HWM (Malaysia) - - FRONT PAGE - by John Law

While cer­tain elec­tron­ics gi­ants were man­u­fac­tur­ing more tablets of vary­ing size for the last few years, Sony had re­frained from jump­ing the gun and get­ting sucked into that race. The Ja­panese gi­ant played it safe in­stead, fo­cus­ing on mak­ing sure that the Xpe­ria Z se­ries de­vices are al­ways top notch. Last year be­came a mile­stone for them, when they in­tro­duced the new small form fac­tor tablet, the Xpe­ria Z3 Tablet Com­pact.

First spot­ted dur­ing the IFA 2014 in Ber­lin, we couldn't wait to get our hands on the Z3 Tablet Com­pact, and with sev­eral good rea­sons. First, con­trary to popular be­lief, the Z3 Tablet Com­pact isn't the first time that Sony has for­ayed with a com­pact tablet. That ti­tle ac­tu­ally be­longs to the Xpe­ria Tablet P, a fold­able tablet that never quite caught on with the public.

The sec­ond rea­son lies in the way that the Z3 Tablet Com­pact has been built. From start to fin­ish, the tablet feels solid, yet it still main­tains its sen­si­ble de­sign el­e­gance. Sony has, in a way, been smart with the tablet, giv­ing its back a rugged matte sur­face, rather than the plas­tic de­sign and feel that other com­pa­nies have adopted into their own tablets.

The screen on the Z3 Tablet Com­pact is some­thing of a missed op­por­tu­nity, in our eyes. While other tablet man­u­fac­tur­ers like Ap­ple and Sam­sung have al­ready be­gan im­ple­ment­ing dis­plays with res­o­lu­tion be­yond Full HD into their own tablets, Sony had in­stead de­cided that a Full HD dis­play was more than suf­fi­cient. It's by no means a bad thing, as images, videos and text look sharp, crisp and beau­ti­ful. But we can't help but imag­ine how much bet­ter it would be if Sony had ac­tu­ally used a Quad HD dis­play on the tablet.

Like its smart­phone brethren, the Z3 Tablet Com­pact also prides it­self with an­other two fea­tures: long bat­tery life and the PS4 Re­mote Play func­tion. On a full charge and with Sony's STAMINA mode on, and our ev­ery­day us­age, we only had to recharge the tablet af­ter four days.

In terms of per­for­mance, the Z3 Tablet Com­pact scored 17,768 on 3DMark's Ice Storm Un­lim­ited, 42,095 on AnTuTu, 19,621 on Quad­rant, and 3,767 for PCMark. In terms of re­al­world han­dling, we ran Epic Citadel on the de­vice, of which it gave us an av­er­age frame rate of 53FPS on Ul­tra High Qual­ity mode.

While we talked about it in our re­view for the Xpe­ria Z3, uti­liz­ing the PS4 Re­mote Play func­tion on the Z3 Tablet Com­pact ac­tu­ally en­hanced the ex­pe­ri­ence by leaps and bounds, thanks in no small part to the big­ger screen and bet­ter au­dio.

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