29 July 2013


Sony Xperia Tablet Z

The new toy! The Tablet Z is a 10" Android, I have the Wi-fi only version. There are plenty of reviews published ranging from 'good' to 'excellent', this is just a personal impression.

Yes, it's pretty: awesome black, thinner and lighter than an iPad, easy to hold one handed. I bought the Sony docking cradle with it, recharge is slow - overnight is recommended. It will recharge while switched off. There are plenty of cases on Amazon for it, I got this one, a bargain at £10.

It is uniquely for a Tablet waterproof as in "drop in a bucket for half an hour", or in my case "coffee spill alert!" On the minus side, that means the ports are sealed by fiddly plastic bits that I hope Sony have tested for durability. The cradle uses contact points to connect. The glass front is a finger grease trap, but this doesn't interfere with vision. The screen has slightly larger pixels than the iPad but not so much as to be noticeable.

The manual... no manual, just a minimal start up guide. Wifi connected easily to my router, and the Support App links to online help pages.
I've never used Android before, this implementation is the reviews say fairly standard. I soon discovered how to delete the free crap and load up some goodies. It comes with 16GB of memory of which I presently have 9GB free.

Apps synchronised easily with their desktop PC counterparts.

Google Maps said it needed a permission switched on to use GPS and that took a while to find:
Settings/Personal/Location services/ON and GPS on
Settings/Accounts/Google/Location Settings/ON
Once activated however, fine. I now know where I am if I step into the garden.

I've only caused the OS to get confused once, losing the Wifi connection, and a reboot cured that.

A built in universal IR remote was easy to set up. It does its best to be quick to use, and for simple changes it is.

Skype. "Better picture" my first video contact reported, "sound keeps fading though." The microphone is on the top edge, I assume a compromise for the front and back cameras, so tilting affects it. Sony have promised a control with the next update.
Lumiya, a gallant attempt at a Second Life Android Viewer, is a dancing bear. It took several minutes for Ori to work out where she was standing! For checking messages, fine.
Office Suite Pro is an Office substitute.
The Google keyboard is for me simpler than the supplied SonyXperia offering. I tried a Bluetooth keyboard but it keeps disconnecting the WiFi.
SynchMe is a simple folder synchroniser.

13 July 2013

Castle in the Cloud

A fairytale castle in Second Life, built for the Relay For Life charity weekend. We all walk round a big course and do silly things - just like in Real Life!