375 of 387 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2013
Size Name: 16 GBColor Name: Black
I HAD to have one of these as I've been looking for my ideal Android tablet for some time, and so far, the majority of the pro websites have given the Sony Xperia Tablet Z very positive reviews. Not wanting to wait several weeks, as Amazon states for their shipping times, I bought one straight from Sony...and I couldn't be much happier! Just about every tablet I've tried has had defect issues, build issues, too low screen resolution (or underpowered when it was hi rez), etc., etc. Although it's not perfect, with everything I'd LIKE to see in a tablet, I think it's overall the best tablet currently available.
I know it's been said in many reviews, but seriously, this thing is amazingly light and well balanced. At roughly the equivalent in weight to an iPad Mini, it's a remarkable feat of engineering. Yet it's also quite solid and exceptionally well made. There is no tablet lighter and thinner than the Z...period.
Powered by a quad-core Snapdragon processor, the Z scores a remarkable Antutu benchmark of 20,000+ straight out of the box, readily defeating the Nexus 10. That's some serious power, and it shows in smooth and responsive controls, whether surfing the web, running apps, or playing graphic-intensive games. The GPS locked onto 15 satellites INDOORS within seconds using GPS Test. WIFI is rock solid and supports dual-channel wireless speeds of 300 mbs. It links up with a PS3 Dual Shock controller through a USB host adapter at first, then wirelessly after being paired with the tablet. It has a Micro SD card slot for memory expansion up to 64 GB. It even has a built in FM radio for heaven's sake. The IR remote control works very, very well, and the channel guide with show descriptions and pictures is a great added feature. And the ability to "throw" the channel to your TV with a simple swipe is pretty cool. And although Sony claims that the WIFI mirroring of your tablet screen is a feature for Sony smart HDTVs, it worked perfectly with my LG TV, much to my surprise. I really haven't had the ability to test out the NFC capability, but I suspect I will eventually as the standard is more widely adopted.
Hands down, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z has the most vivid screen of any tablet I've seen, including the Transformer Prime, Nexus 10, and Apple iPad 4, thanks to the Bravia 2 engine, the same used in Sony's HDTVs. It's simply stunning. While not as high of a resolution as the Nexus 10 or iPad 4, I personally think the difference is hardly noticeable in side-by-side comparisons. A Matte finish would have been great as the screen is glossy, but no more so than the other tablets out there.
Sony touts the sound as a primary feature of the tablet, and for the most part, it lives up to the hype. The 3D surround is decent, although I have to say the Galaxy Note 10.1 still has the best overall stereo and 3D sound with its forward facing bezel-lined speakers. Still, the Sony sound is plenty loud, and full of nice enhancements and equalizers for fine tuning. I have to be honest and say that I was slightly disappointed in this regard, as the overall sound feels hollow, no matter how you adjust it. Not nearly as rich as the Kindle Fire HD's powerful speakers. But still, it's a tablet after all, and headphones are the way to go, with full surround sound support that's REALLY nice in every respect... something I don't think any other tablet features.
Sony made a lot out of the use of its EXMOR low light sensors used in the front 2 MP and rear 8 MP cameras, but at this point, despite it's plethora of features and adjustments, I find the results to be disappointing when used indoors...where you'd think the sensors are best suited. The result is noticeable graininess, even in fairly well lit indoor areas. Outdoors? No problem. Nice, crisp, well saturated photos and video that are as good as you'll get on any tablet. But why manufacturers can't use the same cameras as their smartphones is beyond me. Anyway, I have to say that Burst Mode is really cool. I got some awesome hummingbird photos while sitting on the back porch. I'm hoping Sony can wring out better results with firmware updates down the road.
A lot has been said about the fact that it's running an earlier, skinned build of the Android OS: 4.1.2 as opposed to 4.2.2 on the Nexus 10. But honestly, the added Sony specific features are largely well implemented while keeping the experience true to the standard Android OS. Sony also stated that they'll have a 4.2 update "soon", but we'll have to see how that pans out.
HEY! IT'S WATERPROOF!
Although this may not be a selling point for many, it does open up some places for use that no other tablet offers, at least without some trepidation, like at the pool, spa, bathtub, or in the rain. Pretty cool I think, and yes, it really does work as advertised. You can't help but feel strange submerging it in a sink full of water for a couple of minutes (up to 30 by Sony's standards), but afterwards, you'll know for sure that you don't have to worry about liquids damaging your investment.
Even though it's substantially smaller than the majority of tablet batteries, the Z DOES last as long as Sony claims, and even exceeds my expectations. So far, I've gotten 8 hours of constant use, from surfing to video playback to playing graphic intensive games, and it's down to about 15% remaining. Need I say more?
Bottom line? Sony delivered in a big way, and it appears that they've learned from their mistakes in previous, rather anemic tablet offerings. The combination of a great hi rez screen, decent sound, expandable storage, ease of extended use, battery life, raw horsepower... plus features like universal remote control and waterproof... really do make the sum of the whole the best there is, in my opinion.
Well done Sony, well done!
121 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2013
Size Name: 32 GBColor Name: Black
Years ago, the word Sony was the name for the latest in cool products like the walkman. In the last decade, the name Sony has become an afterthought..tv's taken over by Samsung, cell phones and tablets dominated by Apple. However, the sleeping giant has awakened..xperia phones selling very well and well reviewed, the first 4k tv and the playstation 4 around the corner.
So let's review Sony's latest tablet
DESIGN...A...lightweight, beautiful to look at, easy to handle
SCREEN...A-..pixels isnt everything, gorgeous colors, whites seem to be a little discolored, otherwise a gem of a screen
LAYOUT...A...great sony technology with favorite apps, easier way to insert widgets, fast launcher
STARTUP..A+..less than 30 seconds!
SPEED....A+..no hiccups, never stutters,chrome works well, 20,000 benchmark apparent here. BLOWS AWAY Asus infinity..no special roms needed
GAMES....A+..most of the high definition tablets can't handle gameloft games but this one can!! Real racing 3, Modern combat NO problem and they play beautifully. PS 3 controllers work great with no rooting necessary.
SOUND....A-..speakers are just ok but headphones sound great in walkman mode...great sound controls include 3d, frequency equalizer, etc...
SKYPE....A+..it works great with no stuttering...no more laptop needed
BATTERY..B+..it takes a long time to charge but expect 7-8 hours
MOVIES...netflix movies start in 3 seconds!!!
STORAGE..A+..64gb microsd card..
REMOTE...B..works well but logitech harmony still the one for me
In summary, this is the tablet i have been waiting for. Sony is back!
95 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2013
Size Name: 16 GBColor Name: BlackVerified Purchase
This is what elevates this tablet from an excellent choice to the best choice. It's the thinnest and lightest tablet with a 10 inch screen. You can use this tablet in ways that would be impractical with a full-size iPad or Nexus 10. Things like holding it in one hand or reading an ebook for a couple hours. It also looks great.
1920x1080 at 10.1 inches isn't anywhere near the pixel density of the Nexus 10, but it's within striking distance of the retina iPad. You probably won't notice the difference unless you're actively looking for it. Text is sharp. Viewing angles are great. Colors look good. It gets very bright.
-The IR blaster
It's actually pretty cool. Grab Sony's TV SideView app and you get an attractive TV guide. Selecting a show and letting the tablet change the channel without touching the remote is a neat trick.
-Port covers are a pain to open up. This seems to be a side-effect of the water-proof design.
-Speakers are ok but nothing to get excited about.
-Snapdragon S4 Pro processor is fast but already a generation behind other Android tablets coming out soon.
-Battery life is good but not great.
-Sony's default launcher is nicely designed but stutters a little bit even after removing the (useless) default widgets. Installing Nova Launcher is an easy fix if this bothers you.
Ultimately, you're paying a premium price for a tablet with relatively high-end hardware and arguably the best design in its class. Whether or not this is worth it depends entirely on how much you value the design.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2013
Size Name: 16 GBColor Name: BlackVerified Purchase
When purchasing a tablet I did not even consider this one at first. It still ran android 4.1 and I mainly just looked at specs when looking at tablets. So, I was looking at the Nexus 10, the iPad 4, iPad air, Samsung note 2014 edition, A variety of Windows tablets, and the Kindle Fire HD and HDX 8.9 . This review will show how I decided against these tablets and for the Xperia Tablet Z.
My main top choice was the note 2014. It had the best looking specs and it had the pen which seemed like it would be great for school. However, at the store, the pen seemed a little gimmicky. In addition, the home screen lagged. This one also weighed slightly more (although I didn't really check the weight of this one at the store). I didn't want any lag in a device that costs $500 and the note 2014 didn't seem to warrant the large price tag. Granted a software update may have (and I believe it did) fix the lag, my experience steered me away from the note 2014.
The iPad air with ios 7 at the store seemed like a children's toy. It was nice that it was light, however I couldn't get pas the fact that it seemed like a children's toy. In addition, I feel like ios is a very dumbed down OS, so that it feels easy to use for everyone. However, I like exploring features and tinkering with many other things which is pretty much impossible with ios. With ios what you see is what you get. The iPad was great for reading (one of my main reasons purchasing a tablet). However, other than that I saw no great use for it. So for the 500$ that an iPad costs, I decided against it.
I decided against an iPad 4 for the same reasons as the iPad air. In addition, the iPad 4 was significantly heavier, and had worse specs.
The Kindle Fire HD and HDX were very nice, however they lacked access to the Google play store. This was something I really wanted because I like all of the Google apps such as Hangouts, Chrome, Drive, etc. These apps are NOT available in the amazon app store. In addition, there are MANY other apps that are simply not available for the Kindle fire hd and hdx because they are not able to use the Amazon app store. So while these were beautiful devices, I decided against these as well.
Windows tablets seemed very nice. However, Windows RT lacks many apps that I like which is the same issue as the Kindles. In addition, some of the tablets were slightly on the heavy side. But other than that these were pretty much awesome devices. Unfortunately the apps were what made me decide against this. There were some tablets with the full windows 8, which is nice, however I believe that the specs on those were pretty underpowered to run a full windows OS and windows would have taken a significant portion of the available memory.
So it was down to the Nexus 10 and the Xperia tablet Z. Unfortunately, the store I was at did not have the Nexus 10 so I was not really able to check this out for myself. However, I knew that support for the Nexus 10 would be coming to an end and the new Nexus 10 was coming closer to being announced. The specs on the Nexus 10 were superior and the price seemed great. So, the only other reason I would not have purchased a Nexus 10 instead would have been the .1 lbs more. The Nexus and the note 2014 do have the most superior screens, however from what I've been reading most content is 1080p or below, so that is negligible.
The instant I picked up the Xperia Tablet Z I was amazed. It was EXTREMELY light. It is actually just about .06 lbs more than the iPad air, however this was fine for me because of the bigger screen. Playing around with it seemed fluid with no lag (slight lag now on the home screen if I have a lot of apps open which is normal, otherwise it's great). The lag is removable if I use a different launcher such as Nova, however the Xperia one looks great, so I use that anyways. In addition, the Sony version of android 4.1 was actually pretty great. It was better than the updated versions due to their changed UI which was optimized for tablets. This one is water proof and has expandable storage (I added a 4gb microsd which is awesome!). It also has a remote function (note 2014 does too). It has an 8gb rear camera and a front camera. In addition it runs every app I want and need. The 224 ppi screen looks pretty good as well and videos look great. Reading on Google Play books and Adobe reader is nice and smooth as well. Magazines look beautiful as well. At first the widescreen format seemed kind of awkward when used in portrait mode, however now that I am used to it it is fantastic for everything I do. The MHL capabilities for TV out and USB OTG to connect peripherals are nice, but I did not test them. I was also able to find this tablet in like new condition on Amazon for $300 (for some reason it was the Japanese version which didn't change a thing) so it sweetened the deal. My only 2 issues which aren't really issues were: 1. the ports start opening by themselves after light use (these need to be closed for the water-proof capabilities) and 2. battery takes a while to charge. However, the battery lasts a long time so that isn't an issue. The port covers opening up is an issue that needs to be fixed, however I don't really use my tablet near any water so it's fine. Although I don't know how it would hold up in my backpack if it was raining outside because of the ports opening. However no other tablet really has this feature and the amazing lightness of this tablet made it the PERFECT choice for me. It did everything I need and it did it great. If you are looking for a perfect tablet, you can end your search here. Trust me! If you have any questions about this or any tablet feel free to ask me :)
UPDATE: I forgot to mention a couple other nice things with this tablet. It has multitasking abilities (you can open widgets and resize them and use them and the app that is open. For example I can have a web page or a calculator open while I am watching a video. There is also an FM receiver. I wouldn't put a new rom over this. It is a great OS. I can also download music or videos from computers on my home network using the Walkman app that comes built in.
UPDATE 2: Turns out the android 4.3 update came out, however I was not able to get it because I was given a Japanese version from the seller. I was able to have English on my old version and it worked just like it should have, other than this little issue. I assume it would have came eventually, but it's been a while since the US version was released. I did not want to root it or tamper with the original Sony firmware. I am surprised I was able to put a stock US version of the android 4.3 operating system on this rather easily! I just downloaded flashtools, downloaded the firmware file I needed (ftf file), and then I turned off the decice, disconnected, made sure drivers were installed (enable unsigned drivers on windows 8), clicked the lightning symbol clicked flashmode, found my file, clicked ok, and then held the volume down button and connected device and just waited for it to do its thing. It is much easier than it sounds!!! Made my life a million times easier! Now in the future I'll also get the American updates and I'll get them on time. Just make sure you use the correct firmware for your device. I'll update this with any pros/cons regarding the firmware.
58 of 68 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2013
Size Name: 16 GBColor Name: Black
As a long time ipad owner that just picked this up at a local Sony store I'm very pleasantly surprised - so much so that I decided to write up my first Amazon product review ever.
- Design - In short, its fantastic. Super thin and really light I was so blown away in person I absolutely had to have one. I like the unique squared off look of it and its pretty much the only tablet I've ever seen that makes my ipad look too big and clunky. This is a full performance 10 inch tablet that weighs as little as some 7 inchers.
- Engineering - Whatever one thinks about Sony one can't deny their engineering expertise. This is beautifully put together and built. The internals are solid and the screen is gorgeous. Features like NFC and an IR blaster are significantly ahead of those in my 4th gen ipad.
- Durability - As everybody knows this tablet is completely waterproof and dust proof. It can even be used in a shower. As somebody with a young child can attest, spills happen and ipad 4 + spilt apple juice = very annoyed parent. Another bonus is that I can just rinse off the tablet under a tap to get rid of smudges/clean it.
- Android - This is a matter of taste obviously but to me, a tablet's primary purpose is as an internet consumption device. Just as I would never ditch the apps and stability of iOS on any phone, I prefer to use chrome natively (not the iOS safari skin) for the internet. Sony's android skin is also really light compared to the others (eg Samsung's touch wiz) and offers some useful features - the remote control app that uses the tablets built in IR blaster is proving very useful indeed. It's also a fairly recent Jelly Bean release so it's fairly smooth and responsive throughout.
- Gaming - I like to play a few games while traveling and absolutely hate using a touch screen for most of them. This tablet supports my PS3's dualshock controllers natively and I'm fairly certain PS4 support will be ever deeper when it comes out.
- Battery life - Its not terrible but that form factor comes with a tradeoff. I get around 8 hours of mixed use from 100% to 10% with stamina on (restricts network when the screen is off - you can customize it to let certain apps through). Similar usage on my ipad 4 gives me around 12 hours.
- Charging - The bundled charger is really slow. The tablet takes 8 hours to charge upto 100% from <10%. It's best to let this happen overnight. In contrast my ipad 4 takes 4 hours at most to charge up its bigger battery.
- Android - To some this is a negative. Android is really powerful and much smoother than it used to be but the final user experience is not everybody's cup of tea. For me, having chrome was worth the hassle and all the major iOS apps are also there and work well enough but the final selection is much less polished than iOS. There is also no Amazon Instant Video app for android (AFAIK).
- Cameras - On paper the camera loadout is impressive with both front and back cameras significantly higher spec than Apple's In practice the lack of a flash might prove an annoyance. I personally don't care because I have never understood the logic of using a tablet to take pictures but for those that do, it can be an issue.
I wanted a tablet that was light but still had a 10 inch screen and chrome. I liked my ipad 4 well enough but eventually realized that I got the entire experience on my iphone 5 (I'll always stick to apple for my phone) but kept it because I disliked the look of every other android tablet on the market. This tablet came along and fit my needs perfectly. The xperia z tablet absolutely destroys every other android tablet out there in terms of design and engineering. I actually find both slightly superior to even the ipad. I can deal with the (mainly) battery related shortcomings. I've always been a bit of a Sony fan since childhood and had been disappointed with their non Playstation products over the past 5 or so years. In many ways, Apple had become the new Sony. This year, between the successful new phones, this and the very cool looking new Playstation 4 I'm sensing that they're back in a big way.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2013
Size Name: 16 GBColor Name: BlackVerified Purchase
Having come from a Asus Transformer Prime with the wifi and I/O issues, I was ready for a tablet that was really going to meet my needs - great screen, snappy, good battery life, a mircoSD slot, and overall just a pleasure to use. I wasn't sure if I should wait for some of the new Tegra 4 tablets to come out or possibly go with the Nexus 10, but after I had the opportunity to play with the Tablet Z in a Sony store, I decided that this was the tablet for me.
The tablet comes in a smallish box, just big enough for all the items contained within. Not premium feeling like some cardboard boxes feel, but certianly not junk either. Inside you find the tablet wrapped in plastic and with a screen cover stuck to the screen as well. Lifting the tablet out of the box reveals the wall charger, a USB cable, and Sony warranty and product information booklets in several languages - that's it. Not much inside, but honestly, not much is required outside of the charger and the tablet.
The tablet itself feels amazing in hand - the 'svelte' back, the thinness, the weight, etc - it's really nice to hold and to use. The tablet has a camera on the back and a front facing camera as well, an IR blaster at the top edge, the power button (which also doubles as the notification LED) and the volume rocker on the left side, and then a few port covers around the tablet - on the top left is the port cover for the headphone jack, the bottom left has a port for the USB/MHL port, and the bottom right has the port cover for the microSD and SIM card tray (which is not useable on the WiFi only models). The port covers are relatively easy to remove, provided you use your fingernail to lift by the latch on the cover, which can take some doing to find at times. 4 speaker grills are placed at the bottom left and right of the tablet, generally where most people would hold the tablet for viewing, thus making your hands into a sound bouncing device for enhanced listening. The tablet does have a decent sized bezel around it - while some people might find this annoying, I personally enjoy having a larger bezel on my tablet - it allows you to hold the device without your fingers pressing onto the screen - much more comfortable to place your thumb on the front of the device instead of having to push in on the sides to hold it in my opinion.
Pressing the power button in for a couple seconds brings the tablet on, and going through the initial setup of the device is relatively easy - inputting your Google account information, etc. I personally did not sign up/in for the Sony services, as I did not wish to use them at this time. Once all set up, there was an immediate update to bring the tablet to Android version 4.2.2 (the tablet ships with version 4.1), which was quick to download and install. Once completed, I began the process of installing my apps and removing some of the bloatware that I was not going to be using on the tablet, which is easy enough to disable/remove via the application manager. The tablet is nearly 100% stock android in feel, which is great. Sony does provide some of their own widgets for use which seem nice to use, but I personally did not care for them.
Using the tablet is FANTASTIC! Screen transitions are smooth and fast, and I have not encountered a stutter at all doing anything. Programs load fast, and everything just feels super snappy - a MUCH better user experience than my old Transformer Prime. The tablet does ship with the Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core SOC - while this may be last year's top of the line processor, it certianly is fantastic in its usage on the tablet, and I don't see how the new Snapdragon 600/800 would improve any functionality of the tablet. Everything loads fast, games run extremely smooth, and videos load and play back without a hitch. The screen quality is amazing - incredibly detailed, sufficently bright (even too bright at times on the automatic brightness setting), and is vivid and crisp - watching HD video is a joy on this tablet. The speakers are sufficently loud as well - very clear sounding, slightly lacking in the low-end bass though (which was expected from a small tablet speaker). I've only used the IR blaster once as a test to try it out, and it worked great, but I don't see myself really using it all that much as I have a Logitech Harmony to do that work. One thing to note though, is that the tablet does not have a vibrate feature - some tablets do, some don't - just a heads up in case you were expecting it.
Wifi works great - locks on fast to the wifi signal, and has a good, long range. Spots in my home where my Transfomer prime would die out, the Tablet Z is still locked on and holding a good signal. GPS actually locked on inside my home as well, telling me I would have no issues doing so outside, though I did not buy the tablet for it's GPS capability. The microSD slot was a little difficult to get my memory card into, but after it was it, it's snug and has no issues - installed a 64 GB Sandisk mircoSD card (SanDisk Ultra 64 GB microSDXC Class 10 UHS-1 Memory Card 30MB/s with Adapter SDSDQUA-064G-U46A), tablet recognized it and was working instantly - no issues with it at all. The USB port is also an MHL 5-pin port - I bought the Cable Matters Micro-USB to HDMI MHL adapter (Cable Matters Micro-USB to HDMI MHL Adapter in Black and Charging Cable in Black 3 Feet) along with the tablet and it works great for allowing me to plug my tablet into an HDMI TV. Note that this uses the 5-pin MHL adapter, whereas some of the new Samsung Galaxy devices use the new 11-pin adapter - they are not cross compatible.
Battery life has been up to expectations as well - I usually get 8-9 hours of screentime with mixed useage between web browsing, video watching, and game playing, most of the time with a couple days inbetween each. Even with the battery saver option off (which disables syncing and turns off all connections while the tablet is sleeping), the battery life is great, especially for a tablet this thin and light. I also tested the waterproofing, which works as claimed. Dunked the tablet into the my bathtub and took it out - works as noted. Don't know if I am going to keep trying it though, as the thought of waterproof electronics still freaks me out.
Overall, this has been the BEST android tablet I have used to date, having used everything from the Transformer Prime to the Nexus 7 and 10. The speed, fluidness and overall experience on this tablet has just blown me out of the water. I know I will be enjoying this tablet for the next several years.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2013
Size Name: 16 GBColor Name: Black
For years, Sony has been an afterthought compared to apple and Samsung. Apparently Sony finally got sick of this and decided to do something about it. This tablet is the rest.
Where do I start? It's about 50% lighter and thinner than an ipad, and is absolutely stunning. I cannot get over how light and thin, and well, sexy this thing is. On top of that, it has top notch internals, beating all current tablets in performance tests. The screen is equally gorgeous. Though the nexus 10 has more pixels, you would not know. Compared side by side, the sonys screen looks better, especially when playing movies.
Amazingly well done, Sony. Best android tablet on the market.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2013
Size Name: 32 GBColor Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I have never owned an Apple product. However, my wife owns an iPad 4 that her work reimbursed. This is my first Android tablet, but I've played around with many. This is the first Android tablet that has been able to convince me to buy. I also own a Galaxy Nexus smartphone and two 5" Samsung Galaxy Players (for kids,) as well as the original Kindle Fire that my 3 year old uses.
What convinced me to buy?
o Thin and light
o Decent battery life
o Higher resolution screen w/16:10 ratio
o IR blaster
o Elegant design
o Sony claim to upgrade Android OS
Does the tablet live up to my expectations?
Thin and Light: Extremely impressive! This tablet is so thin and light for a 10" tablet. After using iPad 4 with protective case, this brings a smile to my face when I pick it up. If thin and light is a top concern for you, this is the one. Even my kids love holding this...so much so that my 8 year old thinks it's hers!
Decent Battery Life: The battery life of the Tablet Z varies widely. When frugal to moderate, it can easily achieve the claimed battery life of around 8-10 hours. The way I use it with Wifi on,I typically get around 8 hours use. The screen brightness has the biggest impact. When full bright, it will drain the battery very quickly, 4-6 hours depending on what you are doing. With full bright, the AC charger can't even keep up during use. Your battery will keep draining. Even bringing down brightness to about 80% makes a big difference. Around that point, the battery starts to charge back up when plugged in and using the tablet. At 50%-65% seems to be a good balance between brightness and reaching the upper levels of battery life claim.
Higher Resolution Screen: The reason I didn't bite on tablets such as the Note 10 is because of the resolution. It isn't bad, but not great. The Tablet Z is sharp, but compared to my wife's iPad 4, it's noticeably behind. If you don't compare to the iPad 4, it is really very good. The 16:10 ratio offers closer to a 1080P experience once softbars are in play. For this reason, I appreciate the 16:10 (1920x1200) resolution. Like any other large tablet, it is harder to type with both thumbs in landscape mode. However, portrait mode is better for typing. Color saturation is not overdone and yet renders colors well.
*UPDATE 14 AUG 2013* I bought a great little app from the Google Play Store called "Thumb Keyboard" and it makes typing in landscape much much better by offering a split keyboard. It works perfectly with this extra wide tablet. It even helps typing in portrait mode become a better experience. I love that I can add custom mapped buttons on the top row for items like the comma and apostrophe. I am typing this update from the Xperia Tablet Z. Of course, this app can be used on any tablet or phone.
Waterproof: We all like a little novelty. The waterproof claims are good. I have the freedom to use this tablet in places I wouldn't dare with other devices. I've used it in the tub, shower, pool, and even wash it in the sink. What you need to know, though, is that if you completely submerse the tablet, it is not functional due to the fact water does conduct electricity. The screen gets confused and does crazy things as if one were touching it all over the place randomly. The good news is, if watching a movie in the tub and it gets splashed, it can take a fair amount of splashing without acting like it is completely submersed. To keep it waterproof, the power, headphone and SD ports have covers on them. Especially power, can be a bit annoying taking on and off all the time. The flap can get in the way while plugging in the power cord. Even with a tiny "latch" to hold the cover when off, it does not hold tightly and gets jarred off easily. I'm used to it and willing to live with this minor inconvenience for the waterproof ability.
IR Blaster: If you love TV and want a universal remote, this tablet works well. You can customize the layout, although it isn't always the easiest experience. Bottom line, it works. I've always been interested in the Logitech Harmony remotes and with this, I no longer care to spend money on those remotes. Considering how expensive some of those are, this could be a nice justification in and of itself. The TV guide-like functionality does require an app download. I've used it and it is neat. It works. I set up my Samsung TVs and Bluray players with little fuss. It just worked.
Elegant Design: This is subjective, but I think it is very nice looking compared to Samsung tablets. It's simple and elegant. I don't mind at all showing it off.
OS Upgrade: I am currently on Android 4.1.2. It came with 4.1.1. I'm still waiting on 4.2, which is supposed to allow multiple user accounts. As of August 5, 2013, I heard 4.2 is around the corner with 4.3 being pushed out even later. While not here yet, I do appreciate knowing I can eventually get those upgrades.
o I wish this had a dedicated button/switch to lock screen rotation like the iPad 4. As is, it takes 2 taps just to get to the menu. Other key settings that people want to change on the fly are also two taps away just to see the options. I'd rather it be only one tap away. Since Sony lightly skinned the Android OS, I'd like to see this change. This includes screen brightness, WiFi on/off, and Airplane Mode.
o Camera picture quality is so-so. It's there. It needs very good lighting to take decent pictures. There is no LED light.
o Video is the same as camera notes.
o Sound quality was highly touted by Sony. In reality, speaker does get good loudness, but quality isn't anything impressive. In fact, when loud, it kind of hurts the ears. Compared to iPad 4, the Sony sound lacks much full body and depth and richness. iPad 4 wins hands down. I also own a couple of very high end headphones from Audez'e and HiFiMan and the sound with those headphones plugged in is better. It's not as good as my Cowon player, but it's good.
o Price/Value: Honestly, I'd say it isn't worth the high price unless you must have thin and light and waterproof features. These are the areas it stands out compared to other 10" inch tablets and where the others are lacking. I was willing to pay for the thin and light, and am happy with the purchase for that reason alone.
Mainly because it could be better in the value department, and because of a few other nitpicky points, I give the Sony Xperia Z Tablet 4 Stars. The Sony and iPad each have their appealing points. The choice comes down to which OS environment you want, and which features mean the most to you.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2013
Size Name: 16 GBColor Name: Black
Summary: This Sony Tablet can be productive. The screen is Full HD which makes books, PowerPoints, and video look excellent. The built in notes app supports all sorts of media, screenshots, drawing, and various text options. Microsoft Edge bluetooth keyboard syncs easily. The Sony software is well thought out. (And if you're a person that forgets the time, the center screen has a large clock in the middle of it.)
Note Art and Screenshots: The paintbrush and pencil tools in the drawing part of the built in notes application make darker lines when moving slowly and lighter lines when moving fast. The paintbrush gets darker as it layers on top itself. I'm not sure of the extent of layering with all of the built in note art tools. This tablet isn't pressure sensitive. Screenshots of your art, games, or any other app are made by pressing and holding the power button until a menu pops up (select the screenshot option; this is 4.2.2 tested).
Memory, Office, and Browser: In 4.2 and 4.3, 16GB and greater memory tablets with the Google Android system seem to me to run better with 8GB free on the main memory, which makes the built in file transfer app useful. This tablet runs Adobe Flash well using the 4.2(operating system upgrades will break flash like on all androids). You can search xda forums for the link to Adobe's download page for unsupported flash installs for Android 4.2; I use flash with web browsers Opera Classic and Boat browser. Opera Classic is the only web browser on Android that I've tested which passes the Acid 2 test. Puffin is the only web browser that has Flash work regardless of Android system updates. Boat browser has floating windows that can be selected from a link in a PowerPoint, making it excellent for multitasking while reading PowerPoints.(Yes, I do read a lot of them.) In my opinion, OfficeSuite PRO is the best Microsoft Office replacement app for Android(This has changed, Docs to Go fixed their issues and are now my go to Office software for Android). There are issues that crop up in PowerPoints from using non-Microsoft Office software, so I highly suggest you have your laptop around when you need to view PowerPoints.
Multitasking: Using the apps in the Google Play store named Widgets Anywhere and Boat Browser are the best multitasking options available for Android. By multitasking, I mean looking at content from two different places at the same time. An examples of this are when you are reading and you click on an internet link yet want to keep what you're reading in front of you. Another example is when you're playing a game and you'd like to keep track of the time. Other examples might include taking notes over something you're reading(I'm not aware of how to do this), or sketching something when inspiration hits while still wanting to keep what you were doing in front of you(I'm not aware of how to do this).
Security and USB: The facial lock system depends a lot on the lighting within a room. You can take more facial pictures in different lighting to increase the likelihood of unlocking the tablet with your face. The facial lock times out quickly in order to reduce the possibility of hacking, which the tablet warns you about when you select the facial lock option. After the facial lock times out, inputing a password, pin, or code is the only option. The USB slot is a common micro style, instead of the more comfortable full size. The ideal solution appears to be this StarTech product StarTech.com Micro USB OTG to USB Adapter - Micro USB Male OTG to USB Female Adapter - USB On The Go Adapter. One reason USB is important is because art applications Sketchbook Pro and ArtFlow on Google Play advertise that they support Wacom tablets.
Battery and Camera: The camera is limited to lighting. It will take a great sharp shot in the right lighting. My luck is generally not the right lighting, which leans toward a grainy shot. The forward camera is the same way, so if you're Skyping an interview, check your lighting. Battery life is excellent. I went on a vacation for two weeks with the WiFi turned off and this tablet still had 8 percent power. The screen is the main battery drainer. Any app that uses Unity drains the battery quickly.
Durability: I've dropped mine while in the Moko case three or four times. One time part of the corner was damaged after the impact with concrete. I turned it off waited ten seconds, then turned it on. It works well for me. The best durability available appears to be the clear thin plastic case slid into the Moko case. ArmorSuit Graphite can be put on directly, then the tablet can be slid into the correct Moko case, which is the best protection combination available for the Xperia Z1 tablet. The ArmorSuit is more than worth it, I would not recommend another brand unless a recipe is changed in the future.
Conclusion: In the end, it's a tablet. Not a laptop disguised a tablet. An elite tablet. This tablet includes Google content options AND Sony content options, which is more than Google content options only. When starting up the tablet on first opening or a factory reset, you can sign into your Japanese PSN account or your US PSN account.(The PS Vita needs the Japanese region set, but the tablet didn't allow a Japanese region set.) If you have a Japanese PSN account and don't mind prepaid cards necessary for Japanese PSN purchases, there is a small increase in applications, though nothing compared to the game increase seen when doing the same thing with a PS Vita. Incidentally, the PSVita does very well on web browsing. The app count is rather low on a PSVita, but it is feasibly productive when the internet surfing is considered, Skype and dual cameras, a 64gb maximum size card, and the video and audio playback abilities. To me, video training and things requiring web logins appear to be the most productive options for tablets these days.(A laptop is far more functional in every way than a tablet... but you don't need a laptop to check a bank account, watch a training video, or reply to an email.)
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2013
Size Name: 32 GBColor Name: Black
I'm extremely happy with this latest Sony tablet.
- very solid build, engineered to perfection. The lightweight, the balance, the thinness, true Sony craftsmanship
- screen colors are rich, the resolution more than adequate at this size. I like the true HD and elongated form factor more than I expected.
- Sony Apps: SideView remote way cool -- it's made me enjoy using my television again. Sony Unlimited music doesn't get enough cred. This is really an excellent service with HD streaming, offline playback and playlists, and a virtually unlimited (as the name says) music catalog. I use this along with Tuned In Pro for my radio.
- Waterproof is more useful than I thought. When on vacation, I used in and around the swimming pool. Nice feature.
- Battery very fine, longer than I expected due to lightweight form factor.
- Speed very fine, no problems for me, snappy.
- Music and sound are quite good for a tablet. I pair it up with my Jambox, or else use headphones, so it is more than adequate in my opinion.
- guest mode was removed. maybe this will come back in next OS update. minor, but nice feature for sharing in the family.
- screen is a bit smudgy. I may step up for the screen protector.
- the cradle is well designed and very useful. downside is the 3' USB cable. It needs a 6' cable to be able to use a floor socket. this was a compromise as the old Sony tablets had real power supplies.
Conclusion: I'm extremely happy with this tablet, with the speed and the business apps like Skype, box, and office I can finally use this as a real laptop replacement. The entertainment options rock, and this makes a true fun and business device for me. I think the price is fair. It's a real laptop equivalent but better in so many ways. The engineering and form factor that Sony puts into the product, I can see the difference. This is a 3rd generation product and it shows.