Sony has pulled the covers off the new Xperia-branded tablet that has been popping up in the rumor circuit since late-July, officially introducing the Xperia Tablet S. Confirming the earlier leaks, the successor to last year’s (non-‘Xperia’) Tablet S will still feature the unique, easy-grip ‘folded magazine’ design, but adds a number of improvements to make for a more appealing – and definitely way more interesting – Android 4.0 slate.
While it basically looks the same outside with a similar 9.4-inch, 1280 x 800 screen, this new model is built with a comparatively slimmer and lighter metal-backed frame (it’s listed to weigh 1.26 pounds). And while the screen itself might look the same, it’s been said to come with a number of improvements that give it better contrast and brightness, as well as an anti-fingerprint coating that also reduces glare.
Under the hood, the Xperia Tablet S gets a speed upgrade with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor paired with 1GB of RAM to run the show, as well as an 8-megapixel camera at the back and 1MP cam up front. Like the previous model, this slate will also be available in 16-64GB storage options, and will come with an SD card slot for expansion.
Thanks to a built-in IR blaster and a pre-installed remote control app, the Tablet S can be used as a universal remote for controlling TVs, set-top boxes, media players, and stereos, even if they don’t come with a Sony logo. It’s also going to feature a splash-resistant coating, making it handy to use around the kitchen.
The Xperia Tablet S is set to start shipping on September 7, with prices ranging from $399 to $599. A smart case that adds a built-in Microsoft Surface-style keyboard will also be sold for around $100.