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Is the new dust, water-proof Sony Xperia Tablet Z a winner?

We are going to be blunt about it -- the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is the first tablet without a Cupertino link that has made us go “wow!” Android tablets -- be it Google's Nexus, Amazon's Kindle Fire or any of Samsung's Galaxy Tabs -- have generally fought on hardware rather than design. Well, not with the Xperia Tablet Z. It is an amazing 6.9 mm thin -- thinner than any of the phones out there - and tips the scales at under half a kilo, which is pretty outstanding for something that comes with a 10.1 inch display. Yes, it is made mostly of plasti c, but it has a solid, premium feel to it -- it looks like a sleek slab of black marble when lying on a table. And is dust proof and water resistant as well!

Backing up the style is a lot of substance. The 10.1 inch display has a resolution of 1900 x 1200, and is powered by Sony's Mobile Bravia Engine 2 -- in simple English, watching videos on this is awesome in terms of colours and detail.

Features
The tablet is powered by a quad core processor, comes with 2 GB RAM, 16 GB onboard storage (expandable), an 8.1-megapixel camera and all the connectivity options you would want (yes, including 3G and NFC). It runs on Android 4.1 (not the latest, but good enough), is packed with mail and social connectivity out of the box. And works brilliantly -- it even delivered a very decent eight- nine hours of battery life with push notifications and lots of browsing and bat.

But is all this enough to make us recommend it ahead of the iPad? Alas, no. The Xperia Tablet Z, like its Android brethren, is let down by the paucity of good Android tablet apps -- most apps look “stretched” on that magnificent display.

Verdict
The new iPad scores over it in camera quality and battery life as well. Top that off with a price tag that is definitely on the higher side at R 46,990 (well above the Rs 39,900 for the 3G iPad 16 GB), and we must admit that while the Xperia Tablet Z does set a new benchmark for tablet design, it stops well short of slaying the iPad.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z: 10.1 inch 1900 x 1200 display, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB storage (expandable with memory card), 1.5 GHz quad core processor, 8.1-megapixel rear camera, 2.2-megapixel front facing camera, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, Android 4.1, dust proof, water resistant.
Price: Rs 46,990  

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