Sony’s new flagship Xperia Z smartphone is a beautiful piece of kit with an incredible screen, and that same design philosophy has been transferred over to the new Xperia Tablet Z. This 10.1-inch device can be used in the bath thanks to its waterproof finish, while the supremely slender body is actually a shade slimmer than the Xperia Z phone (6.9mm compared to the Xperia Z’s 7.2mm).
We were immediately impressed by how light the Xperia Tablet Z feels, and how solid that body is – there’s only slight flex when you pull it. You get the same round power button and either a black or white finish, both of which look fantastic. The memory card slot and other ports are covered, giving the Xperia Tablet Z its waterproof credentials – you can dunk it in a fishtank for half an hour and it’ll suffer no ill effects (although doing so would be a bit weird outside of a conference centre).
Web fiends can either get online using Wi-Fi, or splash out an extra hundred quid for the LTE version, which takes a normal SIM card. Android 4.1 Ice Cream Sandwich runs smoothly on the quad-core processor, backed up by 2GB of RAM, and there’s either 16GB or 32GB of storage depending on which model you plump for.
A mighty impressive 8.2MP camera sits on the Xperia Tablet Z’s glossy rear, and it’s one of the best tablet cameras we’ve tested thanks to Sony’s super-smart auto shoot mode, which detects the environmental conditions and swaps between dozens of different modes. Our photos looked fantastically crisp and bright, even in the dingy booth. A sharp front-facer should also prove excellent for Skype calls.
Of course, one of the main attractions here is the 10.1-inch Reality Display, using Sony’s clever Bravia Engine 2 technology. We checked out some videos and they looked fantastic, the 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution making every frame fantastically crisp. We realise we’re probably gushing a bit, but the Xperia Z’s screen was a beauty and the Xperia Tablet Z’s is just as good on a much larger scale.
Sony’s packed in the usual apps such as its music and movies services, and there’s also a new ‘TV SideView’ app which acts as a comprehensive couch potato’s best friend. Full TV listings can be browsed, and when you find a show you like, the infrared remote control will zap it up on your telly.
Sony’s Xperia Tablet Z will hit stores around April here in the UK, from £399/£499 for the Wi-Fi/LTE models.
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