The Sony Xperia Tablet Z (Est. $500 and up) is a capable 10-inch tablet that performs well, but doesn't do any one thing particularly outstandingly. However, reviewers rave about how lightweight it is. Its unique selling point of being water-resistant to a depth of three feet for 30 minutes is useful if you plan on using your tablet around water, but otherwise you may find all the flaps covering the plug-ins for connectors and headphones a bit annoying.
OK performance. The Sony Xperia Tablet Z's performance draws neither raves nor complaints. It has a fast processor and good graphics, though its "better than full-HD" resolution isn't quite up to that of the Google Nexus 10 screen (Est. $350 and up) or that of the iPad (Est. $500 and up). Reviewers also report that the Xperia Tablet Z's speakers are passable.
Ultra-stylish and thin. The design of this 10-inch tablet is the wow factor and matches the thin, sleek and smart design of the Sony Xperia smartphone. Sony claims that the Xperia Tablet Z is the thinnest 10-inch tablet in the world, being a mere 0.27 inch thick -- a pencil is 0.35 inch thick. The unique selling point of this tablet, though, is that it's waterproof, to three feet deep. Several reviewers tested this out by holding their tablets under running water for 10 minutes or more, and found this claim to be true. Unlike some other tablets, the Tablet Z has expandable storage, an HDMI connection to connect to your TV, an IR blaster to control your TV, and Near Field Communication as well as Bluetooth connectivity.
Water-resistant. Reviewers key in on the incredibly light weight of the Xperia Tablet Z and state that it means that you can easily hold it for extended periods of time. A reviewer reports that the soft-touch, tactile finish of the rear of the tablet is prone to fingerprints, and another calls it "the biggest fingerprint magnet we have ever seen." Because the Xperia Tablet Z is water-resistant, there are flaps covering all the ports, so you have to lift them up to access all the connections and headphone sockets. Operating system-wise, Sony has added its own tweaks to the latest version of Android, including themes and shortcut icons, to make it more user-friendly.
It's the extreme light weight of Sony's Xperia Tablet Z rather than its water-resistance that draw CNET's reviewers' attention. Xperia Z's expandable storage is another plus as is its two "better-than-decent" cameras. However, this tablet's slow Wi-Fi speeds and OK performance don't stack up to its competitors.
Review: Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review: Thin, Thoughtful Design, but at a Premium Price, Eric Franklin, June 3, 2013
Thinness and lightness are Kim's areas of praise for the Sony Xperia Tablet Z. He likes its full HD display and "blazing-fast" performance, as well as the microSD card slot that isn't always found in tablets. The Xperia Tablet Z can remotely control your TV and entertainment devices through its IR blaster.
Review: Sony Xperia Tablet Z, Eugene Kim, June 5, 2013
3. Laptop Magazine
Feeling sturdy in spite of being "one seriously thin tablet," the Sony Xperia Tablet Z earns rave reviews for its water-resistance, crisp HD display and built-in remote control. Loaded with Sony's apps, this tablet boasts Near Field Communication to transfer images and URLs from one device to another.
Review: Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review, Michael A. Prospero, May 31, 2013
David Pierce describes the Sony Xperia Tablet Z as "the world's best shower radio." He says that the Xperia Tablet 7 works like an Android tablet should and the battery life is well above average, though not as good as that of the iPad's battery. His main criticism is that if you're going to be spending this much money on a tablet, you'd be better off buying an iPad.
Review: Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review, David Pierce, July 1, 2013
Calling the Sony Xperia Tablet Z "one of the best examples of Android tablets currently available," Hall says that its design is almost unchallenged and its selling feature of being waterproof is definitely useful. This tablet's downsides are that it doesn't have as good a display as the Samsung Nexus 10 and it doesn't run the latest version of Android.
Review: Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review, Chris Hall, May 29, 2013
Andy Vandervell gives faint praise to the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, saying that it is "among the most capable 10-inch Android tablets around but that it doesn't really do any one thing really well. Its unique selling point of being waterproof is useful if you plan on using your tablet around water, but otherwise you'd do better looking at the Apple iPad or Google Nexus 10.
Review: Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review, Andy Vandervell, June 11, 2013
This British review site ranks the Sony Xperia Tablet Z top in its list of the best tablets, calling it "[s]leek, powerful, iconic" and highlighting that it's really light in weight yet looks "premium." The reviewers really enthuse over the Xperia Z's light weight that allows the user to hold the tablet for a long time. They also highlight that Sony has added some useful apps o the Android operating system without overpowering it.
Review: Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review, Phil Lavelle, May 31, 2013
8. Expert Reviews
"Easily Sony's best android device to date" is how reviewer Tom Morgan describes the Sony Xperia Tablet Z. Sony's Brava engine works well in this tablet to increase the color contrast and vibrancy, though the camera's performance didn't particularly impress the reviewer.
Review: Sony Xperia Tablet Z Review, Tom Morgan, May 24, 2013