According to Sony, the Xperia Z is water-resistant, dust proof and has a razor sharp display. All very nice to have but can it compete with the iPad with battery life, storage and other everyday essentials?
How to buy the best tablet – read our expert guide
Sony Xperia Z vs Apple iPad – price and specs
The iPad with Retina display set the benchmark for all other tablets. A super fast processor combined with impressive battery life means the iPad can handle everyday tasks such as web browsing and video playback with ease . However, with prices ranging from £399 to £739 it’s not cheap.
Instead of undercutting the iPad, Sony has positioned two of its three models at exactly the same price – the 16GB wi-fi only model (£399) and the 16GB wi-fi and 4G model (£499). The only tablet in Sony’s range which is cheaper than the equivalent iPad is the 32GB wi-fi only model, though at £449 it’s only £30 less.
Spec wise the Xperia Z is not far off the iPad and extras like the micro SD card slot will appeal to many buyers. Unfortunately, battery life is pretty disappointing. The Sony clocked up just 387 minutes in our tests, compared to the iPad’s 725 minutes.
Sony Xperia Z – three key features
Bath time with your tablet – The Sony Xperia Z is the first tablet to have passed through our test lab with a claim of being waterproof. So, after going through our standard test programme we decided to see how true these claims are by putting the tablet in water for thirty minutes. The Xperia passed with flying colours so should be safe from tea or water spillages or a drop of rain.
Sounds good – As tablets continue on their quest to be as thin as possible sound quality is never going to be the stand out feature. The sound quality on the Xperia isn’t fantastic but it’s better than most of its rivals, including the iPad.
Expandable memory – The addition of a micro SD card slot means you can double the 16GB tablet to 32GB for under £10. That’s a big advantage over the iPad,
Apple iPad with Retina display – three key features
Instant reaction – The latest iPad reacts instantly and accurately to every touch. Scrolling around web pages is exceptionally smooth and the quickest of any iPad, let alone its Android counterparts. The on screen keyboard is also fantastically easy to use.
Excellent screen resolution - The iPad’s screen resolution of 2048 x 1536 means it’s so sharp you can’t discern the individual pixels, even when holding it up close. Images and text are displayed clearly and the viewing angle is great. In comparison the Xperia Z’s screen resolution is 1920 x 1200.
All-day battery life – If you only have time for a quick 30-minute charge you’ll get over two hours use in return, a full charges provides enough power to see you through 12 hours of movies. These figures are very impressive and make this iPad an ideal travel companion.
Bottom line – which one should I buy?
Ultimately, Sony has its work cut out if it’s to make a dent in the iPad sales figures. The Xperia Z is a good tablet that looks great but it’s let down by poor battery life. The fact that it’s waterproof will appeal to some people, particularly those who like to use their tablet around the house, but for now I can’t see many iPad users turning to Sony in the near future.
Though, if you’ve got your heart set on an Android tablet you could do a lot worse than this newcomer.