Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review: The tablet of choice for multimedia lovers
A full sized-tablet in 8-inch clothing.
- Powerful hardware
- Water resistant
- PlayStation 4 Remote Play
- Thin and light profile
- Mediocre camera performance
- More expensive than rivals
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
The styling of the Z3 Tablet Compact is identifiably Sony. Thick bezels frame the 8-inch screen, the tablet weighs a light 270 grams and is thin at 6 millimetres. A bespoke power button lines one side while charging contacts punctuate the other. Polycarbonate plastic accounts for most of the tablet, though metal corners grant the thin slate much needed rigidity.
The screen spans 8-inches, has a 1920x1200 resolution and a density of 283 pixels-per-inch. It has been designed for use in portrait orientation and, if you have fingers long enough, you’ll be able to hold it in one hand. This is not necessarily comfortable as much as it is possible to do.
Note: The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact reviewed by Good Gear Guide is on loan from Yatango Shopping. GGG will update this article once we receive an Australian loan unit from Sony.
Tablets are typically pigeon-holed as productivity tools; the Z3 Tablet Compact ditches this stereotype for one better suited to multimedia. The screen is of a high calibre, with vibrant colours, a sharp resolution and wide viewing angles. A 16:9 aspect ratio makes it ideal for watching videos and movies, although browsing the web or reading eBooks are tasks more comfortable on the 4:3 Apple iPad Mini 3.
Flanking the screen are inconspicuous stereo speakers. These speakers are barely visible, and yet they produce audio loud enough to cause the chassis to vibrate, much in the same way bass in a car causes the rear-view mirror to quiver.
The Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet runs Android 4.4 KitKat. Sony has differentiated the software with a complementary overlay. The Z3 Tablet Compact ships with many third party applications, though all of them can be uninstalled out of the box. Even some Sony applications can be removed.
Gamers entrenched in the PlayStation ecosystem should give the Z3 Tablet Compact consideration. The tablet supports Sony’s Remote Play feature, which makes it possible to use the Z3 Tablet Compact’s display for PS4 games in lieu of a television’s screen.
Games are streamed smoothly, in real time, at times avoiding stop-start playback by dropping some frames. Remote Play is not some half-baked gimmick, but rather a genuine alternative that lets you set your PS4 up on the best screen in the house, and then still game when that same screen is in use.
The Z3 Tablet Compact proves to be the best product for Sony’s Remote Play as it’s large enough to appreciate the graphics, and yet small enough to comfortably work as a remote control.
Waterproofing the tablet hasn’t taxed its appearance. The Z3 Tablet Compact will work fine in water 1.5 metres deep for a straight thirty minutes. Most won’t encounter such conditions, but the additive serves other purposes.
Wet hands won’t stop you from using the tablet during tasks as varied as cooking, swimming or reading in a tub. One Good Gear Guide staffer could use the perk to stream basketball matches over NBA League Pass while showering.
Some companies have to make concessions on size and weight to accommodate waterproofing; the Z3 Tablet Compact is not one of these products. It offers waterproofing while remaining one of the thinnest and lightest on the market
Sony cameras have a history of making Good Gear Guide staffers swoon. The Z3 Tablet Compact marks one of the rare occasions where we’re not impressed. Both the 8.1 megapixel camera at the back and the 2.1 megapixel camera up front perform well in ideal lighting, but suffer from image noise in conditions where lighting is anything other than ideal. The cameras are adequate but, not surprisingly, a far cry from the standard set by Sony smartphones.
Sony’s introductory tablet is technically its most powerful. Whereas the Z2 Tablet packs a 2.3GHz quad-core CPU, the Z3 Tablet Compact’s quad-core CPU is clocked at 2.5GHz. The rest of the internals are near identical, with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.
Integrated into the tablet is a 4500 milliamp-hour battery. Good Gear Guide used the tablet over a one week period. Our tablet, sourced from online retailer Yatango Shopping, accommodated a 4G compatible SIM card. We used the tablet mostly for emails, web-browsing, reading, playing music and watching videos. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact lasted 3 days and 3 hours under these real-world conditions. Playing a little Real Racing 3 on the tablet and some Assassin’s Creed Unity over PlayStation Remote Play dropped battery life to 2 days and 16 hours.
The Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet from Sony is among the best miniature tablets on the market. Often small tablets are consistently small on hardware, software and features. The Z3 Tablet Compact differs by delivering the same powerful innards and a replete feature-set found in top-tier, full-sized rivals.
Fans of all sorts of multimedia will be well served by this tablet and shouldn’t hesitate to pay Sony’s $499 asking price — it’s worth it.
Others fond of web-browsing or are interested in ‘optimising productivity’ would be wise to consider the year old iPad Mini 2. At $369, the year old tablet is fiercely competitive.
Join the newsletter!
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
cloudandco Smart Cane
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Apple iPhone X
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Bose SoundLink Micro
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Xbox One X
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft takes $550 off the Alienware 15 gaming laptop as time runs out on PC deals
- How to automatically mute a website within Google Chrome, forever
- Amazon's Echo Show has dropped in price by $80
- FCC votes to kill net neutrality in an unsurprising move. What happens now?
- Microsoft knocks $550 off the fantastic Dell XPS 13 as last-minute PC deals get crazier
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- Xbox One X review: Brave new world
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTService Desk/Technical Support - Windows OS & MS Office SuiteOther
- TPTransition ManagerVIC
- FTNet Technical Lead - Funds Management Products -Leading FintechOther
- CCNetwork Engineer (Voice)NSW
- TPTechnical WriterACT
- TPLead Solutions Architect - SAP HCMQLD
- FTFull Stack Java Developer with front-end focusOther
- CCSenior Program ManagerNSW
- CCPatching ManagerVIC
- FTBroker Support/ Applications SupportOther
- CCSenior Development DBA - OracleNSW
- FTSecurity Business Analyst - $850 per dayOther
- TPProgram Change Manager - LIS Program - HealthQLD
- PTAxway developersVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTPMO Lead / Centre of Excellence LeadOther
- FTPart-time Project Administrator (Agile) - TelecommunicationsOther
- CCMS Dynamics Technical Consultant - SydneyNSW
- FTSecurity DevOps EngineerOther
- CCChange specialist OR Junior Change managerNSW
- TPELearning and Change OfficerVIC
- FTPython and Java DeveloperOther
- CCISAM AdministratorVIC
- CCSQL Server Database AdministratiorNSW