Sony is updating its Android tablet line-up with the addition of the Sony XPERIA Z4, a high-end tablet designed to be extremely light, waterproof and fast. It also integrates a 2K display, which marks a first for a Sony tablet. For this 2015 tablet, Sony has chosen to keep the same design language that we have gotten accustomed to. There are of course small changes, but this is very similar to the design used for the Z3 phones and Z-Series tablets of 2014.
The XPERIA Z4 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chip, which we have looked at in details. It has 8-cores (2×4) and an updated graphics unit that can power the most demanding Android games – this is important for a tablet, and particularly when there is a 2K screen because the number of pixels is extremely high if app developers choose to render games in the native resolution.
Apparently, the device comes in a unique 32GB version, which is a good choice if a microSD port is available to extend the storage capacity (the partial specifications do not mention it right now).
Sony says that its Z4 tablet has a 6000 mah of battery capacity, which is a bit less than the iPad Air 2 (7340 mah) or the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (7900 mah), but quite respectable. Sony claims that it can play video for 17 hours in this configuration. Assuming that this is with a relatively dim lighting, it would still end up being practical in scenarios like airplanes etc… where the lighting environment is quite dim.
As always with the XPERIA series, the device is water-tight: the tablet’s IP68 rating ensures that it remains protected from water and dust in most normal usage scenarios. It is technically possible to snorkel with it, or take underwater shots in the pool, but most people will just be happy that it survived a trip to the bath tub or the kitchen sink.
Sony’s design is also among the lightest on the market. At 389g (393g with LTE), it is lighter than the iPad Air 2 (437g, or 444g with LTE), which is already impressively light. This is extremely important because 10” tablets feel much more natural to hold with one hand when they are lighter. This is something that we’ve noticed ever since the original iPad came out, and there is no doubt that the weight remains important for tablet this size.
With a powerful processor, a sleek design and a world-class design and weight, Sony has stacked the odds in its favor. However the 10” tablet market remains extremely competitive and challenging, so we will follow this closely.