Interface and functionality

Sony's tablet Xperia UI is painted all over Android 4.1.2 on the Tablet Z, with the Socialife profile taking a prominent placing, letting you mix updates from Facebook, Twitter and the like with info sources of choice. Sony promises update to Android 4.2 shortly after launch, but its own interface overlay has enough features to make it stick as it is.

The Small Apps suite, for instance, pins hovering windows on top of the interface to aid with multitasking includes seven apps or widgets you can detach and float on top of whatever else you are doing underneath.

The infrared sensor at the top of the tablet is put to good use with a dedicated floating app that lets you control your TV while working on something else, and the remote app has manual programming function in case a brand or make isn't in the list.

Sony also shortcuts the apps that provide access to its entertainment universe directly on the homescreen, so through the Music and Video Unlimited apps you can listen and watch the millions of songs, TV shows and movies in Sony's portfolio.

Processor and memory

Sporting a 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, the Xperia Tablet Z is just shy of the latest processors from Qualcomm, like the Snapdragon 600/800, which shows in the benchmarks, too. The chipset is paired with 2 GB of RAM, 16 or 32 GB of storage, plus a microSD slot on the bottom for expansion.

While we wouldn't call the interface laggy, there is some hesitation while flipping through homescreens and in/out of apps, likely brought on by Sony's own Xperia UI which coats the stock Android interface.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuGLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD)Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
Sony Xperia Tablet Z7657196753492/31 fps2260 / 646
Google Nexus 104446

Asus Transformer Pad Infinity4204

Internet and connectivity

The default browser on the Xperia Tablet Z is Chrome, and Sony doesn't provide its own stock browser like Samsung or LG do. Mobile Chrome has been getting much faster and better lately, but if you long for Adobe Flash support you'd have to grab another browser from the Play Store and sideload Flash.

In addition to the basic Wi-Fi version of the Tablet Z, Sony provides one with a combined 4G LTE and 42 Mbit/s HSPA+ modem, in addition to the Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, NFC and FM Radio connectivity. As with the previous Android tablet from Sony, we also get an infrared beamer, which is paired with a dedicated app, and lets you control your TV, home stereo and the like, using the tablet as a remote.

An MHL port at the bottom lets you wire up the tablet to a big-screen TV, and, as usual, you can't charge the tablet while connected to a computer through the port, only with the dedicated wall charger.

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