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The Sony Xperia Tablet Z offers one of the sharpest screens on the market. Christopher Pike / The National
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z offers one of the sharpest screens on the market. Christopher Pike / The National

Xperia Z takes a licking, keeps on ticking

The Life: Sony's Xperia Z tablet is a beauty, no two ways about it.

Sony's Xperia Z tablet is a beauty, no two ways about it.

With an appearance not unlike the black monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the device is incredibly light and slim, also offering one of the sharpest screens on the market. The display is gorgeous, the camera is solid and the colours crisp. The tablet is LTE-enabled and uses an Android operating system, which only seems to be getting better with age.

Executives are unlikely to be seen using the tablet for gaming, but for everything else, the built-in Snapdragon S4 Pro quad core chip offers plenty of processing heft, and it is laden with useful features.

Some of these seem tailor-made for the boardroom, such as a remote control that can be used to activate Sony TVs.

Sony also claims it is the world's first waterproof tablet. Within a review context, a statement like this can only be taken as a challenge.

So we held it under a tap for a while, spilled coffee on it, and emptied bottles of Al Ain mineral water on to its screen. And true enough, the Xperia Z continued working.

You can even read books in the bath. While that function may not seem immediately relevant, it does offer a critical, unadvertised perk - you can wash it.

That means no more grubby iPad screens or snide commentaries from underlings about the cleanliness of your once-shiny electronic device. That is a concern not just for obsessive-compulsives - the screen is so pretty you will want to keep it clean.

There are minor niggles: The tablet is a little too large for comfortable typing. The removable covers for the USB and headphone jacks are fiddly, and given enough time at the bottom of a briefcase they seem likely to snap off. And one major issue - it took an age to charge. This may have been the fault of the cable used, but once the battery had run out, it took several hours between plugging in and being able to switch on again.

But for the most part it does everything you would want it to with a few interesting bells and whistles, and it's a solid alternative to Apple's iPad.

The Xperia Z tablet (16Gb) retails for Dh2,495 at Tejuri.com.



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