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Hands-on with the Sony Xperia Z tablet


When Sony launched the Xperia Z tablet as a companion to the Xperia Z smartphone in January we were pretty disappointed it was a Japan-only announcement. However, now the Japanese electronics giant has launched the tablet globally, making the sleek looking device available to consumers in Europe and the U.S. as well. 

The Xperia Z tablet comes with a black or white back.
Headphone-jack, power button and volume rockers are located on the left side of the device.

There are plenty of Xperia Z tablets on show at the Sony booth at Mobile World Congress and we have taken the opportunity to have a closer look and handle the 10-inch Android slate. Holding the Xperia Z in your hands it's as desirable as its smartphone cousin. At only 495 grams it's lighter and easier to hold with one hand than the equivalently-sized iPad but still feels like a premium device with solid build-quality.

Despite the thin 6.9mm profile and light weight, Sony says the Xperia Z tablet is water- and dust-proof. I am still not sure if I want to take my pricey tablet to the beach, but in theory that shouldn't be a problem with the Sony. 

The combined SIM/Micro-SD slot is hidden under a sealed flap.
The Xperia Z tablet features two speakers with a total of four outlets to make it impossible to cover all of them accidentally when holding the deivce.

The technical specification is on par with the quality exterior. The Xperia Z features a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.1 OS, LTE connectivity and NFC technology for easy sharing with other Sony devices. The screen is of the WUXGA variant (1920 x 1200 pixels) and is 10.1 inches large. With a 8.1 million pixel back-illuminated pixel "Exmor R for mobile" CMOS sensor, the camera specification is quite decent for a tablet too. 

The Sony Xperia Z tablet certainly looks and feels like a high-end product and the Snapdragon quad-core processor provides enough steam for even the most demanding apps. Water- and dust-proofing is a real stand out feature in the tablet space, but realistically in the market Sony will be facing the same problem as all other makers of Android tablets: Apple's iPad is still by far the best-selling tablet and that is at least to a degree due to the larger offering of good tablet-specific apps for Apple's iOS. That said, the Sony is a step into the right direction and if Android developers can be convinced to increase their tablet efforts, the Xperia Z could help reduce the iPad dominance in the 10-inch tablet sector.   

Xperia Z tablet  headline specs:

  • 10.1” screen
  • HD 1920x1200p WUXGA display
  • Dust- and water-resistant
  • Snapdragon S4 Pro processor
  • 1.5 GHz asynchronous quad CPUs
  • 2GB RAM
  • 8 MP rear camera
  • 2MP HD front camera
  • Android 4.1 operating system


Total comments: 14

I got the Sony tablet as a present .when I opened it I was well pleased
it looked as good as I read about it ,powerfull,thin and light,BUT the power socket,a small usb type enclosed In a black square ,didn't FIT
it was hanging out ,yes I did push it in as far as I could BUT you could still see the silver of the usb was hanging out NOT a tight FIT at all ,if it was like that now ,what's it going to be like in year
SO I got it returned to QVC REALLY DISAPPOINTED Any one else found this,I had also got a nexus 7 as soon as it came out from the googleplay store ,it came quickly ,i opened it up and I just noticed that the back cover was not on tightly so I just pushed it and it clicked closed
I charged it tried it great ,but after a while the back would loosen and it wouldn't turn on,this is a pain they wouldn't take it back!!
on the forums I found a lot of people with the same issue a manufacturing fault they said, rushed out ,I HOPE ITS NOT SAME.rushed out

Felix E Klee

I am currently looking for an inexpensive outdoor capable 10" tablet, so this looks awesome. Only: How bright (nits) is the screen? How well does it withstand shocks?

Edited 1 minute after posting

IMHO shocks will be a problem with eacht tablet, anyway the Tablet Z is dust and water resistant (IP57 certified) with a durable (Sony says...) glass display, which is certainly good for outoor use, and the build quality of Sony products is generally very good, though I would be careful not to dropy any tablet! ;)
The problem is that if you're looking for something inexpensive this won't probably be the right product for you. :)

Edited 2 times; latest 1 minute since posting

The camera on a tablet is just there as a token gesture to tick a box on the spec-sheet, it's not relevant in any way to actually using it. It's like the webcam on a laptop - nobody actually cares what kind of quality it is... as long as it's got something that can be vaguely described as a camera, that's enough.


Bring out a 7" version of this tablet and you will have a winner.

Ben O Connor

just put a nex-3 sensor, and a nex mouth... well photographers won´t care maybe but, techno guys would jump on it :D

well if its too big add nikon 1 sensor and its lens line, its also their product !

ok ok , i stop making utophia here :D


And more chinese made junk, ready for the landfill in a month.
Wasteful inconscience.


Sony is Japanese. Yet, about the manufacturing, you're right: the tablet is probably made in China. Btw... where do you think the iPhone and iPad are made? I'll tell you a secret: China! But don't tell anyone... ;)


The thing I want to know about new tablets, that never gets mentioned, is their color fidelity.

I want a tablet with the iPad's color fidelity (and somewhere close to its resolution) that doesn't lock me into the Apple ecosystem.

AFAIK, nothing like that exists, but it's hard to tell because nobody seems interested in testing color rendition.

Edited 27 seconds after posting
1 upvote

nobody seems interested in testing color rendition, because nowadays are more concerned with the ability of distorted colors and filters that can be applied to an image. Fast images, fast PP is the Moto for nowadays. Mass production of image, and all look the same.

1 upvote
Ben O Connor

It has such a big device , but very small camera glass as well sensor... why? Why does sony keep following other tablet company´s mistakes ?

(well, maybe Carl Zeiss is avaliable from Nokia only , in terms of telephones, but is it a telephone ? Even they still can´t use, their sony G lenses are enough awesome... )


Not sure why anyone would want to take photos with a tablet. The camera on a tablet is just there as a token gesture to tick a box on the spec-sheet, it's not relevant in any way to actually using it. It's like the webcam on a laptop - nobody actually cares what kind of quality it is... as long as it's got something that can be vaguely described as a camera, that's enough.


Yes, why o why such a small sensor?

Perhaps because taking pictures with a tablet is quite silly? However, I observe a surprisingly high number of people doing exactly that. Always good for a chuckle though.

See happy people:

Edited 3 minutes after posting
Ben O Connor

Main Reason:
They also want to sell a camera.

In previous days, Nokia made "cell phone" a magic tool, and now Apple even risking the future of paper ! (even newsweek will not be publish on paper anymore!!!)

So i wish to see a combination that;
Do not need to have home key,
no phone neccesarily (just a attachable headphone set would help)
no car keys (even else thing which "only" start up your car)
no wallet, even no credit carrds (Its my "own" tablet, so access directly to my bank account)
already no music player (walkman ipod etc)

so why not a enthusiast P&S camera ??? Cant they fit Sony 1 inch sensor, with a bit worse lens than, RX100 ?

I also can´t leave my olympus XZ-1 behind me ever, but even this small white colored friendly camera could make people disturbed, when you are daily lifetime shooting, That table would just solve that kinda issues, and make our hands a bit more free...

Edited 54 seconds after posting
Total comments: 14
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