Sony Xperia Z Tablet: First impressions and Quick Review

By Sami Mughal

Xperia_Tablet_Z_Front40_Black_Water

After the success of their flagship phone, Sony have now announced the latest addition to the Xperia range, the Xperia Z tablet. Expected to be available from £399 at the end of  May, this packs in an array of extremely useful features, and we were lucky enough to have a play with one.

Specifications at a glance:

  • 10.1” 1920 x 1200 Wide Screen Display with full HD resolution.
  • S-Force Front Surround 3D
  • World’s thinnest (as of now) tablet at 6.9mm, and light weight at 495gm.
  • Dust and water resistant (IP55 and IP57).
  • Durable glass front display
  • Snapdragon S4 processor 1.5GHz quad core
  • 2GB RAM
  • Android 4.1 (will be upgradable to 4.2)
  • NFC
  • 8MP Rear camera with Exmor R for Mobile technology
  • 2MP Front HD camera
  • Battery ‘STAMINA’ mode for improved battery time

First thing you notice:

The first thing I noticed was that this was extremely light. Just to put things in perspective, this is roughly the size of an iPad. However, it weighs 495gm. An iPad weighs 662gm. In fact, this is in line with the 7” tablets, as far as the weight goes, with the likes of Kindle Fire weight 400gm. Also, for that size, you simply have no competition. Being very thin and light, this makes this the perfect tablet to carry around with you, and quite frankly, show off! Being water proof and such like means you don’t even need to worry taking it outdoors or watching that film or reading that book in your bath.

What sets this apart:

  • The screen and audio: Surround sound experience only Sony is capable of delivering, with a beautiful HD screen. High contrasts and vibrant colours, with just the right wide screen size means you can enjoy not only a regular tablet experience, but also movies, videos, and anything in between. You could even use this to give presentations, and show off almost anything that you want to!
  • IR: Something Sony haven’t really showed off as much as the other players are with their devices. Well, this is the first tablet in the market (that I know of) that has packed in an IR feature, which means this tablet also serves as a universal remote. It gives you the experience in the form of a widget, but it also means you can make use of the 10.1” screen to get the possible EPG experience. Being a Sony, you know that the ‘remote’ has been optimized for best usage, as they are no strangers to audio and video equipment.
  • NFC: Another thing you don’t really see that much on tablets. Sony have not held back, and packed this with NFC as well. This means that not only can you use NFC to send information, the feature can be used to pair with various equipment such as HD TVs, speakers, or even a phone.
  • Camera: 8MP camera at the back has been packed in with Sony’s Exmor R for mobile technology. This means that this will take great pictures that we have come to expect from Sony cameras over the years.
  • Micro SD card slot is available, something we can’t stress on enough.

Pictures and quick notes:

Screenshot_2013-05-03-15-21-03

Sony packs in a high contrast display with beautiful colours. There is a Sony Skin on top of the Android system, but it gels in well with it rather than fight against it.

DSC_0050

The camera was able to take fairly close up shots, something other devices often struggle. This picture is taken at about 2 inches from the paper.

2013-05-03 14.57.17

Just under the size of A4 paper. The picture also shows off the TV remote control widget.

DSC_0015-1

Camera on the tablet worked fairly well indoors.

Verdict:

This is one impressive tablet. It packs in an immense amount of features, a very good camera, is light and thin, has waterproof and dustproof capabilities, and somehow has that perfect screen size which is good in all circumstances. The only thing that goes against it is the fact that the price this is selling for (which is not expensive by the way), is above a lot of other tablets with similar screen size and lesser features. Would I buy one? Yes. Just so I can sit out in the rain and type away. Just so I can take pictures. Just so I can carry it with me everywhere and know I have got immense computing power with me in my bag, at almost no extra weight!

More information:

More information can be found at Sony’s own page for the product:

http://www.sony.co.uk/product/xperia-tablet-z

Sami Mughalhttps://www.oxgadgets.com
Can be found somewhere between designing new tech as an electronics engineer or testing new tech as a technology enthusiast. Lives mostly on Twitter, and would love to have a word with you there as @smacula.

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