Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review

Small yet perfectly formed

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review
A small and slim tablet - but is the screen good enough?

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iPad mini 2 and 3

The iPad mini 3 has proved to be one of this year's big disappointments, mostly because it's hardly any different to the iPad mini 2 bar a fingerprint scanner. However, the iPad mini 2 is a very attractive alternative at this point. It's still sold by Apple and just about everywhere else, and costs just £239 ($299, AU$369) for the 16GB edition.

vSony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review

That's comfortably less than the Xperia Z2 Tablet Compact. The Sony has a more vivid screen, but the iPad is a lot sharper, and is otherwise a good replacement, offering a better games library, if not the Sony's Remote Play function.

With expandable memory the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact makes a better portable movie player, but it's hard not to conclude that the iPad mini 2 offers better value for money.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

The Amazon rival has comparable specs in a number of fields, but the key thing to note is that it does not run 'normal' Android but a version of Fire OS, which is a good deal more restrictive.

You don't get access to any of the standard Google suite apps, instead you're left to rely on either Amazon or third-party alternatives. Some people love them, but having the choice offered by normal Android is preferable.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 seemed pretty thin and light when it arrived last year, but nowadays it seems relatively chunky. It weighs 100g more: nowhere near as portable. Next to the iPad, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact and Samsung Tab S, it's quite thick and heavy.

The Kindle Fire HDX's time should be up at £329, but Amazon is yet to give the tablet a much-needed price-drop.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

Perhaps the most alluring Android that might convince you away from the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4. It gets you far superior resolution and a much better screen panel.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4

You also get some extra features, such as an IR blaster, which lets the tablet double-up as a universal remote. For most it represents a slightly better deal than the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. However, it doesn't offer water resistance.

Xperia Z2 Tablet

What about the last Sony tablet? The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet hasn't aged badly thanks to the relatively slow progress in Qualcomm Snapdragon processors and a design that, at the time, set a new standard. It was the original King of slim.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact review

Its 10.1-inch widescreen display has become a bit old hat now, and the 1200p resolution seems a little low now that so many tablets have been bumped up to higher resolutions. Plus, despite being very thin and light, it's nowhere near as handy as the Z3 Tablet Compact.

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.