Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: first look
When Sony unleashed the first Tablet Z back at MWC 2013, it was the thinnest, lightest tablet around; now it’s the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet’s turn to take over. Sony’s new top-end Android tablet is lighter and slimmer than the original, and by a noticeable margin.
In fact, at 426g, the Wi-Fi version of the Z2 weighs a full 69g less than the Z, and itmeasures 0.5mm thinner, at 6.8mm from front to rear. Quite how Sony’s engineers have managed it, we’re not sure.
Fortunately, the Z2’s drastic diet plan hasn’t had a negative impact on build quality. If anything, the Z2 Tablet feels more robust than the previous version, an impression that’s helped by the introduction of a one-piece, grippier soft-touch, matte plastic rear panel.
If there’s a downside to the new finish to the rear it’s that it picks up greasy fingerprints more readily and holds onto them stubbornly. You can see the evidence of this in the photo above. Still, it’s good to see that the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet retains its IP58 water and dust resistance, thanks to sealed flaps all around the edges.
Elsewhere, there are improvements all round. The Z2 Tablet has a quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chip – the same as its compadre, the Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone – there’s 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. If the latter sounds a bit stingy, don’t worry – the Z2 Tablet has a microSD slot so you can increase storage quickly and easily.
As far as performance is concerned, the tablet’s take on Android 4.4 OS feels responsive and fluid, and gaming performance should be on a par with devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and the Samsung Galaxy S5.
On the connectivity front, the Z2 Tablet benefits from upgraded wireless, with 802.11ac and NFC on board, and there will also be a 4G-compatible version for those who want access to the internet while they’re on the road. As with the Tablet Z, the Z2 has an infrared transmitter on the top, so it can double as a remote control for your TV and set-top box. Along the bottom edge is a docking connector for hooking the tablet up to various accessories, including a backlit keyboard, which will cost around £100.
Elsewhere, the speakers have been moved from the ends to the front, which is an improvement, but the tablet’s cameras see no change at all. Just like the Tablet Z, the Z2 has an 8.1 snapper on the rear, which can also shoot 1080p video at up to 30fps, and a 2.2-megapixel camera facing the front for video calls.
The display remains a 10.1in 1,920 x 1,080 panel, with no distinguishing features as far as we could see, and Sony has also left battery capacity static at 6,000mAh, which is a slight concern, since we weren’t bowled over by the battery life of the Tablet Z.
We have to hand it to Sony’s engineering department, however. It didn’t look like it had anywhere to go with the Z2 Tablet but to boost processing power and add software features. Instead, it has delivered a lighter, slimmer tablet, and added more power and features.
We’ll bring you the definitive review as soon as we get our hands on a review sample, but in the meantime, things are looking good for Sony’s flagship tablet.