Sony’s new Xperia Z4 tablet has a slick docking keyboard

Sony hasn’t debuted a handset at this week’s Mobile World Congress, but it does have a new high-end Android tablet coming in June. The Xperia Z4 tablet boasts a 2560 x 1600 resolution screen, is fully waterproof and has an optional Bluetooth keyboard that turns the 10.1-inch slate into a mini Android laptop of sorts.

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Typical of Sony’s tablet efforts, the company is keeping the design slim at 6.1 millimeters and packing it with power. Inside the Xperia Z4 tablet is an eight-core 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, the same chipset you’ll find in the newest phones coming from MWC. The slate will have 32GB of internal flash storage, a microSD card slot, 3GB of memory and available in both a Wi-Fi and LTE model. The company says the 6,000 mAh battery is good for 17 hours of video playback.

Audio should sound good on the Xperia Z4 tablet, which includes an FM radio inside. Sony’s new tablet supports high-resolution audio file playback and the company’s Clear Audio+ technology, something I’ve found to be quite good when using the Sony Walkman.

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An add-on accessory has my interest here too: The optional BKB50 Bluetooth keyboard adds a typing and trackpad experience to the Xperia Z4. Sony’s new slate fits into a slot on the keyboard, giving you up to a 130-degree tilt angle when using the tablet. Sony says the BKB50 has NFC for pairing with the Xperia Z4 and supports dock detection.

Neither product has a price tag yet and they won’t be available for a few months yet, so you have time to save up if you want a waterproof Android 5.0 tablet that you can use with a keyboard customized to get the most of this slate.

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Huawei debuts a 7-inch phone and its first Android Wear watch

Back in 2012, I suggested that for some, a tablet may replace a smartphone within the next few years. Fast forward to present day and Huawei is thinking the same: The company introduced a 7-inch tablet with cellular voice capabilities alongside its Android Wear smartwatch that was leaked before the Mobile World Congress event, which kicks off today.

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Huawei already sells a large phone direct to consumers in the U.S.: You can buy the Ascend Mate2 with its 6.1-inch display for $299.99 off contract. The new MediaPad X2 brings the screen size to a full 7-inches with 1920 x 1200 resolution for a pixel density of 323 pixels per inch. Huawei says it’s keeping the overall size of the X2 down with an 80 percent screen to body ratio and 7.28 millimeter thickness. The 5,000mAh battery should easily last a day, if not two, between charges.

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Inside is the company’s own 64-bit chipset, an eight-core 2.0GHz Kirin 930 paired with Mali T628 GPU and Cat6 LTE radio capable of 300Mbps download speeds. A 13-Megapixel camera adorns the rear, while the front of the X2 has a wide-angle 22mm lens and 5MP sensor.

The device runs Google Android 5.0 software with Huawei’s own software called EMUI. The base model includes 16GB of storage and 2GB of RAM and Huawei will offer a second edition with double the storage and 3GB of memory. Huawei says pricing and availability will vary by region with more details to follow.

Also coming soon at an undisclosed price is the metal Huawei Watch running Google’s Android Wear software. It looks like other circular watches that have recently hit the market but Huawei is boasting a higher pixel density: The round 1.4-inch AMOLED screen has a 400 x 400 resolution. The touchscreen is covered with a sapphire crystal and overall, the device looks like a classic metal watch.

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Like most Android Wear devices, the Huawei Watch has a bevy of sensors inside: 6-axis gyroscope, barometer, and optical heart-rate monitor. Outside, the case is made from 316L corrosive-resistant, cold-forged stainless steel.

While the watch looks nice, there are already several similar options available to consumers. I’m more interested to see if consumers adopt the MediaPad X2 as a replacement for both a phone and a tablet.

The X2 should work fine for the latter use; I’ve happily carried and used a 7-inch slate in the past, although I wouldn’t use it for a full-time productivity device. You probably can’t put the X2 in your pocket like you can with most phones though, and that could be a challenge for potential buyers. Still, color me intrigued.
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Jolla Tablet could get cellular connectivity as money pours in

Having hit the crowdfunding target it set for its new tablet in just two hours, the Finnish mobile upstart Jolla has, eight days later, achieved that goal three times over. With $1.3 million pledged, the campaign still has 13 days left though – so Jolla has revealed some stretch goals that its community suggested. If it hits $1.5 million, the Android-compatible Sailfish OS tablet will get MicroSDHC support, allowing it to take memory cards of up to 128GB in size. If it hits $1.75 million, it will gain the ability to view and run two apps simultaneously, split-screen-style. And if $2.5 million is pledged, it will gain 3.5G cellular connectivity. Jolla co-founder Marc Dillon said the company was “overwhelmed” by the response so far.

Non-Microsoft Nokia launches Android N1 tablet with Foxconn

Here’s a shocker — Nokia, not to be confused with its former handset business that is now owned by Microsoft — has unveiled an Android tablet. And the details illustrate how Nokia will deal with the consumer market in the coming while.

With Project Elastic, Tableau is targeting consumers and tablets

Tableau Software is taking the wraps off a new project called Elastic, which will bring the company’s style of simplified data analysis to tablet users. The goal is to let small businesses and individuals enjoy analyzing their data, without the pain of mastering desktop tools.