Top-10 of the week
Sony's Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a lovely piece of hardware. It's light on flair, has a borderline-terrible camera, mediocre stereo speakers and a slightly tired Android build. On the flipside, though, it has a fantastic display (even if it is only a 1080p panel), outstanding performance and long battery life. Maybe I'm just boring, but the facet I like most is how thin and light the tablet is. I haven't really wanted for a new slate since I picked up a discounted OG iPad mini many moons ago. While I've been using the Z3 Tablet Compact, I've grown to adore how... compliant it is. For me, its size and weight are the most impactful features, but therein lies the problem.
There are other thin and light tablets. Some have higher-resolution screens; others are beautifully designed; and all are cheaper than the $479 Z3 Tablet Compact. A high waterproof rating doesn't justify such a high price, and I shouldn't really be complaining about things like camera performance for that kind of dough, either. I've had the luxury of using the featherweight tablet for an extended period of time -- enough to fall in love with its petite profile -- but I haven't had to drop a cent for the pleasure. While I'd be happy to add one to my gadget repertoire, I simply can't bring myself to drop nearly 500 bones on a tablet that doesn't stand out enough from the crowd. If it were cheaper, maybe - but for now, I'll stick with my two-year-old iPad mini, thanks.
The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is undoubtedly a premium tablet. Its build quality is fantastic, it’s razor-thin, making it easy and convenient to carry around and the water and dust-proofing makes it more practical than its rivals. The addition of PS4 Remote Play alone will be enough to sell it to some, but Android 5.0 also means it will keep feeling like a modern tablet longer than its KitKat-only rivals.
When it first launched, the Z3 Tablet cost £329, but it has now dropped to £264 for the 16GB version and £310 for 32GB. You can also buy the 16GB version with built-in 4G for £340. The £250 Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 is a fraction cheaper and has a higher-resolution screen, but in our eyes it can't beat the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact for build quality or performance. For this reason, the Z3 Tablet Compact wins a Recommended award.