We put together Sony's latest Xperia Tablet Z, which reportedly has the highest levels of water resistance (IP55 & IP57), side-by-side with Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 combining the S Pen functionality, to help readers decide which one to buy.
Here is how the Xperia Tablet Z and the Galaxy Note 10.1 does against each other
Xperia Tablet Z vs Galaxy Note 10.1: Display
Sony Xperia Tablet Z and Samsung's Galaxy Note both feature 10.1in display. But the key difference in terms of screen technology is the Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with a Wide Extended Graphics Array (WXGA) LCD display whereas Sony's Xperia tablet features a full HD Reality Display powered by second generation Mobile BRAVIA Engine.
As claimed by Sony, the BRAVIA Engine 2 delivers an even better viewing by combining real-time contrast optimisation to the sharpness, high-quality colour management and noise reduction. Additionally, with the widest spectrum of colours the Xperia Tablet Z offers vivid and clear viewing.
The Galaxy Note 10.1 sports a screen resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels, giving it a pixel density of 149 pixels per inch (ppi). This is almost similar with the resolution and pixel density of Samsung's newly announced 10in Galaxy Tab 3. The Note 10.1, according to a review by IBTimes UK, has a bright screen, with colours correctly saturated. It offers better viewing experience, with due credit to the PLS LCD technology employed by Samsung.
The Reality Display of Xperia Tablet Z, on the contrary, features higher screen resolution, at 1920 x 1200 pixels and also carries more number of pixels than the Note 10.1, with a pixel density of 224 ppi.
The pixel density of Xperia Tablet Z although does not match with Apple's fourth generation iPad featuring a high resolution Retina display (264 ppi) but it is close enough and difficult to make out the difference, suggests a review by IBTimes UK.
Xperia Tablet Z vs Galaxy Note 10.1: Dimensions
The Xperia Tablet Z is 266mm tall by 172mm wide by 6.9mm thick. Considering the physical dimensions, the Xperia tablet is slightly larger but less wider than the 10in Galaxy Note. Besides, Xperia Tablet Z is reasonably thinner than the Note 10.1 featuring a thickness of 6.9mm only. Sony boasts that the Xperia Tablet Z is world's slimmest 10.1in Android running tablet.
The Xperia Tablet Z is a lightweight device. It is approximately 102g lighter than the Galaxy Note 10.1, weighing just 495g only.
Galaxy Note 10.1: 262 x 180 x 8.9mm
Xperia Tablet Z: 266 x 172 x 6.9mm
Xperia Tablet Z vs Galaxy Note 10.1: Operating System
The Galaxy Note 10.1 was launched with Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) software version and was later upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Currently it is running on slightly upgraded version of Jelly Bean software, Android 4.1.2.
The Android 4.1.2 brings an array of enhanced features such as revamped user interface, better notification system and home screen management, an improved voice search, text input with offline voice typing, enhanced camera and Android Beam.
The Xperia with Tablet Z was shipped Android 4.1.2. However, Sony promised that the device will be upgraded to the latest version of Jelly Bean, Android 4.2, sometime after the market launch.
Xperia Tablet Z vs Galaxy Note 10.1: Processor and RAM
The Xperia Tablet Z is powered by Snapdragon S4 Pro chip featuring a quad-core krait processor with each core running at clock speeds up to 1.5GHz, and paired with Adreno 320 graphics unit. Sony's flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z featuring a 5in HD Reality Display also uses the similar processor.
The Xperia Tablet Z, as notes Sony, is the first tablet to run on Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, which has been benchmarked to be a powerful processor. This processor was first introduced in the Mobile Development Platform for Android tablet (MDP/T), which is exclusively designed for developers and manufacturers.
The Galaxy Note 10.1, on the contrary, uses company's own Exynos 4412 chip featuring a quad-core Cortex-A9 processor with each core running at clock speeds up to 1.4GHz, and paired with Mali-400MP graphics unit.
This is the similar quad-core processor that powers the third generation Galaxy S smartphone, the Galaxy S3. Benchmark tests suggest this is an equally powerful processor.
The Xperia Tablet Z and the Note 10.1 have 2GB of RAM each.
Xperia Tablet Z vs Galaxy Note 10.1: Camera
The Xperia Tablet Z features a primary camera of 8.1 megapixels with Exmor R for Mobile image sensor which is claimed to be the first image sensor with HDR (High Dynamic Range) video for smartphones. The HDR imaging technology is used to capture clear photo against strong backlight.
The Xperia tablet comes with a 2.2 megapixel for video calls. Both cameras can record 1080p video in 30 frames per second (fps). The other camera technologies include Burst Mode, Scene recognition, Sweep Panorama, Smile detection, Face detection, Touch focus and Superior Auto.
The Galaxy Note 10.1, unlike the Xperia tablet, has a five megapixel rear-facing camera with technologies including auto focus and LED flash. The camera can capture 720p video at 30 fps. The device also has a 1.9 megapixel front camera. The front camera carries a feature called Smart Stay which recognises when the user in looking at the device and locks when the user is looking away. This feature was first introduced in the Galaxy S3.
Xperia Tablet Z vs Galaxy Note 10.1: Connectivity
The Note 10.1 offers Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4GH and 5Ghz), Wi-Fi Channel bonding, Wi-Fi direct, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP. Besides, both devices are capable of supporting LTE network speeds.
The Xperia Tablet Z also offers Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual band, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth v4.0 with A2DP. Besides the device is Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled.
However, both Sony's and Samsung's tablets support LTE network speeds.
Xperia Tablet Z vs Galaxy Note 10.1: Storage
Both the 10in tablets are available in two storage variants: 16GB and 32GB and support microSD card for additional storage space up to 64GB.
Xperia Tablet Z vs Galaxy Note 10.1: Battery
The battery of Galaxy Note 10.1 stores 1000mAh more power than the Xperia Tablet Z which runs with a 6000mAh battery.
The Note 10.1 offers a claimed standby time up to 1500 hours and talk time up to 33 hours and 20 minutes.
The Xperia Tablet Z, on the contrary, believed to deliver standby up to 890 hours and video playback time up to nine hours and 50 minutes and music listening up to 110 hours.
Sony has also added Battery STAMINA mode in the Xperia tablet; company's unique battery management technology which improve standby time up to four times by closing power hungry apps whenever the screen is off and starting then up again when the screen turns on.
Xperia Tablet Z vs Galaxy Note 10.1: Price
The 16GB Wi-Fi version of Galaxy Note 10.1 priced at £349 (Price according to Carphone Warehouse) is approximately £50 cheaper than the Wi-Fi Xperia Tablet Z with similar storage capacity, which is available for purchase at £399.