Sony Xperia Tablet S Review and Gaming Performance

Posted by B. Johnson
February 23, 2014 | 0 comments
Sony Xperia Tablet S Review and Gaming PerformanceHi guys, welcome back to this website! I’m glad to see you again here.

On this website, i actually never made any personal review of Sony Xperia tablets.

I know – there are some parts from this website where i’ve been mentioning quite a bit about some Sony tablets in my older articles, which talked about great high-end gaming tablets.

Well, it’s not because Sony Xperia tablets are not worth recommending for you, especially if you’re into tablet gaming.

But it’s more because most of Sony Xperia tablets, even all of them (Sony Xperia Tablet S, P and Z), are high-end tablets sold at premium price point.

So it’s really easy for me to assume that these Sony tablets will also be great for gaming. It’s just no brainer.

Sony Xperia Tablet S benchmarks and gaming performance

However, even though all of Sony Xperia tablets are great gaming tablets, i believe many of you here are really eager to know more about the gaming capability of these Sony tablets, aren’t you?

Well, that’s why, in this next personal review, i’m interested to bring up one of Sony Xperia tablets on this website and see how it goes in terms of performance, especially gaming performance.

Anyway, the first Sony Xperia tablet that i’m about to share to you in this review is Sony Xperia Tablet S, which is a 10.1-inch Android tablet sporting the resolution of 1280x800 pixels (translated into 720p display), plus accompanied with NVIDIA’s homemade processor, Tegra 3, one of my favorite mobile processors 2 years ago.

Okay then, if you’re interested to get to know with this tablet, especially its gaming performance, then here you go, my personal review of Sony Xperia Tablet S.

But as usual, let me give you first the brief introduction of this tablet.

Introduction

In tablet-making business, there are not many players that can have the similar massive success just like Apple with its iPad.

Amazon, Samsung or Asus may have shipped millions of their devices to the global markets ever since their first debuts a few years ago after the first iPad arrived.

But none of these tablet manufacturers managed to reach the sales record of iPad every quarter of the year.

Sony Xperia Tablet S Review and Gaming PerformanceAnd that’s no surprise because iPad has all what it takes to be a great quality tablet.

It has great premium design and material, fast performance, smooth experience, powerful gaming performance (given its great GPU, game optimization and software tweaks), long lasting battery life, the “BEST” camera on tablet (yes, the BEST), much bigger catalog of well-optimized apps and many more.

And these are some sectors that not many Android tablets can have. However, that argument is tackled by one tablet manufacturer. And that’s Sony.

This tech giant with its tablet creation, Sony Xperia Tablet S, manages to brings something that is so refreshing for Android tablet market.

Unlike other regular Android tablets out there, Sony Xperia Tablet S is just so much even better in many ways.

It has a fast performance, smooth experience, great gaming capability (that’s even able to play old PS 1 games), awesome software, rich-content features, and the most importantly, great build quality and premium design, the sector that has been lacking on most of Android tablets, even until today.

But the question is clear, does Sony Xperia Tablet S have all what it takes to be a great gaming tablet and beat the superiority of Apple’s iPad?

Well, we’re about to find out about that in this personal review. So you better stick around, okay!

Design

In the design sector, Sony Xperia Tablet S definitely has the superiority compared to other regular Android tablets out there, even the high-end ones like Asus Transformer or Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1, which both look so generic and have no distinctive characteristic that make them unique.

It’s the other way around with Sony Xperia Tablet S.

This Sony’s tablet looks really solid with those rounded corners that are not fully rounded like, say, Samsung’s slates.

The front side of this tablet may look so generic with other Android tablets out there, but the dark bezels on the front, which blend perfectly with the dark screen (of course when it’s turned off), really makes this tablet look so elegant and premium.

Sony Xperia Tablet S Review and Gaming Performance

Sony Xperia Tablet S Review and Gaming Performance
In fact, i think from many other tablets, this Sony Xperia Tablet S and iPad are definitely 2 of the most elegant looking tablets on the market.

I bet they would look cool when used by executives or even employees around the office.

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  • No SIM
  • Released 2012, September
  • 9.4 inch LED-backlit LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 800 x 1280 pixels, (~161 ppi pixel density)
  • Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A9 Nvidia Tegra 3 Chipset
  • ULP GeForce GPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Android OS 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich, upgradable to v4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine
  • IPX-4 certified - splash proof
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera, capable to take 1080p@30fps Video
  • 1 MP front-facing camera, capable to take 720p videos
  • SD Card slot for up to 32 GB
  • 16/32/64 GB Internal storage,
  • No GPRS
  • No EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth
  • Java MIDP emulator
  • No Radio
  • Infrared port
  • USB
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 6000 mAh battery
As a top shelf tablet, then the specs of Sony Xperia Tablet S just cannot be compromised at all, especially when other rivals across the market like iPad, Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 or Asus Transformer line are packing some heavy monster specs inside their machines.

Therefore, this Sony’s tablet must be equipped with the right internals in order to compete with its high-end rivals.

Luckily, Sony Xperia Tablet S is not gonna disappoint on the spec sheet.

Sony Xperia Tablet S comes with a 10.1-inch display sporting the resolution of 1280x800 pixels, which used to be the higher resolution screen on tablet market in 2012, although Google Nexus 10 managed to prove that in 2012, it was the first tablet on earth with 2.5K display (2560x1500 pixels).

However, having only the 720p display for 2012’s tablet is still considered as high-end, of course around that year.

Besides that HD display, this tablet is also packing a quad-core Tegra 3 processor clocked at 1.3GHz per core, 8MP camera on the back that is able to take 1080p videos, 1MP camera on the front, Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich comes pre-installed, 6000mAh power battery, TimeScape UI and many more.

Not to mention, this tablet is also certified with IPX-4 or splash proof certification.

Overall, Sony Xperia Tablet S definitely deserves to be positioned alongside iPad, Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1, Asus Transformer Prime tablet and other high-end rivals.

I think its 8MP camera, Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 6000mAh power battery and the splash proof certification are the highlights on this tablet.

Screen

As a 2012-released tablet, Sony Xperia Tablet S is packing the screen that used to be considered as the higher-resolution screen on the market.

And that is a 1280x800 pixel display or known in tech world as 720p display.

The screen of this tablet is actually not so special especially given that most of 10-inch tablets today already adopt 1080p or even 2.5K (2560x1500 pixels) display.

However, the great thing of using this display is that, Sony Xperia Tablet S is only powered by Tegra 3 processor, which is power hungry with its 4 set of cores, therefore, by using this 720p display, the whole performance of this tablet will be much faster and smoother, plus it will save many energy from its battery, thus making the tablet last much longer, even for doing some heavy tasks at once.

In the real world quality, using 720p resolution on a big 10.1-inch display is still considered as good, if not the best.

The screen still looks nice and sharp, everything on the screen looks crisp and clear, plus the experience of using this tablet is still better given its huge screen real estate.

Even so, you will always need to do pinch-to-zoom gesture whenever your eyes can’t read the text or see the images perfectly, especially when reading books or magazines, or browsing the web.

User Interface and Features

When it comes to User Interface, Sony Xperia Tablet S is actually more superior than other competing tablets out there, even the iPad.

Sony Xperia Tablet S comes pre-installed with Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box (which can be upgraded to Jelly Bean) and Sony Xperia’s traditional TimeScape UI, which basically resembles with other Xperia devices under the same generation (Sony Xperia S).

However, the UI of this tablet is still similar with other Android tablets out there, with homescreen that can be filled with widgets, notification window, standard navigation bar and app drawer and many other standard things.

The good thing is, Sony Xperia Tablet S also comes pre-loaded with some awesome visual effects and presentations all over its apps, like on music player, video player, photo gallery and many other apps.

Not to mention, you’ll also get some great and useful features, like multi-window mode that allows you to float multiple apps on the screen at the same time (like music player, calculator, video player, web browser, etc), which also can be found on other Android tablets from Asus, Acer, Samsung, LG and more.

Performance

In terms of performance, Sony Xperia Tablet S is probably similar with the performance of 1st-gen Google Nexus 7, given that they both share some similar type of specs, from a 720p display (1280x800 pixels), a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM and 12-core GeForce ULP GPU.

However, in real world quality, the overall performance of this Sony’s tablet may not be as fast and smooth as Google’s tablet because Nexus 7 comes pre-installed with Google stock Android OS with no heavy skins and bloatwares, which contradicts with Sony Xperia Tablet S that uses some heavy TimeScape UI, rich features and some bloatware apps that are actually just the duplicates of Google stock pre-loaded apps.

And that’s just such a waste for its memory that is only 1GB.

The good thing is, Sony has been known as a great device manufacturer so it knows really well how to well-optimize the heavy software of this tablet and make some tweaks here and there in order to make its performance run faster and smoother, even with those heavy skins, bloatwares and cool 3D visual effects/presentations all over its pre-installed apps.

Besides, Sony Xperia Tablet S is only packing a medium resolution screen (1280x800 pixels) so it will not give too many burden to its hardware, thus making it run faster without using too much energy from its battery, which is already huge 6000mAh.

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Just like the 1st-gen Google Nexus 7, the gaming performance of Sony Xperia Tablet S is also not very different one to another.

So if Google’s tablet is more than capable to run some heavy and graphics intense games like Need for Speed Most Wanted, Asphalt 7: Heat, Modern Combat 4, GTA Vice City, N.O.V.A 3, ShadowGun, Dead Trigger, Horn or Real Racing 3, then you can also expect the same thing on Sony Xperia Tablet S.

This tablet is also capable to run these high performing games, all in buttery smooth performance and the most importantly, in full graphics, just like on Google Nexus 7.

However, for the latest games like GTA San Andreas and Asphalt 8: Airborne, this Sony’s tablet may not be able to run these games smoothly in full graphics (Asphalt 8 can’t even run smoothly on the 1st-gen Google Nexus 7 in “medium” graphics setting).

The good news is, these 2 games provide users the setting to control the graphics and visual effects according to the hardware of the tablet.

So if GTA San Andreas or Asphalt 8 run so laggy on Sony Xperia Tablet S, you might want to set the graphics to medium or even low level in order to cut loose some unnecessary elements and graphics in the game, thus making the games run smoothly in the long run.

Unlike Google Nexus 7, there are some other great things of having Sony Xperia Tablet S.

Given that this tablet is manufactured by Sony, then it’s no surprise if the company loads its best popular gaming product on the tablet, PS 1 emulator.

So with this emulator, you’ll be provided with the emulator that allows you to play many PS 1 games like Crash Bandicoot, etc, which will be presented as touchscreen games. So there will be some touch controls floating around the screen.

Not to mention, as a Tegra-powered tablet, Sony Xperia Tablet S users also get the exclusive access to the Tegra Zone, where you’ll find plenty of games that are well-optimized for this tablet.

So games will have more detailed graphics, more particles and more sophisticated visual effects than games on non-Tegra devices.

So as a gaming tablet, Sony Xperia Tablet S has a complete package of gaming-related goodies that can’t be found on other regular Android tablets out there.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Sony Xperia Tablet S, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Camera

Sony Xperia Tablet S is a high-end tablet. So having an 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash, plus 1MP front-facing camera is not surprising at all.

The good thing is, Sony, as we know already, is one of the manufacturers that always puts more focus in improving the camera of its devices, especially for smartphones and tablets.

Therefore, the photos and videos taken from the camera of this tablet are definitely on par with other high-end rivals on the market, like iPad or Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1.

However, given that iPad has been known as the tablet with the best camera on the market, then the 8MP camera on Sony Xperia Tablet S may not be as impressive as Apple’s slate, although it’s still great quality camera.

Battery Life

Battery life is probably one of the strongest points on this Sony’s tablet.

Sony Xperia Tablet S is packing a big 6000mAh battery inside, which used to be considered as huge around the tablet market.

The good thing is, this tablet is only sporting the medium-resolution 1280x800 pixel display with Tegra 3 processor powering the tablet.

So these specs (Tegra 3 quad-core, 720p display and 6000mAh battery) are actually a perfect match for this tablet.

By using a 720p resolution display, its Tegra 3 processor (which is power hungry given its 4 set of cores) can perform much faster because there are not many pixels that need to be executed by its Tegra 3 when delivering its power to the tablet, thus saving many energy from its battery.

So as a result, the tablet can last much longer even in heavy usage.

So for doing some daily tasks, like watching HD movies, reading books or magazines, listening to music, browsing the web, checking emails or playing games, you can expect to see this tablet survive in a solid day, of course in 1 full charge.

But if you’re using this tablet to do some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen, like watching TV series in marathon or playing games in the row, then its battery life could probably last around 7 to 9 hours.

And this is still considered as good for a media-consumption tablet.

My Personal Opinions

So my conclusion about this tablet is, i think it’s just no brainer that this tablet is one of the best tablets out there.

In fact, it’s really easy for me to recommend you this tablet, especially if you love enjoying internet or media contents or playing games.

Sony Xperia Tablet S has a fast processor, a good display, a great gaming performance, a smooth experience, rich-content features, great camera, strong battery life, premium design and pretty much everything about this tablet is just awesome.

Sony Xperia Tablet S is great for watching movies, reading books or magazines, browsing the web, listening to music and even playing games.

As for playing games, its performance is pretty much the same with the 1st-gen Google Nexus 7, which we all know, used to be one of the best gaming tablets in 2012.

It plays all the games really great, it has great battery life and the experience of playing games on Sony Xperia Tablet S is still better than on Google’s tablet (given its huge screen real estate).

So with all of those goodies provided on this tablet, then you’ll make no mistake if you decide to get this tablet.

However, it’s also worth noting that, given that the latest-gen Sony Xperia Tablet Z already launched last year, then the price of its predecessor will be cheaper than Sony Xperia Tablet Z.

So if the price of Sony Tablet S is still around the price of Sony Xperia Tablet Z, then it's no brainer for you to pick up the latest-gen model instead.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. So this is just like Read more...
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