Sony unveiled its latest high-end tablet a few months ago at IFA 2014, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. That name may be a mouthful, but pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the device. Bringing the best features of its smartphone counterpart to a larger form factor, Sony continues to hit it out of the park with their tablet offerings. Before diving into the upcoming comprehensive review, we’re taking a quick look at the unboxing and give you our first impressions of the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact!

Unboxing

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The white packaging is fairly minimal, with the image of the tablet on the front, some important information along the side, and some generic branding on the bottom. The back shows the key features of the tablet, including the available color options, black and white, along with the various hardware and software  capabilities of the device, such as its IP65/68 certification for resistance against dust and water, and the PS4 mirroring, an unique feature that we’re very excited to try out.

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Opening the box shows you the tablet in all its glory, and below it you’ll find the microUSB cable, the AC wall charging unit, and the expected documentation. And that is all that is really there to it.

First Impressions

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The Compact suffix in the name is indicative that the device is smaller than previous high-end tablets from Sony, which featured 10.1-inch screens, compared to the 8-inch display of the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.

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Looking around the device, you will see the signature Sony power button, with the volume rocker right below, and a headphone jack right at the top, along the right side of the device. On the left is the magnetic pins that can be used with various accessories, along with the microSD expansion slot that is covered by a protective flap. A similar flap is also covering the microUSB port at the bottom of the device. These flaps come off relatively easily, and actually feel quite flimsy, but they do their job – protecting the innards of the Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet from the elements.

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In terms of design, this tablet borrows a lot of elements from its smartphone namesake, including the front-facing speakers. The all-glass back design of the Xperia smartphone line is not to be found however, switched out in favor of a soft touch plastic back that isn’t very prone to fingerprints, and feels great in the hand. All you’ll find on the back is the Sony logo, the Xperia logo, the “N” symbol to indicate NFC, and the rear camera unit, that doesn’t come with a flash. The overall look is very simple but elegant, and is impressively thin and light.

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On the software side of things, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact comes with Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box, but an upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop should be available quite soon. Going through the setup process and making your way to the homescreen shows you Sony’s take on Android with the Xperia UI. As is the case with all recent Sony devices, the UI is very smooth and minimalistic, with a feel that is quite close to stock Android, but with a few useful Sony features baked in.

So there you have it – a quick look at the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact! This tablet has certainly been impressive in the short time I’ve spent with it, and we can’t wait to dive in and further explore its various hardware and software features, which you will see in an upcoming detailed review!

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