I love getting new gadgets, luckily the latest tablet offering from Sony has landed and I get to try it out before it hits the shops.
As an avid user of Apple products (MacBook Pro, iPad Mini, iPhone, Apple TV, etc.), I always love to see what the competition is doing to break me away from the comforts of my current ecosystem. I’ll be comparing it directly to my Retina Display iPad Mini, which I think is fair considering they’re in the same market.
First impressions are it’s incredibly light, noticeably so. Sony have described it as the lightest and skinniest tablet in the Compact category, no argument here. As a widescreen tablet, it is really quite narrow too when held in portrait, so while one handed use is very limited, it isn’t impossible depending on how you set up your apps.
Before we look under the hood, a major advantage of the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is that it is dust- and waterproof. While this may not be crucial for the average user browsing eBay after work, it’s very reassuring for those who explore with their tablets or generally use them outdoors.
Powering the Z3 is a 2.5 GHz Quad Core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 801 processor, the same one found in the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One (M8) and of course the Xperia Z3 range of phones. While much more powerful than the iPad, this is where software comes into play, the iPad doesn’t need much more power for what it does, but that can be a limiting factor depending on the user. The model I have is 16GB WiFi only, but a 4G option is available and storage is upgradeable to 128GB with a microSD card.
The display is something Sony really focus on, having based their ‘Z’ range of smartphones and tablets on the same Bravia technology used in their premium televisions. The 8.0″ IPS LCD screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels and a pixel density of 273 ppi. While it looks great, the 2048 x 1536 pixel Retina display on the iPad mini wins hands down, with a density of 324 ppi. Where it does come up trumps is in high light situations, as glare doesn’t seem to effect the Z3 as much as the iPad.
Sony have used an 8.1 Mp rear camera and the front has 2.2 Megapixels, with 1080p video capabilities, clearly ahead of the iPad Mini’s 5mp rear and 1.2 iSight front camera. Photography is a major selling point for the Z range, especially with the smartphone packing a 20.7 Mp rear camera.
Now for some cool features! While we’re on the camera, I advise anyone to go try an Xperia in store and use the AR Fun option, the ‘Live’ apps are also pretty impressive giving you the ability to share or broadcast in real time to YouTube or Facebook. I think we can safely skip the boring aspects, like email or even standard social media apps, and jump straight to the Playstation. The Z3 gives you the ability to play PS4 games from anywhere in your home, provided you have access to the games of course. Linking a PS4 controller to your table is simple and very useful if someone else is vying for the TV. If you have a Sony TV, Phone or Console, this is the tablet to enhance your living room.
So, while that’s just scratching the surface (no pun intended) of what you can do with the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, I think I’ve learned enough. It doesn’t do enough to displace my iPad Mini, especially seeing as the Z3 is actually more expensive, however, it is a great consumption tablet and even more fun to use while gaming.
A Solid 8/10 from me.
Image Credits: www.sonymobile.com