Apple's had a punt at taking down the textbook, and now Sony Japan has flaunted a new A4-sized device with stylus that it hopes will usurp traditional learning.

With its 13.3-inch display, Sony's slate might be a bit larger than most market tablets, but Sony's hope is that this will offer a more convenient alternative to the textbook and notepad for students.

The ability to write and draw on it using the stylus, however, means the slate could be appealing to academics and keen readers of all ages and sizes.

Plus, while the screen is big, the slate is an impressive 6.8mm thick - a fair bit thinner than the Kindle Paperwhite - and weighs just 358g.

Won't be weighing you down

The 4GB of onboard storage should hold plenty of ebooks, but the MicroSD slot will allow for a boost. Naturally, the tablet also comes with Wi-Fi connectivity.

Sony reckons the battery will last for three weeks on a full cycle, but this is all subject to change given that this is just a prototype model at the moment.

The slate will be trialed at three Japanese universities later this year, with plans to put it on the market before the end of the 2013 fiscal year (so before March 21, 2014).

Via Engadget and Sony Japan