As of this week, Telstra is doubling its range of tablets. It’s a mixture of WiFi-only and 4G-enabled slates, ranging from well-known powerhouses to more modestly-priced offerings.
The HTC-made Google Nexus 9 is the Android 5.0 flagship tablet. At $479 RRP it's similarly-price to the WiFi-only iPad Air 2 with the same 16GB of on-board storage.
In case you were hoping to increase that hard drive space, the Nexus 9 unfortunately does not come with a microSD port.
The 8.9 inch screen has a resolution of 1536 x 2048, giving it an impressive 287 pixels per inch (ppi). That’s the same resolution as the 9.7 inch iPad Air 2, once again making it a worthy competitor.
Being HTC made, it also has the patented front-facing BoomSound stereo speakers. These are already a great bonus in a phone, on a tablet they’re a fantastic addition for video-watchers. They deliver superior sound quality and volume than just about any other tablet speakers on the market.
It’s a thin, light, powerful tablet that comes running the latest version of Android (5.0) out of the box. As an added perk: being a Nexus device it doesn’t bog its user interface (UI) down with custom skins. As new Android version come out you’ll always be one of the first with access to them.
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
The Z3 Tablet Compact is a great little tab. It’s waterproof, a salvation for gamers and small enough to take back and forth to work every day. The WiFi-only version will retail for $499 RRP.
The 8 inch screen has a 1920 x 1200 resolution, putting it a dash above 1080p. It measures only 6.4mm on the profile, and the weight is an astoundingly-tiny 270g. That’s almost 20% less than the iPad mini 3.
The size and weight may be small, but Sony has crammed a lot of hardware in there. There’s a quad-core 2.5GHz processor, 3GB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. This time there is a microSD slot, so you can expand that up to a further 128GB if you feel like it.
If you have a PlayStation 4 the news gets even better. Thanks to PlayStation Remote Play, the Z3 Tablet Compact can act as an emergency screen if your TV is being used by someone else. You can even get a little gaming mount to attach it to the top of your controller, effectively creating a short-range portable console that plays PS4 titles. Normally this might sound cumbersome, but thanks to that super-lighy 270g weight it shouldn’t be a problem.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is a heavy-hitting player with full 4GX support, if you opt for that model. The 4G model is $720 RRP and the WiFi-only is $499 RRP.
Forget HD. The 10.5 inch screen rocks a huge 2560 x 1600 resolution, which is a bit above quad-HD/2K. The octa-core CPU runs on a coupling of 1.9GHz and 1.3GHz processors and is backed up by 3GB of RAM. Storage is 16GB, once again with the option to increase that up to a further 128GB via microSD.
At 465g it’s almost half a kilo, but you can’t really blame a device this big and powerful for having a little heft. Thankfully, the largeness does not spill over to its profile, which is a mere 6.6mm.
Still plenty more
Other tablets include the HP 8 ($199 RRP), Alcatel Pixi 7 ($99 RRP) and Amazon Kindle Papwerwhite ($174), which is really more of an eReader than a tablet.
The extended tablet range will be available online and in select stores from this week onward, with additional stores gaining stock from December 9.
"Telstra’s expanded tablet range can be purchased online or in the following stores from 25 November:
- VIC: Chadstone, Doncaster, Eastland, Frankston, Geelong, Highpoint, Southland
- NSW: Bondi Junction, Liverpool, Macquarie Centre, Miranda, Elizabeth St, Top Ryde, Warringah Mall.
- TAS: Hobart
- WA: Perth Hay St, Carousel, Karrinyup, Morley,
- QLD: Sunshine Plaza, Toowoomba, Pacific Fair, Mt Gravatt, Loganholme, Indooroopilly
From 9 December the range will also be available in these additional stores stores:
- VIC: Geelong CBD, Greensborough
- NSW: Broadway, Charlestown
- WA: Rockingham
- QLD: Cairns Central, Robina, Clarindale
- ACT: Canberra
- SA: West Lakes"