Kanada: We set to work in color design sharing the same goal as those who designed the body-to create a simple, exquisite plate. The simpler a product is, the more critical the finish precision for colors and materials becomes, so we must ensure a highly polished product. We had never created an Xperia™ phone with a front and back of glass, but instead of presenting just the tempered glass, we thought we could take the elegance one step further.
Print colors onto glass without some ingenuity, and the colors visible through the glass end up looking dull. To avoid this, we use a technique called polarized vapor deposition. We control fabrication to produce a blue-tinged black with depth and a crystalline white with an intriguing, slightly yellowish cast. On the purple phones, we add a polarized pearl colorant to make the surface look violet from some angles and magenta from others-as full of colors as scenery at dawn or dusk. In this way, we looked past the superficial appearance of glass and tapped its potential as a canvas with a sense of depth that conveys both a beautiful spatiality and an appealing tension.
In contrast, the edges of the phone are rounded, so we chose a matte finish to emphasize the gentle contours. Hold the phone in your hand, and you'll notice how comfortable it is. Balancing the contrast between solid, cool-looking glass and satisfying rounded edges is another aspect of OmniBalance design.
As a new color option, we chose purple. In white or black, the phone already looks impressive, so we explored other colors that would be equally fitting. Here, we didn't get caught up in marketing considerations such as past sales performance. We just asked ourselves honestly what color would accentuate the phone's appearance. In the end, the purple we chose looks fresh while maintaining a sense of presence. It was also the first time we have created charging stands in matching colors, to keep the phones on center stage.
Hibi: Many years of engineering experience in charging stands predisposed us to think our choices in design were limited. But instead of looking for solutions within these parameters, we thought outside the box, and promising new design naturally emerged. As a result, we succeeded in creating a stand that matches what the Xperia™ Z stands for, so to speak.
Sugiyama: Xperia™ Tablet Z planning took shape as we sought a better match, in user experiences and connectivity, between smartphones and tablets. Accordingly, OmniBalance design would guide our work, just as it had for the Xperia™ Z phone, as we ensured greater consistency. Another initial consideration as the project began was that this would be the world's slimmest, lightest tablet. To create a tablet slimmer and lighter than all others, we chose an airy yet sturdy, fiberglass-reinforced back cover.
Umeda: The hard part was making this ideally light and tough surface look stylish. The material is fabricated by layering several fiberglass-reinforced sheets, impregnating them with a polymer, and then molding them into the right shape. Rigidity, thickness, and the surface finish vary depending on how many layers we use. After several attempts to strike the right balance, we finally succeeded in creating the slimmest* and lightest* 10.1'' tablet, at a mere 6.9 mm.
* Verified in 10'' tablet class at time of announcement.
Sugiyama: Waterproof construction is also a highlight of the Xperia™ Tablet Z, thanks to how all six surfaces are assembled in the final stage of manufacturing both devices. This basic structure also determines the tablet size, to a great extent. For better usability, we positioned the on/off and volume buttons opposite to where they are on the phone. This makes the tablet easier to use with the many apps that support both portrait and landscape orientation. The distinctive aluminum on/off button lies right under your index finger when you hold the tablet in two hands, and it's easily within reach in portrait orientation.
Umeda: Although we had initially planned only a black version, many of us suggested offering a white version to maintain a consistent image across Xperia™ Z tablets and smartphones. This is our first white tablet. On the back, both colors are presented with a sense of depth, with a slightly bluish tinge on the black tablet and a slightly yellowish pearl finish on the white one. The coordinated styling across our tablet and smartphone lines may tempt you to own both. As for the finish, after trying a few approaches, we decided that in a primarily hand-held device such as a tablet, a neat matte finish extending over the side toward the back feels most comfortable.