Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact – the portable, lifeproof compact tablet

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At just 6.4mm thick and weighing 270 grammes, Sony claims that its Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is the world’s slimmest and lightest. There are plenty of features though and it comes equipped with a Qualcomm quad-core 2.5GHz processor, 3GB of RAM, Adreno 330 graphics and 16GB of storage expandable via a microSD card up to 128GB.

It has an 8-inch 1920 x 1200 screen using tempered glass with an anti-fingerprint coating. Added to all that is PS4 Remote Play allowing you to run PlayStation 4 games and the fact that it’s dust and water proof.

Many of these features are shared with the Xperia Z3 smartphone but the Z3 Tablet Compact has a larger-capacity 4,500mAh battery and a lower spec main camera, 8.1Mp (full-HD video) at the back and 2.1Mp at the front. It does come with Sony’s camera features like Movie Creator, Sound Photo and AR Fun though.

It’s the spec that concerns PC Advisor which notes,

“It’s great to see Sony finally make a smaller tablet and the 8in form factor is proving to be increasingly popular. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is super thin and light and is waterproof to boot. Hardware is decent but not mind-blowing so rivals like the Galaxy Tab S offer more gadgetry. Software is easy going with one key new feature in the form of PS4 Remote Play.”

TechRadar is impressed by the size but critical of the screen spec, “On the one hand, it’s taking the best of Sony’s smartphone tech and spreading it smoothly through a slim and lightweight tablet that’s far less cumbersome than the likes of the (already pretty portable) Xperia Z2 tablet.

“On the other hand, it’s being brought out with an eight-inch screen that’s nowhere near as sharp as the competition in the smaller slate arena, which will instantly put some users off purchase, given that spec comparison is still one of the primary ways to decide which tablet to go for.”

However, it does go on to say, “…the strides Sony has made in display technology, this year included, mean that even a low-res display is boosted to look better.” Sony’s Triluminos technology helps with games and video footage but the resolution is likely to show itself with less sharp letters when loading web pages.

There’s some damning with faint praise going on over at Trusted Reviews, “Longwinded name aside, this is a reasonably impressive offering. A sleek, stylish body belies a veritable feast of high-end components. That said, this tablet is hardly breaking new ground. A Full HD display joins a quad-core CPU and an 8-megapixel rear-mounted camera on the strong specs sheet.”

It does seem impressed by the screen’s response though,

“Capable of diffusing glare in bright, direct sunlight, the Tablet Compact’s screen was highly responsive during early tests. It swiftly skipped through menu screens and effortlessly handled all manner of multi-finger gesture controls.”

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The Xperia Z3 Tablet is available to pre-order from the Sony website with prices starting at £329 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, an extra 16GB of memory adds £50 but opt for the LTE/4G version and you’ll pay a hefty £429.

Wired concluded its preview by saying, “If the price is right, this slim slate could be one of the best tablet offerings on the market.” We’ve a feeling that, certainly for the 4G model, Sony’s pricing may be just a little high.