On sale today, prices start at £399 for 16GB + Wifi
A couple of months after Sony first started taking pre-orders, its Xperia Tablet Z slate is now available to buy in the UK. Prices start at £399 for 16GB of storage and Wifi connectivity (black only), or you can opt for 32GB with Wifi (black and white) or 16GB with Wifi and 4G LTE connectivity (black only). The Tablet Z isn't the cheapest Android tablet option around, but it does boast a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core CPU inside, a 1080p display and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, backed up by Sony's suite of apps. For the hacking crowd, there's also AOSP support through Sony's GitHub.
Across the Atlantic, Sony's still taking pre-orders for the Xperia Tablet Z through its official online store, with devices expected to ship out this Friday, May 24.
Source: Sony Store UK
Vanilla, open-source Android available for 10-inch tablet on Sony GitHub
Like the Xperia Z before it, Sony has announced that it's bringing the Xperia Tablet Z into its version of the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP). The project brings the latest vanilla Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean to the tablet, with the caveat that it's not "certified or intended for daily use," and many of the features from the shipping ROM will be missing.
You'll also need to do a bit of legwork yourself if you want to get AOSP up and running on your Xperia Tablet Z. The code is available on the Sony GitHub, just as it is for the Xperia Z, but you'll need to download and compile it yourself. So this is by no means a quick, easy fix to turn the Tablet Z into a Nexus-style device, but active development from Sony -- not to mention community developers -- could eventually make this a tablet of choice for Android hackers.
You'll find more technical details over on the official Sony blog, linked below. The Xperia Tablet Z is already available in some countries around the world. The Sony U.S. store is currently taking pre-orders, with an estimated ship date of May 24.
Source: Sony Blog
Samsung's continuing its Android tablet push with the Galaxy Tab 3 series, and it looks like there might be an 8-inch variant on the way alongside the current 7-incher. SamMobile obtained the shot you see above, which it claims shows the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0.
According to a spec sheet released alongside the image, the 8-incher will come in Wifi-only and 3G flavors, and run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean on a 1280x800 panel. On the inside, it's supposedly an unnamed 1.5GHz dual-core CPU doing the number-crunching, with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a microSD slot. A 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera and 5-megapixel rear shooter are also listed. The dimensions are also a point of interest, with a thickness of just 6.95mm being reported, potentially making this an extremely thin tablet.
The shot itself appears to be little more than a mock-up, but if accurate it would indicate that the 8-inch Tab 3 is running a the latest version of TouchWiz, and is also lacking the earpiece of its 7-inch counterpart. No release date is reported just yet, but we imagine it'll appear sometime after the 7-inch Tab 3's roll-out, due to take place over the next month.
Quad-core, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and 3G capabilities in Archos' latest 'Elements' line tablet
Archos has today introduced another tablet to their Elements series, the Archos 80 Xenon. This 8-inch tablet comes with 3G and WiFi, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 1.2GHz processor and a 1024x768 resolution IPS display. So, we're looking at a solid mid-range tablet, with Jelly Bean and full Google Play access as is now the norm for Archos tablets.
Other specs to mention include 1GB of RAM, but just 4GB of on-board storage expandable by way of microSD card. It comes with a pair of cameras, though neither is much to shout about. The rear camera is just 2MP, with a front facing 'webcam.'
The 80 Xenon is set to be available sometime in June, priced at $199.99.
Google Play is getting a sweet redesign, including a special, much-needed section of top-rated table
Google Play is getting a sweet redesign, including a special, much-needed section of top-rated tablet apps. You can watch the Google I/O Keynote here.
At Google's I/O conference today, the company announced some interesting new APIs as part of Google Play Services, which developers can use to enhance their apps. Some of the most interesting ones include single sign on and notification syncing, so you get alerts and can sign on just once across all your devices.
HP's second entry into the Android market is decidedly different from the Slate 7
Following in the footsteps of both ASUS with its Transformer series as well as other Windows OEMs with their convertible laptop/tablet hybrids, HP is announcing SlateBook x2 today. We're basically looking at a standard 10-inch Android tablet, but in the configuration of what HP is calling a "two-in-one device" that has a keyboard dock. As is usually the case, the tablet is completely contained as a stand-alone device, with a 1920x1200 IPS display, Tegra 4 processor and 64GB of storage. The SlateBook x2 is also shipping with Android 4.2.2, and what looks like very limited customizations from HP -- it even goes so far as to say this is "HP’s push to offer access to the Google experience". The docking station has a full keyboard and trackpad, along with a USB port, SDcard slot and an additional battery to charge the tablet.
Based on the information given to us right now the HP SlateBook x2 is expected to ship in August in both grey and white lid colors, and the pricing seems quite nice at $479.99. However this is a "starting price", and it isn't clear whether or not that includes the keyboard dock. The tablet market may be a bit different by the time this device hits store shelves, but it certainly seems like it will have a better shot at grabbing sales than the Slate 7 does. Stick around after the break for a promo video of the device by HP.