Sony Xperia Tablet Z vs. iPad 4
It took more than a year for Sony to release another tablet following the moderately successful Tablet S and Tablet P devices. Did the company took the time to further improve the Xperia Tablet Z? Looks like it as this Android slate has lots of things to impress you. But for it to reach more consumer hands, it must first top the still reigning iPad. Could the Tablet Z do this? Let’s find out.
A tablet’s speed depends on two things: internal components and software optimization. We’ll get to the latter of this two. The Tablet Z’s internals is impressive that it rightfully belongs to the top tier tablets of 2013. Headlining its components is the quad-core Qualcomm APQ8064 clocked at 1.5 GHz which is theoretically better than the iPad 4′s dual-core A6X. The Tablet Z also has twice the RAM of the iPad (1 GB).
The Adreno 320 GPU of the Xperia Tablet Z is also good but not quite as good as the PowerVR SGX554MP4 on the iPad 4. Actually, it’s not even better than the iPad 3′s graphics if benchmarks are to be deciding factors. I don’t suggest you take these things seriously though. Usually, the number of cores of the CPU is enough to tell what a tablet can do.
Probably the most talked about thing about the Xperia Tablet Z is how thin it is: it’s 0.1 inch thinner than the iPad 4. Consequently, it’s also lighter at 1.09 lbs vs. 1.44 lbs. Sony also added some dust and water proof certification for the Tablet Z although oleophobic (oil-resistant) coating is still missing.
A couple of ports is available including USB and microSD. This allows you to extend the storage beyond 32GB which is something the iPad can’t do. It also has a micro-SIM slot and will support 4G/LTE.
The Xperia Tablet Z has the same screen size of the Nexus 10 but not the same resolution. That means it’s 1200 x 1920 pixel display is also not better than the iPad 4′s 9.7″ retina screen (1536 x 2048 pixels). But the Tablet Z’s screen is not bad as it is powered by Sony’s Mobile Bravia Engine 2 which effectively boosts contrast ratio and color accuracy.
As expected, the Xperia Tablet Z will ship with Android Jelly Bean. There are two Jelly Bean, BTW, 4.1 and 4.2 and this tablet will come with the older version but an upgrade is said to follow suit. You can learn more about Jelly Bean here. The bottom line is that Jelly Bean is the fastest and most stable Android yet.
The thing is that iOS for iPad is also improving; the number of lags and stutters experienced is still less than its Android counterpart. This is what I meant on software optimization — iOS software and iPad 4 software is matched flawlessly. With Android, you have one software running on different hardware and so a perfect match is hard to achieve.
There is also the difference in the number of apps although that difference has been decreasing with time. There are a lot more good apps in iTunes because Apple is stricter when it comes to the quality of the products their selling. There are also lots of good apps in Google Play but only a few of them would run in the Xperia Tablet Z. Majority of the Android apps available are for smartphones and they look ugly when rendered in a tablet’s bigger screen.
Sony is yet to release any pricing information so we can’t include that factor here. But if it is priced similar to the Nexus 10 ($399), then that as well as its powerful internals and form factor may attract a number of buyers. Battery life could be an issue though but we can’t release any figure before any tests. Its battery pack has less capacity than the iPad 4 so we can’t expect it to reach more than 8 hours. The Xperia Tablet Z is set to be released in Japan this March.