- Incredibly thin and light
- Excellent battery life
- Snappy performance
- Water- and dust-proof
- PS4 connection feature laggy and often crashes
- Camera images lack detail and proper contrast
- Display colors oversaturated
While smartphones are getting bigger, the tablet manufacturers seem to be duking it out for the title of top mid-size tablet. Sony has entered the fray with the release of the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. At first glance, it might not necessarily live up to its "compact" name, but once reviewers held it in their hand they understood why Sony tacked on the title. At 0.25 inches thick, it is one of the slimmest tablets available and it weighs only 270 grams. As well, the 16:10 aspect ratio allows it to be much narrower than its competition (the iPad Mini 3) and experts were able to hold it easily in one-hand. As thin and light as it is, critics did not experience any significant bending though CNET warns, "…it does feel a touch fragile." It does, however, have an IP65 and IP68 rating that makes it dust proof and waterproof for up to 30 minutes in up to six feet of water.
Dominating the front of the screen is the 8-inch full HD LCD display. Although it doesn't offer the same resolution or pixel density as the iPad Mini retina display or the LG G3, experts barely noticed any difference in sharpness. As well, they commend the screen for its good contrast and vivid colors though they mention that it tends to be a bit oversaturated. Brightness levels are also good as they were able to read the screen in bright light despite its high reflectivity.
Inside is a 2.5GHz quad-core processor paired with 3GB of RAM. This combination of hardware created a virtually stutter free experience for experts regardless of whether they were just browsing the web or playing graphics-intensive game. As thin as it is, Sony was able to stuff a 4,500mAh battery inside that get it running for around 13 hours in battery draining tests and a little under two days of light usage in real life testing. One of the more interesting features of the tablet is its ability to act as a display for the PlayStation 4. Unfortunately, when put to the test experts experienced frame rate issues, freezes and crashes. Still they add that the technology is still in early stages so they expect it to improve over time.
Sony isn't breaking the mold with their 8MP camera but it did reward experts with a solid performance. Performance-wise, they had no complaints as it provided fast and reliable picture taking and decent autofocus. Image quality, on the other hand, is fair at best. They noticed a lack of fine detail in images as well as problems with contrast, though surprisingly low light images were fairly clear when compared to similar low end cameras. Still, TechRadar states, "You're probably not going to want to frame any of these shots."
Overall, reviewers had few complaints about the Z3 Tablet Compact and would recommend it over its competitors despite its flaws. Stuff.TV states, "…the Z3 Tablet Compact is a lovely thing. It's a slim, light and reliable couch or commute companion."
What the Critics Are Saying...
- Paul Cooper, Beta News
The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is an incredible update to what was already one of the best tablet offerings on the market. It's incredibly light, beautifully made, and high-powered. Anyone looking to buy a tablet who has a bit of cash to burn should definitely put it firmly into their shortlist of tab...
- Juan Vega, Android Guys
The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is definitely one of our favorite tablets right now. With excellent performance, fantastic build quality, and great added features, the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact should be on everyone’s wishlist.
- Eugene Kim, PC Magazine
The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a refined, powerful Android tablet that exudes the premium feel Sony hangs its hat on. But pricing the tablet at full-sized iPad Air 2 levels seems misguided, especially as demand for premium Android tablets continues to decline. Those still in the market for a high-e...
- Matthew Miller, ZDNet
The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is an excellent Android tablet, but is likely priced $80 to $100 too high for mass consumer sales. The audio and video experience is excellent, it was a joy to carry such a light tablet, and it has just about everything one could want in a tablet.
- Jamie Rigg, Engadget
Sony's Z3 Tablet Compact is a well-made, thin and light device with a stunning display, brisk performance and robust battery life.
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