The Xperia Tablet Z is the thinnest and best looking Android tablet around, but there’s more to this device than just good looks. We’ve identified a few ways to squeeze that extra ounce of performance out of it, pair it up with the other devices in your life, and customize it to suit your life. These are our Sony Xperia Tablet Z tips and tricks.
The Sony Xperia Tablet Z is a lot like a super-sized Xperia Z smartphone. Rather than double up on everything in this guide you can find some more relevant ideas in our Sony Xperia Z tips. Since it runs Android 4.1 out of the box, you might be interested in our Android ‘Jelly Bean’ tips and tricks as well.
How to customize your Tablet Z
You can move icons around and set your wallpaper in the usual way, but Sony also offers a couple of handy customization options that you won’t find on other devices. Firstly, you can access Themes by tapping the plus icon at the top right. These themes will change the overall look of your device with a single tap. You can also add four of your most used apps or important folders to the quick launch bar at the top of the screen, which can be a real time-saver.
How to use it as a TV remote
There’s an IR blaster (Infrared) on your Xperia Tablet Z and it works beautifully as a TV remote. You’ll find it’s compatible with the vast majority of TVs, DVD or Blu-ray players, and even cable set top boxes. It’s worth taking your tablet close to the device you’re trying to pair during the initial setup. You simply fire up the remote control application, choose Add device, and enter the relevant info.
The TV remote small app allows you to change channels without interrupting whatever else you are doing on your tablet. If it’s not pre-installed, you’ll probably also want to download Sony’s TV SideView app which gives you a full program guide and extra snippets of information on what you’re watching.
How to kill lag
With a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor you might reasonably expect smooth performance and you won’t be disappointed, but you might have to remove a few widgets to get it. Sony’s pre-installed home screen widget collection has a definite impact – remove them and you’ll find navigation is noticeably smoother. While Sony’s UI does offer some nice touches, there is an animation overhead and some people will want to root and go for a stock Android setup or a custom ROM that includes some of Sony’s best features. Keep an eye on the forum at XDA Developers for the latest ROMs.
Using small apps
The “Small Apps” icon is in the center of the bottom bar and it allows you to launch small apps like a calculator that will sit on top of whatever else you are doing. These are really handy and they offer an alternative approach to split screen multitasking. Make sure you keep an eye on the Google Play Store to find more small apps because there are a few good extras in the store. You can also convert widgets into small apps.
How to enhance your sound
You’ll notice that the Xperia Tablet Z is streets ahead of most other tablets when it comes to audio quality, but you can push that sound quality to new heights with the right settings. Hit Menu and go to Settings > Sound and you’ll find three check box options to experiment with.
- Clear Phase: auto adjusts for clearer, more natural sound.
- xLOUD: enhances volume without compromising quality.
- S-Force Front Surround 3D: gives a surround effect for watching movies.
How to transfer content to your tablet
If you want to move files, whether it’s video, photos, or audio then you have a couple of options. You could plug your tablet into your computer via USB and use the PC Companion software. You could move stuff using a MicroSD card.
You could also pair your computer to enable wireless transfers using Media transfer mode. They’ll need to be on the same Wi-Fi network. To set it up, connect via USB, and when the name of your device appears on the computer, click Network configuration and follow the instructions. Now, if you go to Menu > Settings > Xperia > USB Connectivity you’ll find the computer under Trusted devices and you can select it and tap Connect.
To make sure that the files you are transferring will work on your Xperia Tablet Z, download Sony’s Media Go. You can also use this software to organize backups, create playlists, and even suck in new music from iTunes (as long as it’s DRM-free).
How to access the service menu (for rooting)
If you want to unlock the bootloader or root your Android tablet, you’ll need access to the service menu on your Sony Xperia Tablet Z. Don’t worry; it’s easy.
Start the Contacts app and go to Settings then long press in the middle at the very bottom of the screen, just above the Small Apps icon. Press there for five seconds or so and you should see an “Enter service code” box appear. Type in *#*#7378423#*#* (the numbers spell “service” on the keypad) and the service menu will pop up.
That’s it for Sony Xperia Tablet Z tips for now, but check back as we will add new tricks as we discover them. If you have discovered any yourself and you want to share them then please do post a comment.