Last year, Australians lost more than $2.8 million (AUD) in fake ATO scams
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review: The tablet of choice for multimedia lovers
A full sized-tablet in 8-inch clothing.
- Powerful hardware
- Water resistant
- PlayStation 4 Remote Play
- Thin and light profile
- Mediocre camera performance
- More expensive than rivals
Price$ 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!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 2 Panasonic Lumix S1 review: Pushing your limits
- 3 Dell G7 review: Growing pains
- 4 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 5 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
Latest News Articles
- The $300 Kano PC is designed to teach your kids what goes into a computer
- These four 'Eyes First' Windows games could do for eye tracking what Solitaire did for the PC's mouse
- Microsoft floats the concept of a dedicated Office key in a closed survey
- The PCI Express 6.0 specification is announced and due to arrive in 2021, with products to follow
- PowerPoint's Presenter Coach will flag your filthy language and other gaffes
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Everything you need to know before you buy a 5G phone in Australia
- Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- Panasonic Lumix S1 review: Hands-On Australian review
- 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