Battery life

The downside of having an ultra-slim tablet is that there's not a whole lot of room inside of it for a larger battery to fit in. This is why we find a rather smallish for a 10-incher, 6000mAh cell inside the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet. According to Sony, it should be able to provide up to 10 hours of video playback on a single charge. We ran our custom battery benchmark on it, however, and the tablet died in 6 hours and 55 minutes. In comparison, the Apple iPad Air packs a battery with a capacity of 8820mAh, which is enough to keep the tablet going through a full day of active usage. It took 8 hours and 38 minutes for our synthetic battery benchmark to drain the tablet's cell out of juice.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet
6h 54 min (Average)
Apple iPad Air
8h 38 min (Good)


It goes without saying that a buyer spending $500 or more on a tablet would expect getting something worthy in return. And that is indeed what you'll get should you choose to own Sony's new tablet. It wows you with its lightweight, ultra-thin construction the very instant you pick it up, the stereo speakers it is outfitted with make your movies much more enjoyable to watch, and the microSD card slot ensures that adding extra gigs of storage is easy as pie.

Yet ultimately, is the Z2 Tablet better than the iPad Air? Well, we wouldn't say so, although we wouldn't call it inferior either. It is just that Apple's tablet is still the better-looking slate thanks to its premium metallic construction. Plus, with an iPad Air you'll be enjoying superior battery life and your eyes will be treated to a display with higher color fidelity.

On a hardware level, the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet may seem like the more powerful device among the two as it is powered by one of Qualcomm's fastest SoCs, namely the Snapdragon 801. Clock rate figures and number of cores, however, suddenly lose much of their significance once you take the iPad Air for a spin and experience its almost unbeatable responsiveness. To sum it all up, both tablets are on the same level when it comes to performance, and the future-proof hardware they pack ensures that they'll serve you well for years to come.

At the end of the day, both the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet and the iPad Air are well worthy of your attention should you be on the looks for a high-end tablet. Whichever you invest your money in, it will be money well spent.

New reasons to get excited every week

Get the most important news, reviews and deals in mobile tech delivered straight to your inbox

FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless