a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200, packed with Sony’s proprietary Mobile Bravia Engine 2 technology, while the hardware platform is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, the same unit that underpins the Xperia Z smartphone launched at CES 2013.

The Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC, comes with quad-core Krait CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz, Adreno 320 GPU, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 or 32 GB of internal storage, expandable courtesy of the microSD card support.

Surprisingly enough for a tablet, Sony Xperia Tablet Z has a primary camera with an 8 megapixel Exmor R sensor and full HD video recording capabilities, while the front-facing 2 megapixel camera has HD video recording support, ideal for video calls.

In terms of connectivity, Sony Xperia Tablet Z comes with WiFi and NFC, but Sony’s press release is not mentioning anything about 3G or 4G connections, which is a sign that the international model will be WiFi-only, even though the Japanese variant has LTE support.

The new tablet also comes with anĀ infraredĀ port and with the help of the TV SideView app the Xperia Tablet Z can be used as a remote control, but I don’t know how many of the customers will be attracted by this features, especially because the “remote control” will be a bit too big.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, but the Japan-based tablet maker claims that an update to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean will be available soon after the tablet hits the market this spring.

Promoted as a premium tablet, Sony Xperia Tablet Z will have a price tag matching Apple’s iPad 4: $499 for the 16 GB model, and $599 for the 32 GB variant. With prices so high, will the Xperia Tablet Z be able to bite a big chunk of Apple’s tablet market share?