Sony presented its first mid-size tablet at the IFA tradeshow in Berlin: the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. This is an 8-inch device which thrills with its high-resolution display and exceptionally slim and lightweight design.
Build and Design
The elegant design gives off a great first impression. Compared to Xperia Z3 smartphones, the tablet doesn’t have a glass back surface, but is made of matte plastic to create a more natural feel. It’s only 0.25 inches (6.4 millimeters) thick and just 0.6 pounds (270 grams), so device feels great.
The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is slim and light enough that it won’t tire people out after extended usage. Like its predecessors, this model is waterproof.
The impression the Z3 Tablet Compact’s screen looks like the only Android model that can compete head to head with the Apple iPad mini with Retina display. True, the Apple tablet offers a slightly greater resolution and higher pixel density on a slightly smaller screen; however, this difference isn’t all that important in reality. To be precise, Sony’s tablet has a resolution is 1920 x 1200 pixels, leading to 283 ppi – Apple’s model is 324 ppi.
Testing Sony’s compact tablet, I concluded that the screen has slight shortcomings, especially when it comes to contrast sustainability; however, the imaging surpasses Sony’s ‘big’ Xperia Z2 Tablet in the quality department, specifically the brightness, vividness of colors, and sharpness. White tones are even whiter than on the larger Z2 Tablet, while imperfections in the contrast only appear at wide viewing angles, or when sudden changes occur in the surrounding lighting.
The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact has a very fluid performance, especially when playing games and during multimedia playback. This is something that can be credited to its Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor running at 2.5 GHz, aided by Adreno 330 graphics and 3 GB of RAM. It also has 16 GB of integrated storage, making this tablet’s hardware platform identical to that of the Sony Xperia Z3 smartphone, which was also presented at IFA in Berlin.
This device supports the latest Sony integration technology with PlayStation 4, so that the console’s games can be played on the tablet via Wi-Fi, and the tablet can be set up in a special dual shock controller dock.
Reduced contrast of wider viewing angles is emphasized the most with PlayStation games, due to the colorful visuals and frequent instinctive tilting of the device, but this is a trifle and can easily be forgotten after a few minutes of use.
Some might object because the rear-facing camera is just 8 megapixels, and the front-facing one only 2.2 megapixels — not because other mid-size tablets offer more, but simply because we’re used to Sony spoiling us with the best cameras on Android devices.
The battery capacity is 4500 mAh, which isn’t particularly large for an 8-inch tablet, is definitely reasonable given the incredibly elegant dimensions this device has. It’s safe to assume that the tablet offers at least average battery life for its class, because Sony representatives pointed out several times in Berlin that this new, ‘third’ Xperia generation – whether it is smartphones or tablets we are talking about — has improved power management and should provide long-lasting service when compared to its predecessors
After 30 minutes of testing the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, it’s clear that this one of the best Android tablets with a screen smaller than10 inches, and the only truly premium mid-size tablet with this operating system.
The product should be released worldwide later this month.
The 16 GB Wi-Fi-only version will sell for €379 or £329. The 32 GB Wi-Fi-only variant will be €429 or £379. An LTE version with 16GB of storage will sell for €479 or £429. Sony hasn’t said anything about U.S. pricing, but this could be because this tablet was announced in Berlin.