Available in Wifi-Only and LTE flavours, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z packs 32GB of storage, plus a microSD card slot which gives it a slight advantage over the iPad. At first sight, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just a stretched version of the Sony Xperia Z, thinking that perhaps the design team was a little lazy, but the moment you pick it up, you’ll realize that while it’s unmistakably from the same family of devices, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a completely different beast. It’s nice that Sony have used a universal design scheme to their new devices, though I’m not entirely sure whether or not I’m a fan of all the angular edges. Here’s a quick video hands-on to give you a better idea:
Weighing in at just 495 grams and super slim at sub-7mm, it’s very comfortable to hold, which is really saying something for a 10.1 inch tablet. The screen isnt as high resolution as the one on the Google Nexus 10 though, which is a bummer. Sony tries to mitigate that by offering the BRAVIA Engine 2 technology in the “Reality Display” of the Tablet Z, which all combined give you a nice colorful, vivid screen that doesnt feel as over saturated as an AMOLED screen.
Apart from that, there’s not much else to criticise about the Tablet Z. It runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Sony’s custom UI on top, and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor, clocked at 1.5 Ghz. Throw in the abilities of the Adreno 320 GPU to handle all the graphical processing, and you’ll find that performance is generally quick and lag-free, and overall pretty impressive. Much, much more impressive than previous Android tablets I’ve played around with, atleast. There’s even an IR blaster like the HTC One and Galaxy Note 8.0, which allows you to use the Xperia Tablet Z as a remote control for your TV.
And just like the Xperia Z, the Xperia Tablet Z is also water-proof and dust-proof, rated to IP57. As such it’s perfect to use in the kitchen, heck even in the bathtub, or if you just live in a really rainy part of the world? Certainly makes it more durable than other tablets, for sure.
Coming to the camera, if you’re one of those people that think it’s perfectly acceptable to take pictures with a device that has a 10 inch screen, well here’s good news for you. There’s an 8 Megapixel camera at the back for the Tablet Z, and a 2 Megapixel camera at the front which comes in handy for video calls.
As if all that wasnt enough, there’s NFC located towards the bottom of the tablet, which makes it compatible with Sony’s other NFC accessories and perhaps various others.
At the end of the day, competition in the 10.1 inch tablet space is fierce, and the Xperia Tablet Z seems to be the lightest, slimmest entry so far, with the added benefit of being water resistant as well. This means, the Tablet Z might make a great family device thanks to the slight durability, but is also admittedly ‘sexy’ enough that I personally am really, really interested in it. Hopefully we’ll managed to get a review unit soon, but so far it kinda looks like Sony just might have a winner in their hands.
Now, if they’d just make an 8 inch version, heh.