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Hands on with the Sony Xperia Tablet Z

These days it can behard for a tablet to stand out from the crowd. They can all seem similar: screen, bezel, and a few ports and buttons. That’s why manufacturers need to step up their inside game, with class-leading components designed to deliver faster performance and more features. Sony got the message.

The Sony Xperia Tablet Z runs like a rocket thanks to the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor, designed to provide silky-smooth Web scrolling, stutter-free movie playback, and console-quality games.

You don’t want a tiny screen for all that good stuff; you want an HDTV that just happens to fit in your lap. And that’s what you’re getting: a gorgeous 10.1-inch HD display at 1,920 by 1,200 resolution. Games, movies, Web pages, and everything else you look at will look incredible. They’ll sound good, too, thanks to the Xperia’s virtual 3D surround-sound hardware.

When the tablet isn’t taking the place of your TV, it can also be a good companion for it thanks to Sony’s TV SideView app, which turns the Z into a universal remote, complete with searchable channel guide and social-networking features.

Although taking pictures with a tablet still feels a little awkward, the Xperia Tablet Z makes sure your snapshots and video will look great.It features an 8-megapixel rear camera and 2-megapixel front one, the latter designed for sharp-looking selfies and Skype calls. A special onboard sensor helps compensate for low-light environments.

Also on board: NFC, something you rarely see in a tablet. With Near Field Communication tech, you can wirelessly transfer photos, documents, and other stuff to other NFC-equipped devices. You can also stream music to speakers and headphones.

As for the outside of the Xperia Tablet Z, there’s more going on than first meets the eye. Only when you turn it sideways, for example, do you realize it’s razor-thin, measuring just a hair over a quarter inch. In fact, it’s one of the thinnest 10-inch tablet available—and one of the lightest at just 1.1 pounds. You’d think such a skinny, lightweight shell would make for an extra-delicate product, but the Xperia is actually water- and dust-resistant—meaning it’s a safer bet for the beach, or the factory floor than just about any other model.

To recap, then, the Sony Xperia Tablet Z packs a blazing-fast processor and loads of advanced features into a dustproof, waterproof tablet with a big, high-def screen, while staying thin and light. It’s as perfectly suited to travel as it is to your couch.

Topics: Snapdragon S4 Processor, Sony, Tablets

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