Xperia Tablet Z review roundup

by XB on 24th June 2013

in Featured Content, Reviews, Sony Tablet, Videos

Xperia Tablet Z ReviewThe Xperia Tablet Z is no doubt one of the sexiest products to come out of the Sony stable in recent years. The thinnest and lightest 10-inch tablet out there has few flaws in our view and this is an opinion that is shared with the wider media. We have rounded up key reviews for Sony’s wonder tablet for you to gander over below.

The positive vibes over the Xperia Z has continued for the Xperia Tablet Z and it’s great to see many people viewing this as not only one of the best 10-inch Android tablets out there, but also one of the best full stop. Criticisms focus on Sony’s UI, not being on the latest Android version and average battery performance. However, there’s no doubt that as a complete package (water resistance, sleek design, micro SD, infra-red, stunning display) the Xperia Tablet Z delivers.

Xperia Tablet Z review roundup

Android Authority: “It has a very hefty price tag, but as they always say, you get what you pay for. The Tablet Z is one of the better performers out there and certainly one of the best looking, so in that sense, the price makes a bit of sense. Let’s face it, there aren’t as many good tablets out there as there are smartphones, but the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a welcome addition to the market. It may not be the best performing tablet out there, but it’s surely one of the better ones available. It’s great for work and play, and you’re destined to get hours of enjoyment out of this bad boy.”

Android Police: “I like the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, but it’s mainly the hardware that elicits this reaction. This tablet feels amazing in the hands. It’s slim, light, and perfectly balanced. I find myself going for the Tablet Z in situations where my Nexus 7 or phone would have been used before. It’s really a wonderfully built device. It’s really just the software that makes me wary of the Tablet Z. It’s not bad – I don’t want anyone to have that impression. It simply lacks polish. It’s a good device, but you have to really focus on build quality to justify the extra cash. For some people, that alone is enough reason to spend a little extra.”

Cnet UK: “It seems that Sony has had to take a slice out of the battery in order to make the Z so skinny. I found the battery to be very poor during many tasks. Even Web browsing on Wi-Fi networks demanded huge slurps of juice and gaming was a serious drain. Worse still, it charges slowly. On the plus side, it does hold its charge well in standby mode. If you only dip in and out — checking email or sending a Tweet — the battery will cope fine. If you take it off charge in the morning, you shouldn’t expect it to have lost more than a few per cent by the afternoon if it’s on standby.”

Clove: “After spending a day with the Xperia Z tablet it was obvious the build quality and styling of the device is straight from Sony’s top drawer. I like the minimalistic design and sharp edges, the device feels very pleasing to hold because of how thin it is when compared to other tablets in the market. The quality of the display is another standout feature for me, ultra crisp edges and a vast array of colours combined with Sony’s BRAVIA engine 2 software result in an almost unbelievable display to trump any tablet on the market.”

Engadget: “Sony’s made its best tablet yet. It’s a stylish relaunch of the company’s Android tablet series, but we can’t shake the feeling that the Xperia Tablet Z’s benefits are harder to sell than, say, the crisp display resolution of the Nexus 10 or the app strength of the iPad. Features like NFC and the infrared blaster ensure it lives up to its promise as a TV companion, while the screen is capable enough to share among friends or prop up for an impromptu TV-watching session. This remains a premium Android tablet with a lightweight, but solid build. It’s just that it also has a premium price — one we’re not sure it can command.”

Eurogamer: “Despite some niggles with the battery life and fingerprint-attracting case, the Xperia Tablet Z offers very much the same story as the Xperia Z – this is Sony’s best effort in the slate arena yet, and represents a viable alternative to the Apple iPad and Samsung Nexus 10. Ultimately, the Xperia Tablet Z is significant not for its thin frame, striking screen or impressive power – although all of those elements contribute to the pleasing impression it makes – but for the fact that it proves Sony is more than equal to its rivals. And that’s something that hasn’t always been the case in recent years.”

Gadget Verdict: “In an Android world that’s largely been driven by race to the bottom pricing, Sony has delivered a premium tablet experience that the landscape has been missing. It’s the first time I’ve seen a tablet that not only looks as attractive as an Apple product, but also has all the features and capabilities of anything available on the Android side. Extra features like the IR blaster, NFC, Sony Bravia 2 Engine, and water/dust proof certifications does add some significant bells and whistles. In the end, the quality comes at a price. If build quality isn’t of principle concern, take a look at the Nexus 10 which is a fantastic device in its own right. However, if you want the best device money can buy in the world of Android – look no further than the Sony Xperia Tablet Z.”

GSM Arena: “Sony has one of the best Android tablets on its hands, one with a unique feature mix that competing tablets have no answer to. While the company has some way to go in the hotly-disputed smartphone market, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z has a good chance of actually making a difference in the high-end segment of the tablet warfare.”

Fone Arena: “With the Xperia Tablet Z, Sony has brought together their finest designers and engineers to create a beautiful product and to combine it with their software enhancements. While it has worked for the most part, we feel certain areas could definitely do with a bit more polish. Rough edges around the software are evident and the use of latest generation chipsets like the Snapdragon 600 might’ve helped alleviate the occasional lags spotted in the interface. The camera too wasn’t particularly impressive. Over all we feel that Sony might be over reaching by pricing the Xperia Tablet Z and you might be better served by other alternatives.” “Gripes aside, this is our favorite tablet we’ve used in a long time. The $500 price point, gives us a bit of pause, though. It’s more expensive than the Nexus 10, but it has better guts and performs better (once you get away from the home screen). It’s the same price as the latest iPad, though, and while it doesn’t have quite as many tablet optimized apps, that gap is a lot smaller now, and the Xperia Tablet Z’s form factor is more impressive than any other tablet out there. Hands down.”

Gizmodo UK: “It’s an absolute fingerprint magnet. Sony says the Tablet Z has an anti-fingerprint coating on its screen. I’m not sure what coating the screen has, but if it is oleophobic as Sony says it is, it has failed. This thing attracts skin oils like a summer picnic attracts wasps.”

The Inquirer: “In use the Sony Xperia Tablet Z’s performance matched the Antutu benchmark figure, generally operating smoothly and running most apps issue-free, with webpages loading after a few seconds and video streaming seamlessly most of the time. There was the occasional software glitch, for example when trying to open an app the tablet could momentarily stall for a few seconds, and on a few occasions videos that had been streaming hassle-free could inexplicably stop loading, requiring us to refresh the webpage before starting again. While these issues only happened very occasionally, they were annoying and are likely due to software clashes resulting from the changes Sony made to the tablet’s Android OS.”

Know Your Mobile: “The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a thin, lightweight and exceptionally well-designed slate. It also one of the best tablet displays on the market and is water and dust-resistant – not many high-end tabs can make claims like that. Battery life on the whole could be better and Google’s Nexus 10 has it beat in the display and pricing department but that could be said about 99.9 percent of tablets on market. On the whole the Xperia Tablet Z is a uniquely compelling proposition packing in cutting edge design, durability, and display tech. This beast does not disappoint.”

Notebook Check: “In the realm of battery life, we anticipated that Sony would make improvements to their Tablet Z before the release of their series device. The tablet’s stamina under full load was already quite respectable — and that’s still true of the series device — but in the WLAN surf test at a brightness setting of 150 cd/m2, the pre-sample only held out about 6 hours. Sony wasn’t able to draw much more out of their series device here. 6:13 hours is comparatively little in the 10-inch tablet arena. However, at minimal brightness and with the power-saving mode activated, the tablet’s maximum battery run time came to about 17 hours — which is very long. All in all, a mixed performance in the battery discipline, particularly as the unit takes a whole 6 hours to recharge.”

PC Mag: “Consumer tablets are really differentiating themselves now, and each of the leading ones have different strengths. The Transformer Pad Infinity has an optional keyboard dock that turns the tablet into a veritable laptop replacement. The Galaxy Note 10.1 has a pressure sensitive stylus and dual-screen multitasking. Microsoft’s Surface RT has Microsoft Office, and no other tablet can touch Apple’s iPad when it comes to offers a range of truly tablet-optimized apps, games and educational content. If you want the thinnest, lightest, and arguably fastest Android tablet on the market, the Tablet Z is the way to go, but you’ll pay a premium and miss out on some unique features offered by the competition. Our Editors’ Choice award remains with the Note 10.1, as its stylus and multitasking features make it more useful than any other tablet we’ve tested.”

Phone Arena: “The only alternative to the Tablet Z’s value-for-money proposition is Google’s Nexus 10, which is not sold everywhere and, despite the advantage of a record pixel density, has less sophisticated design, no expandable storage, no IR blaster and is not waterproof, so even at $100 less it might not cut it for you, compared to the Tablet Z. Sony’s best and brightest tablet, however, has to face the formidable iPad franchise competition when it ventures outside of the Android world, with the hundreds of thousands of tablet-specific apps available for it. Thankfully, the Xperia Tablet Z is positioned quite differently, as it sports a thin and light watertight chassis against the more premium, but thicker and heavier aluminium build of the iPad 4, and offers more features like expandable storage, IR blaster and quad-speaker system, so the likely buyers of both tablets would have minimum overlap.”

Pocket-Lint: “The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a great Android tablet. The design and specification is impressive, offering a thin and light tablet that’s a pleasure to hold, with the reassurance of protection from water for those inevitable accidents. Some might take issue with the need to open flaps, although with the right accessories you’ll be able to bypass that minor irritation. The display isn’t the best out there, bettered by the Samsung-built Nexus 10, which offers a more natural colour palette as well as a high resolution for sharper details. Overall the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a great choice. A software update to Android 4.2 would lift the user experience to be one of the best out there. If you’re looking for an Android tablet at 10.1 inches, it comes recommended.”

Pocketnow: “While we wish its stock software were a bit more responsive, its battery a bit bigger, and its price a bit more competitive, this is still one of the most beautiful tablets we’ve ever handled, and one of the only Android tablets we’d consider buying at the 10-inch form factor. If you run your life on Google, and you’re looking for a large but portable tablet to extend your computing needs on the go, the Xperia Tablet Z deserves a very long look indeed.”

Recombu: “The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is va va voom. It looks stunning, sits in the hand like no other and most importantly, does the job. At £399 for the 16GB Wi-Fi version, it may cost the same as an iPad, but its expandability, lightness and water resistance give it an edge. While the UI doesn’t pack the polish of Apple’s offering and Android and iOS still aren’t on an even keel in terms of app support, the gap is closing and the Xperia Tablet Z is testament to that fact. Is it the best Android tablet on the market? Definitely. Is it better than the iPad? In many ways, yes.”

Stuff: “With the arrival of the incredibly priced Nexus 7 and 10, the game has changed for Android tablets, but Sony seems to have received the memo, scrunched it into a ball and eaten it, never to mention its existence again. If your heart is set on a Sony tablet to match your living room set-up or if the waterproofing angle is a big deal, then the Xperia Tablet Z won’t let you down with a lovely screen, good performance and life-saving battery life. But at that price next to the iPad and Nexi, the Tablet Z just can’t compete.”

Tech Radar: “This is a premium product that screams Sony. It speaks volumes that we really had to work hard to find downsides and cons to stick in the above ‘We disliked’ section to make this a balanced review – the majority of the ‘bad’ things were just average performance, although we would have loved a larger battery. The screen response could definitely be improved, and the plastic back adds an element of flex that’s unappealing. The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a triumph, a tablet that genuinely deserves consideration when you’re in the market for a new top-end gadget. If you’re against the iPad for any reason, or even just agnostic over your OS, the Sony has taken the best of Android and fused it with its own innovation to make a device that delights in more ways than we can count.”

Trusted Reviews: “The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a very good tablet – there’s no doubting that. It’s fast, has a good screen and is very thin and light. But it does no single thing appreciably better than its immediate rivals, and its unique features fall a little flat.”

Ubergizmo: “We have always known that “specs” and synthetic benchmarks don’t tell the whole story and the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is probably the embodiment of that principle. In absolute terms, it performs very well, but when you look at it from the prism of design, aesthetics and overall user experience, it performs brilliantly. The Xperia tablet Z is everything that tablets were meant to be: fast, thin, light, with a good battery life — and you get some water and dust resistance as a bonus. What’s not to like?”

Unleash The Phones: “The Xperia Tablet Z is a stunning device which in my opinion sets a new standard for hardware design and engineering, but it is, to be honest, a tough sell. Android continues to lag behind iOS on the iPad in terms of user interface design and tablet-optimized apps and the price of the Xperia Tablet Z in India places it beyond the budgets of most. At the end of the day, the Xperia Tablet Z is a beautiful product that some might come to love, but the iPad remains the best option for the majority.”

Wired UK: “The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a top-quality tablet at price that’s reasonable, if not exactly a bargain. It’s extremely thin and lightweight and has one of the best screens around, not to mention probably the best camera available on a tablet, even if it’s not quite a match for the best of the handset snapper brigade. It’s a strong Android rival to the iPad and though it can’t quite match the Nexus 10’s low price point or hi-res screen, it bests it on the camera, portability and range of features. Dare we say it? Yes, we dare: this is probably our favourite of the bigger tablets on the market right now.”

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