- Elegant and convincing design
- Outstanding performance
- Nearly a stock Android experience
- Excessive display reflection
- Merely above-average back-facing camera
- Insufficient battery life
Quick TakeOne of the best high-end devices with the Android OS thanks to its speedy performance, excellent design, and waterproof casing.
Sony’s Xperia Z Tablet was last year’s most beautiful and, according to many, best 10-inch Android tablet. Its successor has a faster processor and a more polished design. Other features have been only slightly altered, if at all.
The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet has a 1920 x 1200-pixel display, Android 4.4.2 KitKat, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 chipset with Adreno 220 GPU, and 3 GB of RAM. The exceptionally-slim body comes with an IP58 certificate, meaning that this tablet is water and dustproof, while its 16GB of memory storage can be expanded with microSD cards. The device is available in black and white casing, as well as in Wi-Fi-only and 3G/LTE version, while its Li-Ion battery has the capacity of 6000mAh.
The advancements here are evolutionary, not revolutionary. Despite this, Sony‘s latest is impressive, and is one of the best tablets on the market at the moment. On the other hand, there is plenty of room for improvement. Its flaws include a not particularly long battery life, too much display reflection, and a merely average camera.
Build and Design
The most notable features of the second generation 10-inch Xperia tablet are its waterproof casing, along with its fantastic design. The premium tablet feel is a strong lure, and it’s almost enough to forget the tablet’s shortcomings.
The device is half a millimeter slimmer (it is now 6.4 millimeters thick) and is 3.7 oz. (105 g) lighter, weighing in at 15.5 oz.(439 grams), something which isn’t really evident when the tablet is held in the hand ?- it feels significantly lighter than its actual weight.
The body is 10.47 in. (266 mm) wide and 6.77 in. (172 mm) tall, with an utterly minimalistic design.
The fact that it is lighter and slimmer than its predecessor is the result of a change in the casing material: it’s no longer made out of glass, but matte plastic. This might seem as a downgrade at first, but this device seems highly convincing upon first touch, and its premium-class status is quite clear. Without any doubt, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is even more impressive than the iPad Air when it’s held in hand.
The IP58 certificate means this device can survive for half an hour while 1.5 meters under water. Sony is the only company making consumer tablets with this feature, and it’s one that will mean a great deal to many possible purchasers, especially those who will frequently use their tablet outside.
The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet has a nearly identical TFT display as it predecessor. It’s covered with shatter- and scratch-proof glass, and has the resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels.
There are a few improvements, however. The viewing angle is noticeably wider, while the colors do not fade out significantly when the device is exposed to direct sunlight. Black tones are very dark, while white tones could be a bit ‘thicker’, but the contrast is above average, matched only by tablets with AMOLED screens. The same goes for color vividness.
On the down side, the display is very reflective, which can be annoying when standing next to a powerful spot-light source, especially when combined with fingertip marks, which are quite visible on this device. Plus there’s a slight lack of sharpness resulting from the relatively low 224 ppi pixel density. Still, this is not that big of a problem — teething is evident only during the animation of slimmer fonts and sloped lines on objects as they change angles.
Compared to smartphones, this tablet’s display quality matches that of last year’s Sony Xperia Z1. It is slightly lower than what the new Xperia Z2 has to offer, but it is still a shade greater compared to the previous Xperia Tablet Z.
Buttons and Ports
The front of the device includes only the display and stereo speakers which fit in with the design perfectly, as do the front-facing 2.2-megapixel camera, status LED, and ambient light sensor. The overly-thick bezels on both the left and right side deserve some complaints, however.
The upper side of the Z2 Tablet includes an infrared transmitter, noise-cancelation microphone, microUSB port, and microSD and microSIM card slots (the Wi-Fi-only version does not have the latter feature). Card slots and microUSB ports are protected with sealed covers, helping to make the overall device waterproof.
There is a 3.5-mm audio jack on the bottom side of the tablet, but it is not covered. Of course, it is waterproof, but it can only be used out of water.
The right side does not have any elements, while the Power key and the volume rocker are on the left side.
The back holds the camera lens, situated along its very rim, along with a few logos (Sony, NFC..). There is no camera flash.
Move on to Page 2, which covers the performance of this high-end Sony tablet.