Sony Xpe­ria Tablet Z

Sony Xpe­ria tablet Z

HWM (Singapore) - - Test -

A wa­ter­proof tablet for the mod­ern gad­get en­thu­si­ast.

Rid­ing on the coat­tails of Sony’s some­what un­ex­pected smart­phone resur­gence this year, first with the Xpe­ria Z smart­phone, and more re­cently with the Xpe­ria Z Ul­tra ph­ablet, Sony’s Xpe­ria Tablet Z boasts many of the same qual­i­ties, in­clud­ing a thin, min­i­mal­ist de­sign, Full HD dis­play and IP57-cer­ti­fied dus­tre­sis­tant and wa­ter­proof build.

Es­sen­tially just a larger ver­sion of the Xpe­ria Z smart­phone, the min­i­mal­ist rec­tan­gu­lar de­sign ac­tu­ally works even bet­ter in tablet form thanks to the Tablet Z’s in­sanely thin 6.9mm edge (thin­ner than the Xpe­ria Z smart­phone, Mo­torola RAZR, iPad Mini, and pretty much ev­ery­thing else out there), which makes it al­most feel like you’re hold­ing just a screen in your hands. It’s light too, at just 495g.

One mi­nor con­cern with the Tablet Z’s ul­tra thin form fac­tor is that it has a fair bit of flex, which can be some­what un­nerv­ing. How­ever, it does have the same glass fiber polyamide ‘Om­niBalance’ de­sign that runs around the edge of the Xpe­ria Z smart­phone, so it should be able to sur­vive a cou­ple knocks and drops.

The Tablet Z sports a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 pixel res­o­lu­tion TFT HD LCD dis­play with a pixel den­sity of 224 ppi, which is pretty good, and on par with that of the ASUS Transformer Pad In­fin­ity 700, but falls short of the dis­plays found on the Sam­sung Google Nexus 10 (2560 x 1600), and Ap­ple iPad (4th Gen) (2048 x 1536). Nev­er­the­less, sharp­ness is more than suf­fi­cient and it’s only when scru­ti­nized that you may no­tice the Tablet Z to be slightly in­fe­rior.

The dis­play it­self is bright with ex­cel­lent con­trast and deep blacks. Colors are vivid too, if a bit on the warm side - it’s not too ap­par­ent on its own, but when com­par­ing white web­sites side by side with an Ap­ple iPad (4th Gen), the Tablet Z comes off look­ing a lit­tle yel­low­ish in. View­ing an­gles aren’t fan­tas­tic, but are much bet­ter than those dis­played on the Xpe­ria Z smart­phone.

Au­dio on the Tablet Z is av­er­age at best. While it has two speak­ers lo­cated at the lower cor­ners of the tablet, they’re a bit soft and also lack­ing in bass.

The Tablet Z runs a close to de­fault ver­sion of An­droid 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, with just a few of Sony’s own tweaks. As with the Xpe­ria Z smart­phone, the Tablet Z can also link with var­i­ous Sony prod­ucts with rel­a­tive ease. For ex­am­ple, its NFC con­nec­tion can be used to link to an Xpe­ria Z smart­phone to share a data con­nec­tion, or to an NFC en­abled speaker to play a song. You can also throw con­tent to your Sony Bravia TV or wire­lessly con­nect your Plays­ta­tion 3 Dual­shock 3 con­troller.

The Tablet Z is armed with a pow­er­ful Qual­comm Snap­dragon S4 Pro quad­core 1.5GHz pro­ces­sor, but un­for­tu­nately it didn’t re­ally live up to ex­pec­ta­tions in our per­for­mance tests, scor­ing at or slightly be­low av­er­age in most of our bench­marks. Bat­tery per­for­mance was es­pe­cially bad, with the Tablet Z last­ing just over four hours.

De­spite its lack­lus­ter per­for­mance, the Tablet Z is eas­ily Sony’s best tablet to date, and ar­guably in the run­ning for best An­droid tablet yet. While bat­tery per­for­mance could be bet­ter, it should still be suf­fi­cient for the av­er­age daily com­mute, and is more than made up for by the Tablet Z’s slim­ness.

spec­i­Fi­ca­tiOns Dis­play 10.1-inch TFT HD Re­al­ity Dis­play with Mo­bile BRAVIA En­gine 2 / 1920 x 1200 // prOcOessOr Qual­comm Snap­dragon S4 APQ8064 quad-core 1.5GHz pro­ces­sor // mem­Ory 2GB RAM // stOr­age 16/32GB with Mi­croSD sup­port up to 64GB // Os An­droid 4.1.2 Jelly Bean

cOn­nec­tiV­ity 4G LTE, NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Blue­tooth 4.0, GPS // cam­era 8.1-megapixel rear aut­o­fo­cus cam­era with Sony Ex­mor RS + 2.2-megapixel front cam­era //

Bat­tery 6000mAh, 3.7V // Di­men­siOns 266 x 172 x 6.9mm // Weight 495g //

cOlOrs Black and White // price 16GB WiFi ($688), 32GB Wi-Fi ($788), 16GB 4G LTE ($988)

The Tablet Z is fully wa­ter­proof, mean­ing it’s the only tablet you can take into the shower!

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