Sony outdid itself again with the newly-released Xperia Z2 Tablet
. After releasing the world's thinnest, lightest 10" slate last year with the Tablet Z
, now it unleashes on the unsuspecting masses another slim boomerang, that takes those same superlatives away from its predecessor. Moreover, Sony managed to keep the tablet waterproof, and with IP58 certification at that, so let's dive five feet deep into the spec sheet of Sony's newest Android KitKat slate.
Clocking in at the breathtaking just 0.25" (6.4mm) girth, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is also the lightest of them 10" slates, weighing only 15 ounces (426g) for the Wi-Fi model, and 15.5 ounces (439g) for LTE/3G model. For comparison, the Tablet Z is 6.9mm thin, and weighs 17.46 oz (495 g), while the venerable iPad Air
is 7.5 mm, and with 16.86 oz (478 g) of weight, respectively, with a tad smaller display. Check out the full list of the world's thinnest tablets currently in stores, and marvel at Sony's engineering prowess, as the Z2 Tablet will occupy the top of that list, once it hits the shelves in March.
World's thinnest tablets roundup
World's thinnest tablets roundup
The undisputed leader in this category, Sony's Xperia Tablet Z is breathtakingly thin at 0.27" (6.9mm), which is pretty amazing, but also the lightest 10-incher out there. When you add its waterproof certification, we can only bow before Sony's marvel of engineering.
Apple's first foray into the smaller tablet niche is a really thin 0.28" (7.2 mm) slate crafted out of aluminum, but that doesn't preclude it from ranking second in our "world's thinnest" competition, a venerable tribute to Jony Ive's design team.
Third place goes to Samsung's 8-incher in the TabPRO series, only because it is made out of plastic. Otherwise with 7.2 mm it is as thin as the original aluminum iPad mini, while bearing the greatest pixel density on a tablet - 359ppi - all achieved with a regular RGB pixel matrix, no PenTile shenanigans.
Samsung has obviously managed to slim down its TabPRO line to the extent that we find another representative - the Galaxy TabPRO 10.1 - climbing up in the top five of the world's thinnest tablets. With the same monster screen resolution as the 8-incher, and lighter than an iPad Air, the new 10" slate from Samsung has certainly earned its place on the catwalk.
Samsung logs another serious competitor here, with the 0.29" (7.4mm) thin Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch, which is still in play this year. Just a hair thicker than the iPad mini, it is also pretty light, since the housing is entirely made out of plastic.
Sir Jony Ive is at it again with the second lightest 10-incher out there, which on top of that sports a significantly slimmed down 0.3" (7.5mm) waistline, an airy iPad indeed.
The new Apple iPad mini 2 with Retina Display has actually thickened a bit to 0.3" (7.5mm) in comparison with the 7.2mm original mini, but Apple has a good reason for this, as it managed to cram 326ppi pixel density in a humble 8-incher with the 2048x1356 pixels display.
We'd be remiss not to mention Toshiba's achievements here, as they were the thinnest before it was hip, at a time when dual-core was still exciting. At 0.3" (7.7 mm), Toshiba Excite 10 is one of the thinnest and lightest 10-inchers ever announced - if you can still find it on sale anywhere, that is, and if you are fine with Android ICS on it still.
The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 tablet is a hardware beast featuring a 8.9'' display with 2560x1600 resolution, or 339 ppi, but it is also very thin at just 0.31" (7.8mm).
Oldie but goodie, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is the only tablet with a thin Super AMOLED display panel from Samsung, allowing the Koreans to achieve just 0.31" (7.89 mm) thickness, despite cladding the slate in an aluminum armor.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014 Edition) is is also one of the thinnest out there at 0.31" (7.9mm), despite sporting an S Pen stylus silo, and being a powerful 10-inch tablet with a high-resolution display.
Another sub-8mm slate, the 10" addition to this year's Galaxy Tab trio is 0.31" (7.95 mm) high, while the quirky thing about this Android 4.2 Jelly Bean slate is that it is powered by a dual-core Intel Atom processor.
The last, but definitely not the least member of the sub-8mm tablet club is the venerable Galaxy Note 8.0, which, as the name suggests, is a member of the stylus-wielding line of Samsung. Despite the S Pen silo and the digitizer coat, Samsung managed to keep the thickness at 0.31" (7.95 mm) only, securing it a place at the thinnest tablets round table.
The comparatively thin design of this one doesn't really translate to better portability, as we are dealing with Samsung's largest tablet, after all. The 12-incher still clocks in under 8mm, at 0.31" (7.95 mm), so we ought to include it in the rankings for that feat alone.
Sony used its OmniBalance design language, with the signature circular power key, creating a well-crafted slate with soft edges. When paired with the company's BKC50BT Bluetooth Keyboard and Tablet Cover Stand, the Xperia Z2 Tablet becomes a versatile office warrior, too, as Sony also throws in the OfficeSuite Pro 7 app for free.
You can accessorize it for entertainment and telephony as well, with Sony's new BSC10 Bluetooth Speaker dock with Magnetic Charging Pad, the DUALSHOCK3 wireless gamepad, or the BRH10 Bluetooth Remote with Handset Function, that lets you make calls with the LTE/3G variant of the slate.
Sony is using its new LED display technology for the Triluminos
1920x1200 pixels IPS screen on the Xperia Z2 Tablet. Called Live Colour LED, it uses red and green phosphor with blue LEDs, and has tailored color filters on top, that allegedly produce brighter and more evenly spread lighting. The end result should be more vibrant colors on the display, yet without the accompanying oversaturation of some displays, like the OLED ones.
In addition, Sony's X-Reality for mobile engine analyzes the image output in real time for artifacts, colors, sharpness and contrast, and makes sure the digital noise is boiled down to a minimum.Some may scoff at the resolution, given that we have high-end slates with 1600p screens, but most of those use an alternative "diamond" pixel matrix arrangement
, while the Z2 Tablet's 1200p is still more than enough for most purposes
Processor and memory
Sony's new fashion model is powered by the fast 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801, which is a vast improvement over the measly Snapdragon S4 Pro
, that last year's Tablet Z shipped with. The Xperia Z2 Tablet also comes with 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal memory, expandable via a microSD slot. This processor will be just a step below Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 805
, which won't be in devices before the summer, which will ensure the Z2 Tablet relevancy in the silicon department, at least until next year's edition.
Camera and sound
The 8 MP Exmor R camera sensor on the back of the tablet sports an LED flash, and all the bells and whistles you'd expect from Sony's camera app, like automatic Scene Recognition mode, or an HDR photo regime.
The tablet also comes with a surround sound setup called S-Force, but the "front" adjective that was used in the set's description on the Xperia Z2, is missing, as the speakers here are on the sides. Not only that, but the tablet is equipped with four of them in total, ensuring true surround experience. The placement of the speakers is such that you won't block them with your hands while holding the tablet.
The Xperia Z2 Tablet also offers new Digital Noise Cancelling technology, that allegedly weeds out up to 98% of the ambient noises when listening to music, but only when the tablet is paired with Sony's MDR-NC31EM Noise Cancelling headset. The technology is known as Active Noise Control - it cuts the lower-frequency tracks of the noise, and stops the high-frequency noise from hitting your ear, too.
A 6000 mAh battery is nothing to write home about on a 10-incher, but we guess that's what managed to fit in the extremely thin chassis of the Z2 Tablet. Still, Sony claims the typical for an Android tablet up to 10 hours of video playback on a charge, and 100 hours of listening to music. Sony's Xperia Z2 Tablet also takes advantage of the Quick Charge 2.0 technology, that comes with Qualcomm's chipset, offering up to 75 percent faster charging.
There will be black and white Xperia Z2 Tablet options, with or without cellular connectivity options, like 3G or LTE radios. Sony says that the new slate will be outed some time in March, carrying the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat. The only iffy detail so far is the pricing, but we hope it won't be higher than your typical good Android 10-incher, which might make the thinnest, lightest waterproof slate a winner.