Sony Xperia Tablet offers Tegra 3, Surface-like keyboard for $449.99

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Leaked slides at indicate that Sony is readying a successor to last year's Tablet S. Purportedly called the Sony Xperia Tablet, the device should offer a smoother experience courtesy of Nvidia's Tegra 3 SoC and Android 4.x, upgraded from Tegra 2 and Android 3.x. It's unclear whether the slate will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) or Jelly Bean (4.1). The latter was released in June and has only landed on a handful of devices so far (namely Google's own products).

The Tegra 3 brings substantial improvements to CPU and GPU performance, outpacing its predecessor by as much as five-fold in some of our tests (see our review of the Asus Transformer Pad TF300 for a rough comparison of the two chips). Although Nvidia's latest SoC supports the Wi-Fi Alliance's Miracast wireless display technology, which should start appearing in products later this year or early next year, it goes without saying that the Xperia will also be DLNA-compliant.

Although it doesn't look drastically different, the Xperia's 8.8mm-thin aluminum body is 42% thinner than the Tablet S. Sony is also preparing a keyboard cover similar to the Microsoft Surface's, though not identical. Sony's solution doesn't just cover the front, but stretches around to the back and serves as a kickstand, whereas the Surface has an integrated kickstand. The slides also mention other docks, stands and covers with different features than the one pictured above.

The Xperia will have an 6000mAh battery that offers up to 10 hours Wi-Fi browsing. Other features include Bluetooth, an SD card slot, stereo speakers, an 8-megapixel camera on the rear and a 1-megapixel camera on the front. 3G connectivity is mentioned, but we're not sure if there will be separate SKUs. The slate is expected to ship later this year in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB variants priced at $449.99, $549.99 and $649.99 -- $50 less than the third-generation iPad.

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