Sony Xperia Z2 tablet review
The original Xperia Tablet Z was already among the slimmest and most attractive tablets, but Sony did even better with the Xperia Z2 Tablet. It’s the thinnest and lightest tablet on the market, featuring the highest water resistance available, and its slimmer waistline certainly improves the looks even further.
Though water resistance is a big part of the Xperia Tablet Z identity, the Xperia Z2 Tablet and its predecessor are the only mainstream water-proofed tablets, Sony moves over the edge with the Z2. Its IP58 certification means it can stay under 1.5m of water for half an hour.
Design and build
The Xperia Z2 Tablet has an aluminum skeleton that runs the perimeter of the device with a hollow center, bringing the benefits of a robust aluminum frame and plenty of room for internal hardware as the frame stays out of the way of components. This helped Sony to hit the stunning thickness of 6.4mm, making the Xperia Z2 slimmer than any other tablet on the market.
Sony followed the OmniBalance design language, with a slight change. Instead of the usual glass there’s soft touch plastic and the black is matte. But this change reduces weight and handles scratches better.
The tablet is very light, weighing only 439g, it’s very comfortable to hold in one hand for long periods of time. The bezels are a little bit large, but this isn’t really an inconvenient, this means there’s plenty of room to rest your fingers without obscuring the screen.
Featuring a Super AMOLED screen with 10.1 inch 1200 x 1920 LCD display and a pixel density of 224 pixels per inch, Xperia Z2 has a Live Color system to deliver rich colours which are, and this is an understatement, superb.
Power and performance
Apart from its visually incredible outsides, the Xperia Z2 Tablet also has impressive insides. The tablet has a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM. It’s one of the most powerful tablets on the market, taking things to the next level.
The audio performance was improved, compared with the Xperia Tablet Z, with the inclusion of front facing stereo speakers. Though the front facing speakers aren’t standard on tablets, Sony sees a lot of sense in this change, given the amount of time people spend watching things on them.
The Xperia Z2 Tablet comes with a choice of 16 or 32GB of built in storage, but there’s also a microSD card slot, so you can boost that by up to 64GB more. For connectivity options there’s Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, 4G LTE and NFC, so it’s a well equipped device.
It’s better for photography than most tablets, due to its 8.1 megapixels main camera, though it’s a little large to use as your main camera and can’t compete with recent smartphone snappers anyway. It also has a 2.2 megapixel front facing camera and both cameras can film in 1080p at 30fps, which means it can do a reasonable job used as a web cam.
The Xperia Z2 tablet has a 6000 mAh battery, which is smaller than a lot of 10 inch slates, but enough for it to last for around 8 hours, so it’s quite reasonable even if it doesn’t quite go all day. You can always use the Sony’s Stamina mode if it drops too low and use it as much as possible before it dies.
There’s not much to say about Xperia Z2 Tablet’s interface, it’s much the same as it was on the Xperia Tablet Z and not very different from Android 4.4, having a clean, minimalistic design, it’s discrete, without many mechanism and boats. Its Walkman app is probably the only thing to take in consideration, even if it’s not the best reason to choose this tablet.
- Optional 3G and 4G LTE (Cat. 3, 100Mbps)
- 10.1″ 16M-color capacitive touchscreen Triluminos display, 1,920 x 1,200 resolution, 224pixel density; X-Reality engine; shatter proof and scratch-resistant glass
- Android OS v4.4 KitKat with custom UI
- Quad-core 2.26 GHz Krait 400 CPU, 3 GB RAM, Adreno 330 GPU; Qualcomm MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801 chipset
- IP58 certification, dust- and waterproof tablet
- 8MP auto-focus camera with Exmor RS sensor; Info-eye, AR effects
- 1080p video recording @ 30fps, continuous auto-focus and stereo sound; live video streaming to Facebook
- 2MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording
- Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA; Wireless TV-out
- GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
- 16GB of built-in storage; microSD card slot
- MHL-enabled microUSB port
- Bluetooth v4.0
- NFC & ANT+ support
- Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
- Front-facing stereo speakers
- Accelerometer and proximity sensor
- Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
- 6,000mAh Li-Ion battery
Even if the Xperia Z2 Tablet is a remarkable device, with sleek and elegant appearance, thin and very light compared to its competitors, there is a list of flaws you might want to check before you make a decision:
- The plastic part
- Over-saturated display
- Lower resolution screen than its peers
- Below average loudspeaker performance
- Design hasn’t changed much
- Too much space above and below display
- Screen could have been sharper and less reflective
- Battery capacity is on the low side for a 10″ tablet
- Camera not as great as expected
The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet has a good screen and an attractive build, waterproof and with stereo speakers, it stands out from other flagship tablets. If the battery life was better, the screen was slightly higher resolution and the build was less plastic this would be the best slate on the planet, being a worthy successor to the Xperia Tablet Z.