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Hands on: Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is a serious iPad Mini rival

We’ve played with Sony’s latest tablet at IFA 2014, and the 8-inch Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact looks to be a serious iPad Mini rival, rocking a gorgeous 1080p screen and featherlight design.

IFA 2013 wasn’t just about slick new flagship smartphones and cool new wearables for Sony. To keep us tech journos extra busy, the Japanese giant has also launched a brand new Android tablet, the (deep breath) Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, which apes Apple’s iPad Mini with its slim and light 8-inch design and gorgeous screen.

At just 8-inches, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is much smaller than the Xperia Z2 Tablet, making it easy to clutch with one hand. It’s impressively thin and light, at 6.4mm and 270g, which means you can hold it throughout a lengthy commute and not get an achey bicep.

You can shove in a micro SD card to expand the 16GB of storage, plus a nano SIM to stay connected wherever you roam.

And if you want to read magazines, browse the web or enjoy a bit of telly in the bath or the middle of the desert, good news! The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is also completely water and dust resistant (IP65/68), just like the Xperia Z3 smartphone and the excellent Z3 Compact.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact launches at IFA 2014 with UK release info, rival to Apple iPad Mini

Although the Triluminos screen is smaller than the Xperia Z2 Tablet’s 10-incher, you still get a Full HD 1080p HD resolution which makes movies look gorgeous and colours really pop. If you’re looking for a portable movie player, but want to stick with Android, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact certainly seems to be an iPad beater. We’ll be testing out the screen in full and alongside the iPad Mini with Retina display, to see how these tablets really stack up.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact launches at IFA 2014 with UK release info, rival to Apple iPad Mini

Sony hasn’t skimped when it comes to the camera tech either. We have to admit, we think taking photos with a tablet is completely pointless, but at least the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is dinky enough to comfortably wield if you absolutely have to, while the 8.1-megapixel camera seems to produce sharp, accurate shots in Superior Auto mode.

Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact launches at IFA 2014 with UK release info, rival to Apple iPad Mini Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact launches at IFA 2014 with UK release info, rival to Apple iPad Mini

You’ll find some of Sony’s new camera features stashed on-board too, including Face In, Multi Camera and AR Fun. Check out our hands-on review of the Sony Xperia Z3 for more info on the new camera modes.

The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact also rocks a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, for chatting over Skype.

The Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact will hit the UK in the coming month, but we’ve not been told a price just yet. Full review coming soon.

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