Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Review


Introduction


After releasing the thinnest, lightest 10" slate last year with the Tablet Z, now Sony unleashes on the unsuspecting masses another svelte boomerang with the Xperia Z2 Tablet, that takes those same superlatives away from its predecessor. It also adds a much more powerful processor, and an improved display. Moreover, Sony again managed to keep the tablet waterproof, and with IP58 certification at that, so let's dive five feet deep into Sony's newest Android KitKat slate.

In the box

  • Wall charger
  • MicroUSB cable
  • Warranty and information leaflets

Design

The thinnest, lightest 10” tablet is an engineering marvel with pretty looks and waterproof design

Clocking in at the breathtaking 0.25" (6.4mm) girth, the Xperia Z2 Tablet is the slimmest tablet out there, almost as thick as its microUSB port. It 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 predecessor 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. Couple the compact and feathery chassis with the IP58 certification, and the Z2 Tablet becomes one of the most well-engineered mobile devices out there. You can dunk it in up to 5 feet (1.5m) of water for more than an hour, and it won't skip a beat. Just make sure the protective port flaps are firmly closed when you lie in the bathtub, binge-watching Game of Thrones, or indulging in some other geeky pleasure.

Sony's slate, however, is much wider than its main competitors – the iPad Air, and the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1. It immediately becomes clear why the Z2 Tablet is 10.47” (266mm) wide, and Samsung's tablet, which has a screen of the same size, is 9.57” (243mm), while the iPad Air is 9.45” (240mm) wide. It all went in the unwieldy side bezel, which is so large that makes the 10” display look smaller than it is, much like a picture frame. On the positive side, as it makes the tablet very comfortable to hold, with plenty of space to rest your thumbs on without touching the display. Also, since the tablet is so thin and light, you can easily just hold it with one hand, as there's this wide area for the opposing thumb to grip the slate firmly into place. Thus, the thick side bezel is not aesthetically pleasing, but since it brings added comfort when working with the Z2 Tablet, we are willing to let it slide. The firm grip is also aided by the soft-touch plastic material that Sony used for the back. The rear, however, smudges very easily if your fingers are even a bit oily, wet or sweaty, so you won't look as cool in Starbucks, as when you are holding an aluminum iPad Air, for instance, but you are not that shallow, right? Right?

Sony used its OmniBalance design language, with the signature circular power key, creating a well-crafted slate with soft edges. That same key is one of the remarks we have about the side buttons, as it feels rather wobbly under your finger. It is positioned very well when you hold the tablet in portrait mode, though. The key goes under the first phalanx of your thumb, so it's within an easy reach, yet it's not right under your thumb tip, so you can't press it accidentally. The metallic volume rocker underneath it feels sturdier, but is too thin, and harder to find and press without looking, plus the tactile feedback is rather shallow. At the top left side of the frame you can find the microUSB port, and the memory card slot, which are covered with protective flaps. Those flaps fit very tightly, and are so flush with the side that if they weren't marked, you might be looking around for them for quite some time. The tablet will keep reminding you to close them if they are left open, or else all waterproof bets are off. Sony's tablet flaunts four stereo speakers on the sides (in two by two format), which are situated in a way that prevents you from covering them with your palm when you hold the tablet in landscape mode.


Display

With a new Color LED technology the 1080p display looks bright and vivid, though its pixel density and reflectance leave something to be desired

Sony is using a new LED display technology for the 10.1” 1920x1200 pixels IPS screen on the Xperia Z2 Tablet. Called Live Color LED, it uses red and green phosphor with blue LEDs, and has tailored color filters on top, that are said to produce brighter and more evenly-spread lighting. The end result should be more vibrant colors on the display, yet without the accompanying oversaturation of OLED screens, for instance. That is indeed the case with the Z2 Tablet, as its Triluminos panel shows vivid, somewhat unrealistic colors, which still aren't gaudy to look at. The 6664 Kelvins temperature is very close to the reference point (6500K), so white is spot on.

Some may scoff at the 223ppi pixel density, given that we have high-end Samsung slates with 1600p screens. Still, the Z2 Tablet's 1200p is more than enough for most purposes. The issue with the display is not the pixel density, but rather its high light reflectance ratio – the mirror-like effect is constant, and especially annoying if you use the tablet outdoors, despite the decent 414 nits peak brightness. The IPS panel's viewing angles are very good, and overall the screen of the Z2 Tablet is an improvement over its predecessor, if not in resolution, then in image quality.





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54 Comments

54. JaroB

Posts: 112; Member since: Feb 13, 2013

perfect...

48. MelvinPainter

Posts: 75; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

$850 for a 10 inch tablet??? Imagine what kind of laptop you can get for that money.

47. RuiBacelar

Posts: 153; Member since: Feb 25, 2014

It will be my fist tablet. Only concern is battery life...

44. Killua

Posts: 270; Member since: Nov 25, 2013

9? Pretty generous for a tablet that it's only advantage is for watching a movie in a bathtub. Don't get me wrong, I love Z2, the phone that is. I just don't like the tablet, nothing practically new, and not good for productive works.

42. Aaron_R96 unregistered

Can happy say im reading this review on an Xperia Z2 Tablet and having owned it roughly a week now ive been extremely impressed - sold my ipad air in order to pay for it and the speed and lightness of the Z2 company favourably - actually prefer reading books on the z2! Must admit im not a fan of the fingers oil marketing always getting on the back of it though! Overall I can say I dont miss the Ipad Air at all! :) will post a user review soon!

41. Chris_Bakke

Posts: 247; Member since: Jan 23, 2013

How about an 8 inch version? I'd be completely down for a waterproof 8 incher. I think if Sony broaden their tablet scope; they'd have some success.

38. najib1312

Posts: 155; Member since: May 08, 2013

I wish Sony makes a Win-8 powered Tablet Z2. That wthing will sweep the tablet floors.

37. Odiin

Posts: 373; Member since: Apr 23, 2013

What a beautiful tablet is this without any major shortcomings. Beauty with brain i would say. Kudos to Sony!

35. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

Well, time to sell of my Tablet Z and acquire this.

28. morijoon

Posts: 25; Member since: Mar 27, 2014

i,m wait for htc tablet

21. romeo1

Posts: 828; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

i really want to buy this but sony also has the vaio tab. both of them are gorgeous imo. this has the water resistant feature but the tab could also replace my laptop for work. does anybody knows if there is a real microsoft office for android tablets?

23. Amir1 unregistered

sony made a special physical keyboard that works with xperia devices including Z2 Tablet. this will give you more computer feel. not sure about Microsoft office.

45. romeo1

Posts: 828; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

Thnx that is really helpful for me I'll look it up

43. Aaron_R96 unregistered

If you buy Office 365 you can use Office program on android albeit through onedrive and the web browser for your documents

46. romeo1

Posts: 828; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

You made my choice allot easier. Thnx

20. redmd

Posts: 1965; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

They could have trimmed down the bezels. Great design but I'm gonna get the note 201l4 LTE.

18. Abinav

Posts: 8; Member since: Jun 29, 2013

Display is great with stunning contrast for a tablet........and closer to accurate colour temperature.

16. Haridenberg

Posts: 27; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

Indulging in some other geeky pleasure, yeah, that's what I'm gonna do in the bathtub with a water-proof 10" FullHD tablet. :D

10. Feanor

Posts: 1450; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

I think the unique selling point of this tablet are the stereo speakers. On a smartphone which one would use more with earphones, the noise cancellation feauture is more important, but for a tablet the stereo speakers are very important. And even more impressively, the best speakers on a tablet come on a watwerproof tablet, which normally would influence sound quality adversely. I wished for a higher resolution but I made up my mind. I'll buy this over the iPad.

52. Karriope

Posts: 148; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

It's not the only tablet with stereo speakers, I feel I must point out. But certainly, stereo is a key point for a tablet in my opinion. It was one of my key factors in a (first-gen) Tablet Z.

6. SonyPS4

Posts: 347; Member since: May 21, 2013

http://www.sonymobile.com/global-en/products/tablets/xperia-z2-tablet/features/#performance Clearly states Tablet Z2 use 3GB RAM not 2GB RAM. Correct it

4. Amir1 unregistered

Z2 tablet is THE tablet to own. Z2 is THE smartphone to own. i want these two devices NOW.

9. SonyPS4

Posts: 347; Member since: May 21, 2013

Dont forget Z1 Compact. Most powerful mini version of flagship model.

22. Amir1 unregistered

Yeah, that cute flagship! lol. i don't forget, it sure deserves to be mentioned! though, as 6"4' with huge hands Z2 dimensions is entry size for me haha. Z2 Ultra would be natural fit. :-D i really curious to know where sony is going with the Ultra but there are some months coming until then.

19. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Disagree. Note Pro series dominates this.

27. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

surely it does and owning one is a great experience, but efin cheap junk plastic is big turn off..... a metal or a stainless steel option shoudve been viable for us a deluxe version, with a extra 100 EUROS

31. RORYREVOLUTION

Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

you want a metal 12 inch tablet? You might as well find a boulder, draw a screen on it and draw some apps on it and then carry it around with you. Even though the Note Pro 12.2 is made of "cheap" plastic(even though it feels great in the hand and doesn't feel cheap at all) it is still a pretty heavy device.

33. Hmong_Xiong

Posts: 32; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Idk how long the Z2's body will hold but when I had the Asus TF700T Infinity, the aluminum body was scratched easily and the bottom charging port was bent.

51. Karriope

Posts: 148; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

Well, the Note Pro's not designed to survive heavy rain. Besides, I'd put them in different classes of tablets altogether.

26. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

me 2, but i would prefer the TEGRA4 4GB RAM 400PPI if that was available, specs to die for
Xperia Z2 Tablet
  • Display 10.1 inches
    1200 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 8.1 MP (Single camera)
    2.2 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 6000 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow

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