Sony had its ups and downs in the tablet industry, but despite a rather bumpy road, the Japanese manufacturer has managed to make a good name for itself in this market segment. Following the troubled launch of the Xperia Tablet S (which had to be pulled from shelves due to waterproofing issues), Sony rebounded with the successful release of the Xperia Tablet Z.
It was highly acclaimed mainly because it delivered a rather complete package. Top-tier specifications, dust and waterproof capabilities, a slick design and a very thin profile – these were the main attractions that compelled customers to become Tablet Z owners.
Now, following its initial announcement during the Mobile World Congress, the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is on its way. Will the Z2 Tablet persuade gadget enthusiasts into giving it a shot? What does it have to offer? Let’s find out.Enjoying this article? Click here to subscribe for full access. Just $5 a month.
As mentioned above, one of the selling points of the Tablet Z has been its slick design. As expected, Sony continued to improve on the design, and the Xperia Z2 Tablet shines in this regard as well. The slate measures only 6.4 mm in thickness, making it slimmer than most devices out there – both tablets and smartphones.
The device also weighs only 426 grams (for the Wi-Fi model) or 439 grams (LTE/3G). This makes the Z2 Tablet the lightest 10-inch slate on the market. Things continue to get better, as the Z2 Tablet continues to deliver IP58 certified waterproof capabilities. This allows the gadget to survive in up to one meter of water, for about 30 minutes.
Display and Hardware
The Tablet Z and the Z2 share many hardware similarities, including the camera combo and most of the screen specifications. Nevertheless, the Z2 Tablet packs a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 1200 x 1920, resulting in a pixel density of 224 ppi, just like its predecessor. However, the previous model features an LCD panel, whereas the Z2 Tablet is equipped with an LED IPS display.
The newer model’s screen is accompanied by what Sony calls “Live Color LED,” which uses green phosphor with blue LEDs in order to produce more vibrant colors without oversaturating them. The Sony X-Reality engine continues to be present, making sure that the image, colors, contrast and sharpness are all in check.
Inside the upcoming slate beats the heart of a Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AB quad-core processor running at a frequency of 2.3 GHz. The CPU is paired up with an Adreno 330, and 2 GB of RAM. In contrast, the original model boasted a Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 quad-core chip clocked at 1.5 GHz, an Adreno 320 GPU, and 2 GB of RAM.
Camera and Sound Features
The Z2 Tablet features an 8.1 MP Exmor R main camera with autofocus, HDR, panorama, and an LED flash. The front panel accommodates a 2.2 MP secondary shooter. The main sensor takes advantage of various camera app features, including Scene Recognition, and overall, while tablet owners don’t usually capture images with their devices, the Z2 Tablet’s shooter seems rather decent nonetheless.
In the audio department things might look a bit more interesting. The slate is equipped with four speakers that have been fitted on the sides, delivering a surround setup that Sony calls “S-Force.” There’s also Digital Noise Cancellation on board, a feature that should decrease ambient noise by 98 percent while playing music. This feature, however, works only in conjunction with Sony’s own MDR-NC31EM Noise Cancelling headphones.
Software, Battery and Storage
As you would expect from a top-range device that was revealed during MWC, the Xperia Z2 Tablet will hit the shelves with Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box. In case you’re wondering, the original Tablet Z continues to run on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, but KitKat is planned for a later release.
As expected though, the Z2 Tablet comes with Sony’s proprietary user interface, on top of Android, so at least in terms of looks, you won’t really notice any KitKat elements.
As for the tablet’s battery, the device is being powered by a Li-Po 6,000 mAh unit, promising up to 1240 hours of stand-by, up to 10 hours of multimedia usage, and 100 hours of music play. Thanks to the Qualcomm SoC, the tablet also takes advantage of the Quick Charge 2.0 technology, allowing the users to recharge the device up to 75 percent faster.
Last but not least, the Z2 Tablet offers 16 GB of storage (for LTE), but the Wi-Fi variant is expected to be retailed in 16 and 32 GB flavors. If that’s not enough for some users, thankfully there’s a microSD card slot through which the storage can be expanded by up to an additional 64 GB.
Release Date, Availability and Price
Assuming that the Z2 Tablet ticks your boxes, then you’re most likely wondering when, where and at what price you’ll be able to buy one. Thankfully, Sony made most of these details official shortly after the tablet’s announcement.
The Z2 Tablet is expected to arrive on March 18 or 19 in the UK, for those who have, or will, pre-order the slate. The device will hit the shelves in most European countries such as Germany and France in early April.
Price-wise, the 16 GB Wi-Fi-only model is said to cost around 499 Euros ($685) once it hits the European markets. For the 32 GB model you’d have to spend an extra 50 Euros, bringing the price up to a total of 549 Euros (or roughly $729). As for the 16 GB model with LTE capabilities, prospective customers are looking at a price tag of 629 Euros ($864).
It’s also worth mentioning that Sony is offering a great deal in terms of warranty, in most European countries, as customers can benefit from an extended 3-year warranty at the cost of only 1 Euro. In the UK, the 3-year warranty is available without any extra charges.
At this point it’s unclear whether the Xperia Z2 Tablet will be made available in the U.S. or not, but time will shed more light on that subject, possibly after the device makes its debut on the market about two weeks from now.
In the end, we invite you to join the comment section below and share your opinions concerning Sony’s upcoming 10-inch device. Would you be interested in buying one? What would compel you to do so? Any pros or cons that you’d consider worth mentioning?