The Underwater Tablet

Sony Xperia Tablet Z is like a larger version of the Xperia Z smartphone
 Nidhi Singal        Print Edition: August 2013

Rs 44,990
Rating: 4/5
Specs: 10.1 inch display; Android v4.1; 1.5Ghz quad core processor; 2GB RAM; 16GB internal storage, expandable up to 64GB; 8 MP camera; 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth; 6000 mAh battery

Sony has always been one of the most innovative tablet makers. Its Tablet S had a curved edge while the Tablet P had a foldable design. Its latest is a water-resistant device that can go in the rain or the bathtub.

The Xperia Tablet Z is like a larger version of the Xperia Z smartphone and has a similar straight line design and water-resistant body. The only thing missing is the glass back on the smartphone which has been replaced by a soft, matt-finish rubberised back that is comfortable to grip.

At 6.9mm, this 10.1-incher is touted to be the world's thinnest tablet. However, the screen is a finger-print magnet. All ports (charging, microSD, SIM and 3.5mm) are tightly covered with flaps and we had to struggle every time to access these ports.

The tidy back has got the camera sitting on the top corner with the Xperia branding in the middle. The Xperia Tablet Z is far from the regular run-of-the-mill design that most of the tablets have. The water-resistant body is a feature that will adhere this device to many people who have specific outdoor uses.

Like the Sony Xperia smartphones, this tablet too is heavily skinned. It can be unlocked by swiping the lockscreen. The Walkman app and the camera can be accessed directly from the homescreen.

With no physical keys, controls, apps and options have been added to the corners. Google search, voice search, camera and Chrome sit on the left top. Users can add two more apps or even change the existing ones. The remote control app and a customisable launcher for accessing quick apps have been placed in the centre, at the bottom. These small tweaks enhance the overall functionality of the tablet.

As the tablet feels really broad when held in landscape mode, typing is a bit difficult. But with just one touch, the keyboard was compressed and moved towards the right, making it convenient to type with one hand.

Considering, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is the latest tablet in town, it does come with some of the best specifications.

Running Android v4.1 out of the box, the Xperia Tablet Z has got a 1.5GHz quad-core processor with 2GB RAM. There is also an Adreno 320 GPU onboard. But it won't be long before another tablet comes along tripping the Tablet Z from its position. Till then, this one seems to be a clear leader.

On the Benchmark front, the Antutu Score of the Xperia Tablet Z (20050) was much higher than the Samsung Note 510 (17313). The audio output was loud and clear.

Usually, the camera of a tablet isn't used much. But Sony has added the iAuto feature found in the Sony Xperia Z smartphone to the tablet as well. This mode detects the subject and accordingly changes the camera setting. There is also an HDR mode. The images captured in bright settings are good but the lack of flash makes it unusable in low-light conditions.

This tablet has got an average battery backup that lasted us close to five days with a couple of hours of use every day. But the battery drained much quickly when we played video or heavy graphic games. On continuous usage, it lasted just over five hours.

What makes this tablet different from others is the host of content Sony is offering on it. For instance, it has got a six-month free unlimited streaming and downloading access to Sony Music. Sony LIV is also accessible on the tablet where users can watch programmes from Sony channels along with access to exclusive content such as Indian Idol and KBC. Using X4 Video, we could watch four HD videos simultaneously in a grid.

A superb tablet, but overpriced

  • Print

A    A   A