best tablet on the market, bar none....
Easy to remove Sony pre-install garbage, and only a couple of months behind in software updates (just enough to have Nexus owners spot the bugs).
With small tablets getting bigger it came as quite a surprise to me when one of the main Android tablet wallah’s newest devices turned out to also be its smallest. Prior to the launch of the 8-inch Z3 Tablet Compact (sic) Sony’s smallest fondleslab packed a 9.4-inch screen. Yes, I know that ignores the clamshell Tablet P but …
While it's true this is the smallest "tablet" produced by Sony, the Experia Z Ultra is a phablet with a 6.4 inch screen. Though it's only an 800 SOC, it is on KK 4.4.4 with Lollipop promised, it has a SIM slot and it's currently available for between £207 and £235 depending on where you go.
You lose 120px off the side of the screen compared to a tablet, but I bought one as a cheap developer tool a couple of months ago and overall I think it's amazing value for money. Just put a screen protector on it, it has the funny Sony coating over the glass which can scratch.
..as annoying as my Z2 handset? Retains finger grease like it's a precious commodity then shorts like crazy when trying to use the keyboard - never had this with any other phone I've put my greasy mits on (such as the several HTC's I owned before hand) or the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet I have.
Not that I have found so far but I'm not a stickler for these things
Actually typing this reply on my z3 compact tablet - very pleased with it so far. I chose it over the ipad and Samsung offering due to the water proofness as it is small and light enough for the wife to use it as an e-reader in the bath
I'm really liking Sony at the moment - pretty much all their 2014 phones and tablets have been great. And not too much crap pre-installed. May even turn me away from a Nexus if they continue into 2015 at this rate (I'm not a fan of the Nexus 6).
And their commitment to "tinkering" via AOSP is great (even with the disclaimer on their site: "As usual, you should be aware of that this software is not intended for daily use as there are important limitations. For example, the camera is not working and the modem is not enabled, which means you cannot take photos or make phone calls."
Though I do like the Sony for what I use it for, the screen is not great. I bought this due to the PS4 remote play, when my partner is watching the TV, I can play on the Sony. It is good, but the screen is quite contrasty so you lose a lot of detail in the shadows. That is not the main problem though. Hard to explain, but the colours do not look solid, when you see a block of a single colour for example, you see the pixels and the gaps between the pixels. I don't understand how the screen is liked so much by El Reg, given that in fact the quality is really not great. Even viewing photos gives the impression of, I can only explain it as noise (I assume people here know what noise is in regards to photos). Not a bad tablet, only use it for the PS4, oh, plus I use it to stream spotify to my speakers as it sits nicely on the magnetic charging stand for a music control system.
I have to say that I have an iPad mini 2, by far a much better screen in my opinion - the plan was to sell it once I had bought the Sony. I decided to keep it as I did not like to use the sony for reading for example, as the quality when using kindle is not as good as the iPad mini retina. I will also say I don't like android. My comments are just about the screen, but clearly I may be biased as just not a fan of android (though much improved since I first used it on the galaxy s2). I did try to play with the screen settings, to try and solidify the screen, but nothing I do seems to fix this.
Personally, this is a great tablet to play PS4 games (though Sony clearly has made this available just on their products to promote sales) - just wish the screen was a better quality.
This tablet has good specs and a decent aspect ratio (unlike the terrible 4:3 ratio on the Nexus 9, which was a dealbreaker for me), but - like the Nexus 9 - it seems somewhat overpriced to me. It costs the same price as the Galaxy Tab S 10.5" (thanks to a cashback offer), but has nowhere near as good a display.
The Tab S 8.4" and 10.5" models can run CyanogenMod - which is my #1 requirement of *any* Android device so I have no bloatware and frequent updates - and it looks like work has started on CM12 for this Sony tablet. I wouldn't personally consider the Sony until a reasonably complete/stable nightly CM build was available for it. A shame reviewers of Android devices *never* mention CM availability status - to me, it's a major selling point that improves the user experience no end.
I've never really understood peoples obsession with 3rd party ROMs tbh.
Yes early android devices were often riddled with poor quality bloatware which in some cases may have affected battery life and stability, but most have since upped their game. I'm not convinced its relevant any longer.
When I have looked at CM/Other for devices I have owned I am always surprised by the list of compromises they offer, any unique features often no longer work. Weird glitches and poor stability for key features such as GPS seem common.
Then you get your other problems, does the app store now recognise that your device is capable of running the app you want to run?
If your device is rooted, will the app you install actually deign to run?
No the reviews should stick to the device as shipped and simply tell us if the software installed is a dog.
>To use a tablet as an ereader at night it is, in my opinion, essential to be able to tune the colour balance (shift out some of that bright stimulating blueness) - I don't think that's possible without root.
I suspect it is possible. The Z3 Compact has a White Balance panel, allowing RGB levels to be adjusted individually, and some greyscale bars to help calibrate it, along with a 'hold to compare with previous setting' feature. I'm looking at it right now.
Does £30 cashback from Sony at the moment make it any more attractive? It did for me. (I also got it when the missus got 20% off discount at work).
That said, now knowing how good it is, I would have hapilly paid full price. It's the best tablet on the market, better than any iPad (not just because it's waterproof, does noise cancelling, is thinner lighter, and has standard connections and formats).
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