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Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review
Introduction

Sony's second shot at Xperia slate glory, the Tablet Z, undoubtedly combines the best design and entertainment features the company can muster. It somehow managed to make the thinnest and lightest Full HD 10-incher out there, and made the whole package waterproof at that.

It is not easy to replicate Sony's achievement, as the Xperia Tablet Z also sports all bells and whistles we've come to expect from a modern day slate at a reasonable price, plus four 3D surround sound speakers, thus shaping it as arguably the best Android tablet around, on paper at least. Is it so when you get to use it for a while? Read on our review to find out...


Design

It is not everyday we see tablets with less than 9mm thickness, and only the Toshiba Excite X10 managed sub-8mm girth. Sub-7mm tablets? Just the Xperia Tablet Z, mind you, and at 17.46 oz (495 g), it is also the lightest in its category, even more astonishing for a waterproof slate. It can be submerged in three feet of water and stay there for 30 minutes, or get into a dust storm without any damage. While it's unlikely you'll be using the waterboarding feature for anything but bragging rights, the important part is that you won't be afraid to use it with wet hands in the kitchen to scroll through recipes, take it to the beach, or video chat in the rain, for instance.

The dry dimension numbers translate into an incredible holding experience from the moment you grab it for the first time, and managing a 10” tablet with one hand while you operate the screen with the other has never been easier on the wrist.

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z the thinnest and lightest Full HD 10-incher out there - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z the thinnest and lightest Full HD 10-incher out there - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z the thinnest and lightest Full HD 10-incher out there


We aren't expecting any premium metal chassis in the thinnest and lightest 10-incher out there, and the Xperia Tablet Z is indeed wrapped in a soft-touch plastic, with rubberized sides, and tight protective flaps on top of the memory card, headphone and charging ports.

Front - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review
Front camera - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review

Front

Front camera


The only metal piece is the round aluminum power/lock key on the left, which is a signature trademark for Sony's flagship Xperias now. The volume rocker beneath it is a bit too thin to be comfortably pressed, and its key travel could be deeper.

The sides of the Sony Xperia Tablet Z - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review
The sides of the Sony Xperia Tablet Z - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review
The sides of the Sony Xperia Tablet Z - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review
The sides of the Sony Xperia Tablet Z - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review
The sides of the Sony Xperia Tablet Z - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review
The sides of the Sony Xperia Tablet Z - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review

The sides of the Sony Xperia Tablet Z


The quad-speaker system at the bottom corners is water-tight, too, in line with the tablet's IP57 elements-resistant certification, and the music kept pumping after we briefly dipped the tablet in a water fountain. The four speakers are situated pretty well so as you don't cover them while holding the tablet with both hands, as so often happens on other slates.

The 8 MP camera on the back is placed a bit unorthodox at the upper corner, so have this in mind when arranging the tablet for a shot, so as you don't cover the lens with your finger. Also, at such record low weight and thickness, the tablet is prone to being carried from one room to the other grabbed by the corner, which smudges the lens cover if you grab it by the wrong one.

Back - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review
Rear camera - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review

Back

Rear camera



Display

Sony put a 10.1” 1920x1200 pixels sensor-on-lens display panel in the Tablet Z, meaning that the touch layer is directly placed onto the screen without the typical air gap in-between, making for a slimmer package, thus allowing for the record thin slate.

The display panel sports very good viewing angles - Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review

The display panel sports very good viewing angles

This air gap elimination also reduces reflection and increases backlight throughput, for a pretty decent outdoor viewing experience, even in direct sunlight. Sony boasts that this screen covers a full wide color gamut, bringing its Reality Display with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 down to a high-res Xperia tablet panel for the first time. That whole marketing speak translates into a display whose colors can look pretty saturated when showing pictures or video, though not up to the gaudy level of OLED screens.

In addition to the high brightness and vivid colors, the display panel sports very good viewing angles, too, though the vertical ones seem a tad wider than the horizontal.


82 Comments
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posted on 23 May 2013, 08:54 18

1. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 441; Member since: 11 May 2013)


Beautiful.. But Sony is really lacking the eagerness to distribute this spectacular device..
Cmon Sony

posted on 23 May 2013, 14:31

39. Muhannad (Posts: 455; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)


Pretty sure I've seen AOSP around for this device if I'm not confusing it with another Sony tablet.

posted on 23 May 2013, 21:22 2

46. thunderising (Posts: 225; Member since: 25 Nov 2011)


It does have AOSP yes :)

And official CM10.1 and an XDA forum too

posted on 23 May 2013, 08:56 26

2. tiara6918 (Posts: 1369; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


It scored a 9...seems legit

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:37 7

18. Kurai (unregistered)


imo sony desrves it . . . lightness+thinness+water/dustproofness+goodscreen(​i'm surprised the viewing angles are good unlike my XZ)+elegant design+good battery life+$500 range . . . i found my next tablet!

posted on 23 May 2013, 22:36 5

48. GTR722 (Posts: 223; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


A 9 for a sony product....we have to mark this in the calendar.

posted on 29 May 2013, 07:03

74. Atlas (Posts: 157; Member since: 15 Apr 2012)


I think the last nine(or anything higher for that matter)they got was for the first Xperia, the X1

posted on 23 May 2013, 08:56 18

3. chrislars (Posts: 77; Member since: 11 Apr 2013)


pretty much my favorite tablet ever made.

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:04 6

4. wendygarett (unregistered)


Wtf 9? What's the motive behind?

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:13 24

5. dorianb (Posts: 370; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


FoRealz.... Where's the 10??? I'll even take 9.5.

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:14 15

6. tashreef (Posts: 476; Member since: 24 Nov 2012)


what's wrong with you? what kind of Junky troll you are?

It scored deserving 9.

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:25 8

13. SonyFindOneDroidple (Posts: 441; Member since: 11 May 2013)


Dont feed her please.. sHe is happy receiving replies..
She is playing around

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:40 6

20. Kurai (unregistered)


if you see wendy, shut up . . . you're just feeding him

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:37 17

17. boosook (Posts: 952; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


Maybe because:

Slimmest and lightest 10” tablet
Waterproof chassis
Four-speaker system with virtual surround modes
Infrared sensor turns the tablet into remote control

and find me a Crapsung (or Apple) tablet whit all these features.

posted on 23 May 2013, 10:58 2

30. Taters (Posts: 2686; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Go educate yourself before speaking. Samsung has had at least two of those features in a tablet way before Sony ever did...

posted on 23 May 2013, 11:13 10

32. boosook (Posts: 952; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


I said all four... give me the model name, please! Give me a model (whatever brand) that can be compared with this, and this means that it must have ALL the features above and it must be a premium product (i.e. have comparable build quality and materials). We're not talking about the past... if Samsung HAD some tablets with SOME of these features, I don't see why it should matter. Since wendygarrett complained about a rating that she considered too high, I'd like her to elaborate on that and tell us why the xperia Z does not deserve it. If the Z had had the Samsung or Apple brand it would have easily won the "best tablet on the market" award, but since it's a Sony here come the Samsung fanboys (which have become

posted on 23 May 2013, 11:20 2

35. boosook (Posts: 952; Member since: 19 Nov 2012)


even more annoying than Apple's, continuosly infesting forums just to point out that this or that sony/htc model cannot compete with the GS4, like if they were scared and they had to say it to themselves to be assured...) to say that the rating is not deserved, what's more without further explanations. And we know why: because they would be forced to say that the only reason is that the Z is not of their favourite brand.

posted on 23 May 2013, 16:04 1

42. Taters (Posts: 2686; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


I can't give you a tablet with all those features but I can give you a tablet well ahead of it and I can give you plenty of tablets that were better than this for their time. The Nexus 10 for example is only 8.9mm, not much thicker, with a much nicer screen, cpu, gpu, two front facing stereo speakers.

Also the tab 7.7 was released two years or so ago and it was aluminum, 1280 X 800, had an IR blaster, and 7.9mm.

I wouldn't brag about being waterproof too and having an ir blaster too much because those things pale compared to something like a dualcore A15 and 2560X1600 screen all for $100 dollars less. Plus it has stock android. For starters, the outdated S4 pro can't even support a resolution higher than 1900 x 1200. The Xperia Tablet Z is nice and I can see why some people might think that it is the best tablet around but don't act like it blows anything from Samsung or Apple away, because it doesn't based on the CPU alone. The A6X and any A15, even dual core crushes the S4 pro.

posted on 23 May 2013, 23:38 7

49. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


i don't what are you trying to say but his asking you is there any samsung tablet with all those feature??

the only good things about nexus 10 is better display and stock android (because timely update) but nothing more than that.
dualcore A15 maybe sounds impresive but S4 Pro (Xperia tablet Z) beats A15 (Nexus 10) in synthetic benchmark test

and on glbenchmark benchmark result "GPU TEST" bettwen XT Z vs Nexus 10 is almost similar (only ipad 4 have better result

S4 pro outdated?? i don't think so because it still can compete with the top dog like S600 oand Exynos 5 octa.

even PA said Xperia Tablet Z is "arguably the best Android tablet around"
you know why ?? because its the most all rounded tablet right now
great design.
great display.
great feature.
great performance.
water and dust resistant

if you can find any tablet that can beats everything what Xperia Tablet Z have please let me know!!!

posted on 24 May 2013, 01:12 3

50. pyradark (Posts: 753; Member since: 10 Jun 2012)


the iPad 8

posted on 24 May 2013, 22:07

58. Taters (Posts: 2686; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Um, go read up on the Exynos 5 dual on Anandtech and educate yourself. And go read my reply to Dr. Tom down there. I am going to own him.

posted on 25 May 2013, 00:04 5

60. yudi.nemesis (Posts: 1127; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


haha i know how powerful A15 cab be. thats why i said "dual core A15 maybe sounds impresive"

but its all about real life performace Exynos 5 dual and Mali-604 can't keep up with 2560 x 1600 pixels and (~299 ppi pixel density) even with stock android.
thats why Xperia Tablet Z beats nexus 10

you like or not until this day Xperia Tablet Z is the best Android Tablet around
some Samsung tablet maybe better on somethings but overall Xperia Tablet Z is still the best

Xperia Tablet Z with only S4 Pro still can handle anything you throw at it

you can keep talking about BS, but if you can't find any samsung tablet that can beats everything what Xperia Tablet Z have please just shut up!!!

i'll answer your comment if you can find any better tablet from samsung okay!!

posted on 24 May 2013, 10:59 4

53. Dr.Tom (Posts: 46; Member since: 11 May 2013)


Taters, you need to start taking your MEDS again because you are having the illusions of a fool again. Perhaps you need to do your homework and study up on processors before you make dumb remarks. Dual core processors are not as good as quad core processors. 4 is better than 2! The iPad with an A6X is good because its iOS is small, efficient and optimized for a cheaper dual core 1.3ghz processor. The GPU is what drives the screen and iPad has a large one to drive all those pixels. Now take your MEDs and don't make a fuss!

posted on 24 May 2013, 11:01 3

54. Dr.Tom (Posts: 46; Member since: 11 May 2013)


Taters, you need to start taking your MEDS again because you are having the illusions of a fool again. Perhaps you need to do your homework and study up on processors before you make dumb remarks. Dual core processors are not as good as quad core processors. 4 is better than 2! The iPad with an A6X is good because its iOS is small, efficient and optimized for a cheaper dual core 1.3ghz processor. The GPU is what drives the screen and iPad has a large one to drive all those pixels. Now take your MEDs and don't make a fuss!

posted on 24 May 2013, 22:16

59. Taters (Posts: 2686; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


I suggest that you read up on the A6X and the Exynos 5 dual. The GPU is part of the A6X and you are right, that is what makes it own the S4 pro badly.

Go educate yourself before you make a fool of yourself. The Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10 was designed at the same time. They used the outdated S4 Pro for the phone because 1280 X 768 is about what it can handle. They used the bleeding edge Exynos 5 Dual on the Nexus 10 because it was the only chipset available at the time that can power the Nexus 10, otherwise they would have used the S4 pro. unless you are really stupid enough to believe that Google would use the weaker CPU on their tablet. You either use the same cpu on both the tablet and phone or you use the weaker cpu on the phone and the more powerful one on the tablet, that is how it works. No such thing as using a more powerful cpu on a lower res phone.

As for your retarded 4 cores is better than 2 comment. Well, the Core 2 duo smokes the crap out of a Pentium 4 big time. The same applies here. where the Exynos 5 Dual pimp slaps the S4 Pro big time.

posted on 25 May 2013, 16:12 1

63. GTR722 (Posts: 223; Member since: 20 Oct 2012)


Taters cry moar.

posted on 26 May 2013, 08:35 1

65. skyguy7567 (Posts: 148; Member since: 17 Nov 2012)


S4 pro is used in many laptops, and S4 pro basically is the same as the S600. Their model names are almost the same.APQ8064T and APQ8064. Just an extra 'T'. Resolution is a factor, but not a huge one. Google only designed part of the Nexus 10. The other part is designed by Samsung while the Nexus 4 is half-designed by LG. LG went for the S4 pro while Samsung, who made an epic fail, chose a dual core in a 10 inch tablet. Would you rather have a higher resolution screen with a laggy experience or having a lower resolution screen with a very smooth experience?

posted on 07 Jun 2013, 12:55 1

78. Karriope (Posts: 95; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


For someone who asks others to "read up" and "educate (themselves) before making a fool of (themself)", you just made a big fool of yourself.

Why?
"As for your retarded 4 cores is better than 2 comment. Well, the Core 2 duo smokes the crap out of a Pentium 4 big time."
Pentium 4 is a single core. The Pentium D, is at best, a dual-core. Of course the highly-efficient Core 2 Duo "smokes the crap out" of the failure that was NetBurst Pentium 4.

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 11:06 1

83. Dr.Tom (Posts: 46; Member since: 11 May 2013)


Can I have some of the same Hallucinogens that you are taking, please. Grow up and get a life. We're talking about mobile chipsets here, so when you take your head out of your ass, go to a desktop site to make your stupid comments. By the way, if you need to talk about processers from 13 years ago, 13 years ago (LOL), it shows what a real loser you truly are...WTF LOSER, GET A LIFE YOU TROLL!

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 23:41

86. Karriope (Posts: 95; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


Funny, you're the one who was firing back at Taters to begin with. What do you want me to do, argue over the nuances of an APQ8064T and APQ8064?

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 11:43

84. miket247 (Posts: 81; Member since: 16 Apr 2013)


You really need to get a life, and just so you know, its 2013. You should try to climb into the present! If you need to talk about desktop processors from 2000, go to another site, like PC mag... you might want to remember that we are talking mobile processors here! Its great that you know about some forgotten processor from the stone ages, but I'll take a Snapdragon quad core 800/600/S4 pro any day, over whatever dual core processor you can think of Geek. Wake up DORK and get a LIFE, cause your dual core family nuts just NetBurst on your sh*t for brains face! :)

posted on 08 Jun 2013, 23:37

85. Karriope (Posts: 95; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)


Next we'll get into the big.LITTLE argument, won't we...

posted on 25 May 2013, 14:45

62. M.Uchiha (Posts: 1; Member since: 25 May 2013)


2!!! But not all of them.

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:15 21

7. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2536; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Finally a quite fair Sony review! Good job!

posted on 24 May 2013, 03:19 5

51. dil2abu (Posts: 169; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


I expected at least 9/10 for Xperia Z.. But it got only 8.5/10..
Happy at least Xperia Tablet Z got it..

posted on 24 May 2013, 21:19

57. yuepc000 (Posts: 10; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


where is the 8.5?

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:16 19

8. akki20892 (Posts: 3328; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Best Tablet

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:19 10

9. gaurang (Posts: 94; Member since: 16 Nov 2012)


there is something that makes this thing stand out....i cant figure out what it is though....got my attention in the first look

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:26 11

14. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)


WATERPROOF + thin design + lightweight + good looks! no wonder it catches your attention!

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:24 5

10. Ostoreh (Posts: 6; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)


niceee

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:24 4

11. _Bone_ (Posts: 2113; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


I understand that $500 is a fair price for this beautiful thing. Yet a FHD Nexus 7 may hit the stores 2.5 times cheaper and only really missing is an IR blaster while sporting the same (and on pure Android, more fluid) HW. Maybe a battery-keyboard dock would've provided that extra special for attention, or something unique like the Wacom on the Notes. Or a 399.99 price tag or a December launch. But S4 Pro is really outdated come Summer 2012, no tablet should come out on that one and set you back by $500. I passed on the Note 3 and I'll pass on this one. Let's see if a Tegra 4 or SD800 one comes out with something special.

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:26 16

15. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)


S4 Pro outdated??? I think not..

posted on 23 May 2013, 10:59 1

31. Taters (Posts: 2686; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


It is actually.

posted on 23 May 2013, 11:14 10

34. spiderpig2894 (Posts: 418; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


It's not actually. Many phones still use the S4 PRO.

posted on 23 May 2013, 15:16 1

41. _Bone_ (Posts: 2113; Member since: 29 Oct 2012)


Many ppl. still your normal postal service. It's still outdated.

posted on 23 May 2013, 16:06

43. Taters (Posts: 2686; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)


Naw, even Asus is using the Qualcomm 600 for their padfone infinity.

posted on 26 May 2013, 08:40 5

66. skyguy7567 (Posts: 148; Member since: 17 Nov 2012)


S4 pro and 600 is basically the same processors, with the 600 with a slightly higher clock speed. Inner configuration and arrangements are the same. APQ8064T for 600 and APQ8064 for the S4 PRO. No big difference just with an extra T. Look at the specs and GPU and RAM and everything of the two processors. They are the same. S4 PRO will not be outdated for at least a year.

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:25 10

12. loken (Posts: 462; Member since: 09 May 2012)


Finally Phone arena is reasonable with sony + thinnest tablet in the world + lightest tablet in the world + WATERPROOFNESS = who dosent like it??? + the price is reasonable!

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:34 8

16. Rexperia (Posts: 100; Member since: 28 Sep 2012)


What a surprised... PA gave 9, this is first time i read! Anyway this a very good tablet with a good spec's and design as well but most interesting is the waterproof, it's difficult to find a tablet with all things like these in one package, good job SONY! make.believe

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:38 6

19. Diego! (Posts: 503; Member since: 15 Jun 2009)


It looks very good! I hope it comes during this year to my country :( I'm eager to getting a tablet!

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:43 7

21. itsjustJOH (Posts: 76; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)


The world thanks you, Daniel P. You have brought peace to our world. This day shall be remembered as the day PhoneArena gave a non-biased review to our beloved Sony.

posted on 23 May 2013, 09:55

22. grapeseed87 (Posts: 123; Member since: 13 Mar 2013)


Now I just want them to split that thing in half and make me my new phone :D

posted on 23 May 2013, 10:00 7

23. thunderising (Posts: 225; Member since: 25 Nov 2011)


This deserved a 9.5

But worth it!

posted on 23 May 2013, 10:26 10

28. JaroB (Posts: 39; Member since: 13 Feb 2013)


PhA never give 9.5 for SONY :/

posted on 23 May 2013, 10:04 2

24. slaggyb (Posts: 189; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Daniel p and Nick T are the only genuine phonearena reviewers that review a product as it is meant to be reviewed. .The let you know outright the truth and careless about the manufacturer, number of sold products and opinions of the general public.. I always derive pleasure reading reviews done by the duos.. Everything about the product is touched and put together unlike haphazard reviews done by others...Good job guys and Good job sony for making such an exceptional tablet..

posted on 23 May 2013, 10:08 10

25. dmn666 (Posts: 194; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Daniel, This is actually Sony's 3rd gen Android tablet (not the second attempt as you mentioned). Sony tablet S/P and Xperia tablet S were the past two gens.

Greate review, btw. Thanks.

posted on 23 May 2013, 10:12 2

26. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 3006; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


"...face the formidable iPad franchise..."
What's an iPad? :P

posted on 23 May 2013, 10:20 1

27. JaroB (Posts: 39; Member since: 13 Feb 2013)


beautiful tablet...GOO SONY GOO :D

posted on 23 May 2013, 10:57 1

29. N-fanboy (Posts: 537; Member since: 12 Jan 2013)


I am 70% sure that this is gonna be my next tablet. The 30% is, if.... Maybe nokia might release a windows pro tablet.

posted on 23 May 2013, 11:14 10

33. emadshiny (Posts: 1127; Member since: 05 Dec 2012)


WOW, i cant believe PA giving 9 to a Sony device!

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Display10.1 inches, 1920 x 1200 pixels (224 ppi) TFT
Camera8.1 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064, Quad core, 1500 MHz, Krait processor
2048 MB RAM
Size10.47 x 6.77 x 0.27 inches
(266 x 172 x 6.9 mm)
17.46 oz  (495 g)

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