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Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

Andy Vandervell



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Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z
  • Sony Xperia Tablet Z


Our Score:



  • Extremely slim and light
  • Fast processor and graphics
  • Vibrant screen with good viewing angles


  • Ports behind fiddly flaps
  • Screen not as sharp as cheaper Nexus 10
  • Limited tablet apps compared to iOS

Key Features

  • 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 pixel LCD screen
  • Android 4.1 OS
  • Quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon CPU
  • 16GB and microSD
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, optional 3G
  • 8.1MP rear camera, 2.2MP front camera
  • 7.2mm thick, 495g
  • Manufacturer: Sony
  • Review Price: £399.00

What is the Sony Xperia Tablet Z?

This is Sony's entrant into the 10-inch tablet arena, pitting itself against the likes of the Google Nexus 10 and iPad 4. Its 1,920 x 1,200 resolution screen falls a little short of both, but its trump card is that, just like Sony Xperia Z phone, it's water resistant up to one metre for 30 minutes, and dust resistant. Is it enough to turn the tide in its favour?

Sony Xperia Tablet Z - Design

Vitally, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z's water resistance doesn't come at the expense of style or portability. Quite the opposite, in fact. At 495g, it's 108g lighter than a Nexus 10 and 167g lighter than an iPad 4. It's a big difference, one that makes the Sony Xperia Tablet Z comfortable to hold in one hand for prolonged periods.

It's also impressively slim - just 7.2mm all round - while the jet black design gives the Sony Xperia Tablet Z a sleek, imposing appearance that's all its own. Its size and 16:10 screen ratio is a little awkward for reading books (albeit better than 16:9 tablets), but it's perfect for games, video and web browsing.

It's just a shame it doesn't feel as good as it looks. The Sony Xperia Tablet Z doesn't feel cheap, but neither has it the premium, slick feel of an iPad or even the Microsoft Surface Pro. Its soft-touch rear, while pleasant to hold, collects greasy fingerprints like a tourist collects cheap trinkets. What's more, any downward pressure on the screen causes it to distort alarmingly.

The water resistance also requires that each port (microSD, microUSB and SIM) is hidden behind a fiddly port. Not a vital flaw, but an annoying one all the same, especially as the water resistance is more of a 'nice to have' than a 'must have' feature.

Ultimately, Sony's design is definitely a step above the usual Android tablet fare, particularly the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, but it costs the same as an iPad 4 and it doesn't look or feel like it does.

Sony Xperia Table Z - Screen & Sound Quality

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z's screen, however, is more than ordinary. Colours are rich, vivid and eye-popping at times. Sony has clearly tuned the screen to favour strong colours rather than genuine accuracy, but it's not a cause for genuine complaint. Videos and photos look fantastic, not least thanks to the deep, clean blacks.

The only cause for pause is that the resolution, 1,920 x 1,200, while admirably sharp, falls a little short of the 'retina' sharpness of the iPad 4's 2,048 x 1,536 or the Nexus 10's stupendously sharp 2,560 x 1,600 screen. In more easily comparable numbers, the Nexus 10 tops the list with 300 pixels per inch (ppi), followed by the 264 ppi iPad 4 and the 224 ppi of the Sony. It's not a problem to lose sleep over, but the fact the Nexus 10 is £80 cheaper into the bargain might be.

As for the Sony Xperia Tablet Z's speakers, here's one instance where having two of something doesn't make for a better result. The Xperia Tablet Z's speakers are passable, but for the most part they're weedy and imprecise. Dialogue lacks clarity and by default they're too quiet. Sony includes a volume boosting software mode, but it sounds horrible. Even the iPad's mono speaker is better. The only redeeming quality is they're hard to block as they project from the bottom and side edges, so it's unlikely you'll unwitingly cover both.

Abrar Faiyaz Helal

February 26, 2013, 1:30 pm

good to look at.......


February 26, 2013, 6:07 pm

Not shure about the resolution, on gsmarena they have 1200 instead 1080.


February 28, 2013, 7:54 pm

I think it's definitely one of the best looking tablets, i may get one depending on the final price. Can you tell me if it has hdmi out? thanks.


March 3, 2013, 8:27 pm

Looks cool and would buy one just for the sake of owning it if I had the money and wanted a tablet. Yes people would pay the extra for a thinner lighter tablet. Lets face it people buy the ipad just because its an Apple product with a letter 'I' in front of its name regardless of specs.

ashok kumar

May 1, 2013, 4:54 am

how much price in india


May 9, 2013, 1:42 am

No people buy the iPad because it runs ios. Because it is the easiest, most intuitive, best looking user interface in the existence of the universe. Because it has currently the best app ecosystem. Of course there are iSheeps but you can't disregard the fact that what makes the iPad so appealing is not the specs but the experience.


June 11, 2013, 1:45 pm

i got the 4g ready version and so far not disappointed it is fast looks great and when customised with your own home screens has no issues with launching what you want when you want one thing you didnt mention is miracasting and the ability too 'throw ' images to a suitably equipped tv this function is so cool and as i have a late model sony tv has no obvious drawbacks as the 2 work seamlessly together agree it was a bit expensive for what it is but at least you can drag and drop via a pc or nfc straight too sd card any file you want without having too use a 3rd party programme that i feel is a bit nosy time will tell if sony will keep up the support on their currently flagship tablet but so far so good


June 12, 2013, 4:30 am

you use an adaptor through the micro usb socket for hdmi but if you have wifi direct on your tv you can stream video and pictures without need for wired connection and also has miracast which lets you show our tablet screen on flat panel tv either equipped with miracast function or usng a miracast dongle through tv usb socket


June 14, 2013, 7:22 pm

Well I don't agree. I think they buy it because of the brand and app store.

IOS is not the easiest or best looking system - not by a long shot.

David T

June 21, 2013, 10:40 pm

"but it's noticeably faster than the Nexus 10's quad-core processor" The Nexus 10 has a dual core but based on A15 architecture.

Minor correction.


August 3, 2013, 10:25 pm

Unusual review. I think it feels a lot more of a premium product than any iPad, mostly thanks to the slim design. I wonder how much pressure the reviewer was putting on the screen because I haven't noticed any flex and I'm told I am heavy handed.

To consider the port flaps to be a flaw when they are there for a purpose - waterproofing - is just plain stupid. The fact that it is waterproof is a major feature so they're an integral part of the tablet. It's a bit like complaining that you are more exposed to the elements in a cabriolet with the roof down! What exactly were you expecting from a waterproof device?

The universal remote works perfectly with my (admittedly Sony) telly, and my Sky+ box though there is a separate app available for Sky+.

Strange that it seemingly lags behind the Nexus 10 yet that isn't what the test results say? Maybe I'm a bit slow to keep up because i haven't noticed any lag. Screen res is as good as anyone will ever need. Many reviews seem very picky over this but frankly it's getting silly to discuss minor differences between tablets which are barely noticeable unless you are regularly using both side by side.

Overall I think this is a fantastic piece of kit by Sony which fires them straight back to the top. I spent a long time reviewing and testing, via local stockists, various other tablets including the iPad and the best offerings from Samsung and the Nexus but kept going back to the Sony and I have not been disappointed. 10/10 from me, I use it for hours every day and my only complaint is the keyboard seriously needs to be programmed to recognise commonly used words when using the swipe function - 'to' usually becomes 'too', 'the' becomes 'three' and so on, but then who uses a tablet for most of their typing?

jay jay

October 21, 2013, 3:56 pm

its the most amazing tablet. i have the nexus 10 . its better then the nexus 10, all it has is more pixels but from there nothing else and its a little more heavy. compare to the previous sony xperia tablet s weight super less then. nexus 10. So yeah this sony its extremely amazong.!


November 4, 2013, 6:50 pm

It has access to the psn network. Other tablets don't. If you own other Sony products this is a great thing. Plus the option to use the google apps is a plus too.


February 26, 2014, 6:30 pm

Thanks Colin


January 1, 2015, 6:26 am

What I want to know is how well this "waterproof" tablet does at marine GPS navigation? Ever since my iPad1 died from a dollop of sea water I've been looking for a replacement, without going broke on a Tough Tab. Has anyone loaded Navionics on this Z and gone for a test cruise far from cell range yet?


March 30, 2015, 11:18 pm

DO NOT BUY THIS! There are many problems that start happening 13 months after you buy! 1000's of people on the internet ran into the same problem I did. I RARELY used my tablet. Then it wouldn't power on. Then I would do the same stupid soft reset then hard reset which erased everything. This worked for a while when the Tablet would never turn on! So after it might work or might not, on the 13th month it now NEVER powers on. I've tried every reset and nothing happens just a blinking red light on the side. PIECE OF CRAP! Not even under warranty! So they want you to buy get the 12 month warranty then it will die after a year. BRAVO SONY! BRAVO!!!

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