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Best in Class

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

The lightest, slimmest and water-resistant-est tablet on the market

If you're reading this section because you plan on buying the Sony Xperia Tablet Z to use as a camera, then we really can't say anything. There are no words. Other than to warn you that you will look like a moron holding this up in the air as if it's a Pentax camera.

Bear in mind, too, that taking photos outdoors on the Sony Xperia Tablet Z isn't ideal in any way, because the glossy screen reflects sunlight and makes it difficult to view in bright, outdoor light.

The camera on the back is a respectable 8.1MP job, with another 2.2MP unit on the front.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

We say "respectable" because it does the job well, but this is by no means a camera replacement. If it were, Sony would have included a flash. Which it doesn't. In fact, what it has done is bundle the software we got on the Xperia Z phone, made it work with a mediocre camera unit on the tablet, applied a bit of sticky tape and sent the Sony Xperia Tablet Z on its merry way.

The software that came as standard on the Xperia Z phone was pretty good - especially the Auto Plus mode, which works out your scene and what you're looking at, and changes the settings all by itself.

But as with the phone, the tablet makes pictures look great as you're looking through the viewfinder, then they go a bit wrong as they save, gaining noise and so on.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

The unit gives a real plethora of scene modes - everything from obvious ones such as Beach to Pet for when you want to Instagram your dog, and Gourmet, which presumably is aimed at those who love to partake in the 'tweetwhatyoueat' hashtag (it's not cool, guys. Seriously, if you're using a tablet to take pictures of food then you're doing life wrong).

Shooting in anything but amazing light yields pretty poor results, as does shooting in the dark, since you have no help in the form of a flash or LED light.

If you have any sense, you'll stick to using the front camera for Skype video calls and put the rest down to experience. That works well enough as advertised.

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is also adept at shooting Full HD video (1080p at 30fps) on both the front and back cameras. Again, you'll need perfect lighting here and a memory card, because those files are huge.

We found that videos shot in decent light still looked quite grainy, and going between really strong light to poor light didn't seem to be something it could cope that well with. On top of that, there's no real depth of field - stand a fair distance away from your subject and it looks on the screen as though you're staring into its mouth.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

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The Sony Xperia Tablet Z's front-facing camera is passable, but a smile makes things look better.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

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Even under bright studio lights, the shot looks grainy.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

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But you can add some pointless effects to hide that.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

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Under bright spotlights photos look OK when small, but not blown up.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

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In poor light, they're not brilliant.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

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And without a flash, there's no hope in darkness.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

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Pet mode doesn't make that much difference. Our pooch still looks cute.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

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Sony Xperia Tablet Z review

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Changing the scene mode makes colours slightly change, but doesn't make much difference overall.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Flash Memory Capacity32 GB
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
GPSYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Product FamilyXperia Z
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Processor ModelAPQ8064
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean
Brand NameSony
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.50 GHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon S4 Pro
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1200
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)495 g
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 4.0
Rear Camera Resolution8.1 Megapixel
Height7.2 mm
Width266 mm
Depth172 mm
Screen ModeWUXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesZ
ManufacturerSony Corporation
Product ModelSGP312GB
Product NameXperia Tablet Z
Product LineXperia
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberSGP312GB/B.CEK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sony.co.uk
Marketing Information

Brilliantly vivid HD display

Xperia™ Tablet Z is built with the latest Sony display technology, for the most vivid viewing imaginable. The 25,6cm (10.1") HD Reality Display is powered by Mobile BRAVIA® Engine 2, which automatically optimises every image. And with the fullest colour display, every scene is richer, brighter and more breathtakingly vibrant.

Package Contents
  • Xperia Tablet Z
  • AC Adapter