“A premium tablet with familiar look”
Sony has been trying to make its mark in the tablet sphere for a while now and some of its earlier efforts – like the Sony Tablet P – were a bit weird. With the Xperia Z, however, the company made an Android device that was great to use.
The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is an upgrade which looks almost exactly like its predecessor but, under the hood, has a whole different set of components. It doesn’t look like a spectacular device, but has all the tools necessary to be a solid performer, which may not be a great thing since, these days, many tablets and phones flop or fly depending on how flashy they are.
With the Z2, Sony is following the company’s OmniBalance design philosophy which includes slim bezels, curved edges and round power buttons. The rear panel is made of soft grey plastic which makes gripping the device easier. There’s an IR blaster, a microSD slot and a microUSB port on the chassis, as one would expect. The ports have a plastic cover which prevents water from getting in – the Z2 is a waterproof tablet after all. It weighs 439g and 6.4mm thick, it is thinner than the previous model by 0.5mm.
This device is competitively priced between $499 and $599, depending on the amount of storage you choose. Weirdly, the 32GB model is only available in white for some reason.
The Z2 is an Android device and ships with KitKat 4.4.2, which is an extremely capable version of the OS. For people looking for the latest, a Lollipop 5.0 update is expected to roll out soon. Sony has its own version of the Android UI which is extremely light and responsive, making the device a breeze to use.
As you would expect, the Xperia Z2 has more than enough power to deal with your routine tablet tasks. It comes with Snapdragon 801 SoC which has a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm MSM8674-AB Krait CPU and 3GB of RAM. The graphics is handled by an Adreno 330 GPU.
It scores well in all synthetic benchmark tests and the results are comparable to the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014. Games like Need for Speed: Most Wanted performed smoothly, with no framing or hiccups in sight. However, it does seem to have some moments of strangeness where it refused to auto-rotate, and jerked a bit when swiping between home-screens. This doesn’t detract at all from the overall pleasure of using the tab, and were few and far between to be of any concern.
- Bluetooth 4.0
- microSD support up to 128GB
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- LTE supported
The 10.1 inch display on the Xperia Z2 is a 1920×1200 IPS LCD panel and is gorgeous to look at. Sony’s Triluminos technology helps produce rich and natural-looking colors and is almost as good as the AMOLED displays used by Samsung. Sony has even included their X-Reality image engine which makes videos and photos look extra vibrant.
Tablet cameras have never been great, and the ones on the Z2 are no exception. There is an 8.1MP shooter at the back and a 2MP front unit – both of which have the company’s Exmos RS sensors. Colors are well-represented and the interface is well made. You can even add some interesting photo effects, which includes dinosaurs and little elves, if you want. Photo quality is decent, and if the conditions are perfect, you can pull of some nice looking shots as well.
Compared to its competition, battery life of the Xperia Z2 is a bit iffy. It has a 6,000mAh power unit which lasts for about 7-8 hours of heavy-to-casual use, which is lower than the iPad Air or even the previous generation Xperia Z. Sony has included a Stamina Mode which helps you get more juice out of the device, if you need it.
- Extremely well-made – Thin and waterproof
- Snappy Android UI
- Good performance
- Underwhelming battery life
- Camera performance is just OK
The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is by far the best tab the company has made so far. It is well-designed and has great components inside making it a formidable competitor to other Android tablets.