Sony Xperia Z Tablet $500
If you want a 10-inch tablet that’s light, waterproof (up to a point) and performs almost as well as an iPad, Sony’s Xperia Z may be it.
The 1920×1200 display may not be as good as the iPad’s Retina but it knocks spots off the competition. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2G B of RAM, an 8 megapixel camera, and running Android 4.1, it is very capable, and, bought from Sony direct, has a bundled 8 GB micro SD card to for expanded storage.
Interestingly this one has an infrared emitter for controlling your TV, so we’re starting to see the convergence and the use of tablets as a domestic controller. Expect to operate your heating and microwave over Bluetooth soon.
The Xperia is heading toward a range of ruggedised products which is where tablets need to go next. It’s rain-proof, spill-proof, you can rinse the outdoor mud and kitchen baking ingredients off it; just don’t try scuba diving.
It’s lightweight and portable at 1.09 lbs, it’s lighter than an iPad (1.44 lbs). It’s also slimmer: 6.9 mm versus 9.4 mm. The downside? Battery life is disappointing. But for $500, this could be the non-iPad to get. AJS