The Sony Xperia Z Tablet

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There seems to be more and more tablets available, what with the Apple iPad, the Google Nexus and the Amazon Kindle Fire. Now here¿s another offering, this time from Sony, the Xperia Z tablet.

First impressions are that the Xperia Z is incredibly thin and light, but with a large screen. This is confirmed when you look at the specs, it¿s just 6.9 mm thick, weighs in at 495 grams and has a 10.1-inch display at 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution.

Sony has packed in a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2GB RAM, together with an accelerometer, GPS and gyroscope. The operating system is Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi and NFC (Near Field Communication) capability.

The Xperia Z includes an 8.1 megapixel camera in the back. This camera uses Sony¿s Exmor R technology, designed to produce better pictures in low light situations; unfortunately the camera design with light sensors on the front and the lens on the rear doesn¿t really produce impressive photos in low light conditions. The front camera is better than most tablets; however, producing crisp still pictures and is smooth enough for video conferencing.

Many tablets claim to be water resistant, but Sony has gone one better and states that the Xperia Z can be safely immersed in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes without suffering damage.

There are probably not many occasions when you would want to test this claim, but if you are out in heavy rain, or even if you use the Xperia Z in your bath tub, it¿s reassuring that the device will continue to perform. While I wouldn¿t recommend putting the Xperia Z in with your weekly wash, you can certainly rinse off any spills under the tap without concerns.

A consequence of this waterproofing is that Sony has provided rubber seals over all the ports on the Xperia Z, the headphones socket, MHL connection and a microSD slot, making them slightly awkward to open, but this is a small price to pay.

The Sony Xperia Z is an attractive tablet, so what are the drawbacks? Probably the most significant is the price; the Xperia Z is one of the more expensive tablets around. Possibly Sony has also had to cut back on battery size to fit everything in the thin case, as battery life is not the best when running intensive applications. However, it does hold the charge well, so if you use the Xperia Z intermittently, battery life is not a big deal.

The verdict? The Sony Xperia Z is a sleek tablet with good performance, but its high price may limit sales potential.

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