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Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Apple iPad Air

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Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Apple iPad Air
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Apple iPad Air
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Apple iPad Air
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Apple iPad Air
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Apple iPad Air
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Apple iPad Air
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet vs Apple iPad Air
Introduction


Sony is no stranger to making tablets. Its first efforts in the field were somewhat rough around the edges and couldn't make much of an impact on the market, but that didn't stop the Japanese tech giant from launching new, better models. Eventually, the Xperia Tablet Z came to being, met by overly positive feedback after its release, followed by the Xperia Z2 Tablet, which just scored a solid 9 out of 10 in our in-depth review.

So yeah, the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is undoubtedly a great slate to spend your money on. However, it is far from the only option for those looking for a high-end tablet, and Apple's highly-acclaimed iPad Air is among its toughest competitors. Now it is time to find out which of these two slates is better. Both the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet and the iPad Air have a lot of bang to offer for their money, so the fight is surely going to be an exciting one. Let's dive into it!

Design


We had a good reason to label the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet as an engineering marvel in our in-depth review. It isn't just one of the very few water-resistant tablets on the market. At 15 ounces (426 grams) for the Wi-Fi-only version, Sony's newest slate is the thinnest and lightest 10-incher that we've ever laid our hands on, beating even the feather-light iPad Air in that respect by a considerable margin. It is also the thinnest slate around, with its astoundingly slim waistline of just a quarter of an inch (6.4 millimeters). As a result, the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is extremely easy to operate, be it in portrait or landscape orientation. And speaking of usability, the sizable side bezels may not look pretty, but they leave welcome room for our thumbs to rest on without touching the screen by accident. One thing we're not happy with, however, is the soft-touch finish on the slate's back. Sure, it provides a lot of grip, but finger traces stick too easily to its surface.

As for the iPad Air, its weight of 16.86 ounces (478 grams) and thickness of 0.3 inches (7.5 millimeters) rank it a step behind the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet. On one hand, figures like these are remarkable for a metal-made tablet of such size, but on the other hand, we have to admit that we find the Xperia Z2 Tablet a tad easier to handle. Still, the iPad Air has its advantages over Sony's slate. One of them is that Apple's fifth generation iPad is the better-looking tablet among the two thanks to its slimmer bezels and gorgeous aluminum shell. What's more, Apple's iPad stands in a league of its own, even ahead of the Xperia Z2 Tablet, with its solid feel and immaculate build quality.

Sony has placed the power and volume keys on the left side of the Xperia Z2 Tablet, which makes them easy to access when needed. On the tablet's top side we have a microSD card slot and a micro USB port, both of which are protected by removable flaps to ensure the water-tightness of the device. And at the bottom we see a rather unpleasant-looking docking port and a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack. The tablet's navigation buttons are built into the Android UI.

The iPad Air has a well-exposed power key on its top side, complemented by volume and mute keys on the right. All provide excellent tactile feedback, as any physical key should. Same can be said about the physical “Home” key below the device's display. Charging the iPad Air is done via Apple's proprietary Lightning port, placed at the bottom side of the tablet. The port itself is designed well, but works only with Apple's own Lightning cable, while the Z2 Tablet is compatible with any generic micro USB cable you have lying around.


Display


The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet has a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1920 by 1200 pixels, which results in a pixel density of 224 pixels per inch. Given the fact that we're handling a tablet positioned in the high-end category, we'd say that the latter figure is rather unimpressive, especially knowing that some slates have already exceeded the 300 ppi mark with their screens. Should that bother you? Well, not much, to be perfectly honest. After all, a ppi figure of this magnitude is sufficient for most user's needs. When the tablet is held at a normal distance from the user's eyes, pixelation is close to unnoticeable. Still, the iPad Air has the upper hand when it comes to pixel count. Its 9.7-inch display has a resolution of 2048 by 1536 pixels, which translates into 264 ppi. Unsurprisingly, the iPad's screen can pump out a slightly more detailed image, but it isn't leading by all that much, at least not on a perceptual level.

Even though both tablets' screens are based on IPS LCD technology, there are some slight visual discrepancies between the two. The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet has a color temperature that gets closer to the reference mark of 6500 Kelvins, resulting in better representation of whites. On the other hand, Delta E figures are in favor of the iPad Air, which means that Apple's tablet has slightly more accurate colors. We don't mean to say that the slightly more pumped up color representation on the Z2 Tablet's screen is unpleasant. In reality, both screens look great and are ideal for any task from watching photos or videos, or reading lengthy articles on the internet. Now would be a good time to mention that both screens produce a pretty high brightness output. We measured a figure of 417 nits for the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet and 426 for the iPad Air. Both these figures and our real-life tests confirm that the tablets are usable even on a bright sunny day.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPad Air 426
(Good)
6
(Good)
1:1069
(Good)
6844
(Excellent)
2.23
4.15
(Average)
1.64
(Excellent)
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet 417
(Good)
13
(Poor)
1:1200
(Good)
6664
(Excellent)
2.82
6.01
(Average)
4.4
(Average)
View all


25 Comments
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posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:25 3

1. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


Apple iPad Air.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:47 2

2. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Nexus 7 2013 is still the best tablet - dollar for dollar...

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:51

5. theizzz (Posts: 12; Member since: 01 Oct 2013)


can't wait to see how the N8 will stand up to the N7 2013

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 09:11

15. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


I am sure it will be great - I would pay 299 for an N8 if it has better sound than prev N7s....

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:53 1

6. Zomer (Posts: 78; Member since: 31 May 2013)


Comparing a Nexus 7 with a iPad Air, yeah that makes sense.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 09:10

14. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


well, at least to the Mini Air..lol

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:49 1

3. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3303; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:49 1

4. ihavenoname (Posts: 1520; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


I prefer iPad Air. But both really good.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 07:54 4

7. romeo1 (Posts: 298; Member since: 06 Jan 2012)


if the displays are almost equally good then the z2 should win in the multimedia part as sound is also an important item when you're watching movies.
my money is on the z2 but have to wait and see how it feels in the hand

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:01 12

8. anleoflippy (Posts: 318; Member since: 03 Jan 2013)


Tablet Z2 anyday.

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:02

9. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3303; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Nick, is that Infiniti QX70 yours? :D

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:06 1

10. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3303; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


"Almost unbeatable responsiveness".....? Yeah laggy as he**. If not laggy, at least unresponsive. There is no time with iPad air when it looks completely smooth #personalreallifeexperience

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:39 1

13. ihavenoname (Posts: 1520; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


iPad Air ain't laggy, at least it's smoother than my Nexus 7 (2013) which is already buttery smooth
#personalreallifeexperience
#non-applehater

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:17 1

11. datphoneguy (Posts: 141; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)


They're both very nice, high end devices. However - IMO - the iPad has better proportions than the Sony tablet (too long)

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 08:38 11

12. Aaron_R96 (Posts: 198; Member since: 22 Jan 2012)


I sold my ipad air for the Sony Xperia z2 tablet and can honestly say I dont regret it, both seem to have been just as smooth and i much prefer the ability to have a memory card in the Z2, its screen may not be as sharp but watching movies on the z2 is a better experience due to the front stereo speakers (as opposed to those on the bottom of the ipad) -particularly in landscape, and although only marginally lighter i prefer the z2 for reading on too as holding it in one hand is easier (thicker bezel actually helps!)

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 09:12 4

16. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


good for you - you broke away from that walled garden...

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 20:03 1

19. techperson211 (Posts: 710; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


+1000000 hahaha I like that "walled garden"

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 10:04

17. rangoj (Posts: 43; Member since: 29 Mar 2014)


I do not understand why so many people love the iPad Air. I used it a couple of days and for me It wasn't anything special, limited OS without any possibility of personalization, system file management is notoriously bad, not even SO fast - my phone Nexus 5 is faster than the iPad Air.

I guess it's great for gaming, but for me nothing else on it is super and great! :)

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 13:29

18. networkdood (Posts: 6326; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


The wife loves her iPad air...if it makes her happy...meanwhile I got a CoolPad 9976a coming in a few days...

posted on 03 Apr 2014, 20:05

20. techperson211 (Posts: 710; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


Both are good tablet. But I choose z2 tablet . Durability functionality and micro sd. Those thick bezel may look ugly for some but for me it's an advantage for holding it without any accidental touch on the screen.

posted on 04 Apr 2014, 02:49

21. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3617; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Hey Nick T. Please can you share the ipad air wallpaper from the user interface and functionality page. That multicolored one. I loved it please. Thanks.

posted on 04 Apr 2014, 02:57

22. MobileGuru (Posts: 82; Member since: 18 Jan 2014)


Although I think that iOS for iPad is still not suited for productivity, one thing that Apple got right from the start is having the screen aspect ratio at 4:3. Less HD (widescreen) aspect ratio is just more suited for smaller screen devices like tablets.

posted on 05 Apr 2014, 04:51

23. Jauwaad100 (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Apr 2014)


can you do a comparision on
xperia z2 vs note 10.1 2014 edition

posted on 05 Apr 2014, 14:24

24. jb4674 (Posts: 141; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


POS iPad...

posted on 07 Apr 2014, 03:49

25. me.si (Posts: 17; Member since: 27 Mar 2014)


Xperia Tablet Z2 IS The BEST.

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