Sony Xperia Tablet Z vs. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

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We are once again here today to put into a bullfight two of the hottest tablets of the year: the Xperia Z Tablet of Sony and the latest Galaxy Note 10.1 of Samsung. We’d learned for a good time now that both of these are almost equally hot sellers in the market, each in its different way. We also know that they both have their own manner of putting themselves into respective healthy reputations, among which the brand may be a strong putting factor.

There’s no doubt that the Galaxy Note 10.1, was the first one we knew even from last year. Its release was actually implosive to the market, more if we learned that it was among the first to offer a solid-performing 10-incher monster to the world. We’d love to say also that its release is a no-no to compete with Apple’s product at that time, but its own unique set of features—talking about the included stylus and the TouchWiz interface—makes it plausible enough as well.

On the other hand, the Xperia Tablet Z can be easily considered as an ‘enlarged’ version of the Xperia Z—a smartphone that sits on the royal bench for its class. The Z as a tablet offers the same display size as the Note 10.1, but what was found on the smartphone version of it, all are amplified—if not maintained—to give awed users a more unique experience. The tablet from Sony is also known for being certified as super tough to withstand a meter of water and even exposure to dust. There’s the good display as well that promises the same technology found on Sony’s new line of televisions.

We’d love to talk about these two monsters more in detail, and let me guide you all along.


To put our score sheets to the right pin, and to better help you weigh the features and limitations properly, it’s better that we start with a good look at the price.

Hilariously, the best price for both of these tablets as of this moment writing this article shocked me: the difference is only a dollar; the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 costs $499, while the Sony Xperia Z Tablet is at $498. Take note though, these prices are not the SRPs, and you’d better check out contracts and terms behind these prices. I highly suggest you play around different markets, in luck that you may find a better deal for each.


I cannot say that this aspect is really a strong moving factor to making you buy a product or not, but the design is so spectacular and distinguished for these two bulls that we really want to take a good look.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 has that familiar Samsung design. It has rounded edges and corners, with transparent-like streaks on either side that presumes like little handles for better grip, and has a lovely aluminum metal finish to clam up the chassis. It’s not a unibody one as you’d find on Apple products, but I think the look is enough to satisfy people of different ages and interests.

To make it look even cooler, there’s the S-pen, or simply, the built-in stylus. Actually, it’s not built-in technically, but there’s a good slot right beneath the face of the tablet to where you can slip out the pen for use anytime, anywhere. The pen feature really adds to the overall cool-ness of this tablet, making it look promising in convenience and extra bulk of features even at first glance.

Lastly, the Note 10.1 also now comes in black and white versions, though it might interest me to know if there’s more color variations. The Note 10.1 measures 262x180x8.9mm, and weighs a little more or less than 600 grams depending on the version.

On the other hand, the Xperia Tablet Z virtually features a unibody design, and what makes the contender very competent is its very thin body at only 6.9… now that’s incredibly thin. The design may look boring, but I’d say it has been drawn from the obvious love of people for Apple’s simplicity in refining concepts. The Z is available in black and white as well, has a lot of sharp edges though with a little rounded corners, and comes with a very solid glass finish on all sides for a highly sleek look and feel.

The power button is also kept to a furnish by making it aluminum as well, and what’s better, there’s the IP57 certification for its being dust proof and water resistant—dunking it to your aquarium no deeper than 1 meter would be absolutely fine, then. The materials are all well tuned from a point to the next anchor point, and you can really see and feel the craftsmanship to this design. The look of the Z is more refined for the contemplative ones, but on the practical side, it’s safe for kids to play along.

The Z measures 266x172x6.9mm, and weighs lesser than the Galaxy Note 10.1 as well at only 495grams.


As for me, I’d say Samsung targets people’s practical needs more than Sony does. The latter company does well also, but they seem to focus more on the fun side.

To give all these a little proof, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 has that famous refreshing look from the TouchWiz interface to better complement the Android skin. There’s also the multi-window feature for opening several smaller windows at once, and this really saves a lot of time and even makes you maximize the bigger tablet screen size. Using the stylus with the included set of apps will also make note-taking and doodling a lot more fun, and the added Air View will pop additional details to a lot of things you hover with it.

But the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, for me, take’s the prize more in features. There’s the full HD display that’s just gorgeous because of the BRAVIA technology it uses. That same display also got a gapless screen technology for less glare and more floating effect to each pixel that you may want to count as you use it along. There’s also NFC for one-tap connectivity to compatible devices, and the integrated IR blaster does better than that of the competitor. Lastly, the Note 10.1 has a good camera, but the Z promises a better one with an 8MP camera with an EXMOR R sensor for better low-light shooting.


Just take a look at the details, and you’ll know at first glance:

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1: PLS TFT capacitive multitouch screen at 800x1280p-149ppi, Android Jelly Bean 4.1 with Touch Wiz UI, internal storage of up to 64GB plus expandability of another 64GB, quad-core Exynose 1.4GHz Cortex A9 processor with Mali-400MP GPU, 2GB of RAM, dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, 4G connectivity, 5MP main camera (1.9Mp front), and a non-removable whopping 7000mAh battery.

Sony Xperia Tablet Z:  LED-backlit LCD multitouch at 1200x1920p-224ppi, Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 technology, Android Jelly Bean 4.1, internal storage of only 16GB but expandable to another 64GB, a quad-core Snapdragon processor at 1.5GHz plus a graphics unit of Adreno 320, dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, BT 4.0 with A2DP, 4G, 2GB of RAM, 8MP main camera (2.2MP front), and a good non-removable battery locked at 6000mAh for capacity.


It’s time to hear what these tablets have really in dress and whether they are worthy to buy. Check out these pros and cons.

For the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, the tablet is really solid for watching HD movies without worries of having the batteries dry out in one go. Colors and the contrast level are extremely proper in reproduction, and you can fine-tune these settings along the way to meet your comfort level. The surround sound speakers are also well enough, but the effect still lack depth to make you want a separate set of speakers to bring along. The Z is also a very strong performer to games, and handling it is but extravagantly enjoyable. There’s the PlayStation support as well, so you can opt for a range of games you are accustomed with the said console.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 wins the crown for the creative thinkers who want to doodle all day, spend the spare time making dirt to their camera, or writing notes behind the virtual analog photos. The amount of apps to support the S-Pen is ample enough for the newbies, but advanced users would actually need more. The lack of a better resolution meant that the tablet may not really do well with full HD movies, and all the rest of the features answer to people’s daily needs more than anything else. The good battery life is a sure hit to the needs of the people, but the lack of NFC, a better IR blaster, and better connectivity may make this tablet a slow contender.


I love the design of the Sony Xperia Tablet Z without any bias because of how refined it tasted to me, though the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 may look a little more youthful and less serious. Performance-wise, the Z wins in terms to games and other hardcore apps that you throw at it, but the Note handles multi-tasking a lot more seriously that you really want such a feature. The S-pen is a winner, and thanks to its included slot, there won’t be a hassle bringing it along. We’d love to hear that the Galaxy Note 10.1 gets a better reputation to data features, but outside all of these, the Z still features a lot of advantages over its main rival.

Written by: Wilson Sy, TechSource's certified gadgets correspondent.