Sony Mobile is back with a bang and making a strong comeback in the consumer device segment. When I first saw the Android-driven Xperia Z smartphone and the Xperia tablet at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, I was very impressed with the styling and the accessories.
The Xperia Z smartphone was released in South Africa a few weeks ago, and has been receiving rave reviews.
This week Sony released the Xperia Tablet Z into the South African market. The first thing you notice when you take it out the box is how thin and light it is. With a 10,1-inch reality display, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z truly is the world’s thinnest tablet at just 6,9 mm thick, and weighing just 495 g.
The team that designed the Sony Bravia TV also designed the Xperia Tablet Z’s screen, so it has the same warmth, richness, and clarity you would find in the Bravia screens. It features the latest Snapdragon Quad Core processor, and runs the Android operating system. It has all the bells and whistles when it comes to connectivity, including LTE. It has 16GB of storage space, and the device can accommodate a microSD card up to 64GB.
It features an 8MP camera at the back, and a 2MP camera in the front, and shoots really good photographs and video. The sound is also impressive; Sony calls it S-Force Front Surround 3D – the speakers are placed in such a way that you get a warm sound experience whichever way the tablet is positioned.
Another cool thing about this tablet is that it is waterproof and dustproof.
It was the waterproofing part that attracted most of the attention. I submerged the device in a container filled with water while a movie was playing. The group of people who watched me with shock and horror, had a look of disbelief when I took the tablet out the water to reveal no water damage and the movie still playing. The device can go one meter underwater for 30 minutes. Truthfully though, it is designed to withstand spills and splashes and not built for underwater photography enthusiasts. Sony has used this feature as a unique selling point, and has also incorporated this in their Xperia Z smartphones.
This is very much a media consumption device. Sony has gone back to their core strengths with integrated media applications like “Walkman”, movies and albums built into the Android platform.
The Sony Entertainment Network is massive; it features more than 18 million songs, and over 100 000 movies and TV series.
The problem is that this vault of incredible content is not yet available to South African consumers. Sony said they are working on licensing, and told me that these services will be available soon.
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a great device that is beautifully built and definitely one of the best tablets out there. It is robust, it stands out, and the styling makes this gadget stand out above the rest. But it will cost you R9 000, which is expensive when you consider that a 32GB, 4th generation Apple iPad with retina display costs R7 999.