Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Wows With Lightweight Design, Attractive Display
If you thought the iPad Air was the slickest tablet around, think again. Sony’s newly announced Xperia Z2 Tablet boasts a super slim, extremely lightweight design that could very well give Apple’s slate stiff competition.
Sony claims that its new flagship tablet is the thinnest waterproof slate on the market at 0.25 inches thin. This is just a hair sleeker than the iPad Air, which measures 0.29-inches slim. Powered by a 2.3-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor loaded with 3GB of RAM, the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet should have no problem zipping through demanding apps and seamlessly streaming video.
The Xperia Z2 Tablet’s most striking feature is undoubtedly its feathery build. Both the Wi-Fi only configuration and the LTE-enabled edition weigh less than a pound (0.9 lbs vs. 0.96 lbs), while the iPad Air weighs 1.05 pounds. During our hands-on session with the Xperia Z2 we had no issue holding the device in one hand for an extended period of time. The black version of the Z2 that we demoed sports a soft-touch rear panel that looks and feels premium, but unfortunately it was quick to catch fingerprints. Still, the soft touch back provided a sturdy grip that made it easy to hold the tablet comfortably with one hand. The tablet will also be available in white, but Sony tells us this version doesn’t have the same soft-touch back.
The new waterproof and dustproof slate is equipped with a 10.1-inch 1080p full HD display. Although it’s not quite as dazzling as the iPad Air’s 2048 x 1538 Retina display, the Xperia Z2 Tablet’s screen seemed bright and vibrant during our session. When watching a brief clip of the film “Elysium,” the Xperia Z2 Tablet’s Triluminous screen impressed us with its eye-popping color and level of detail. Sony touts the Xperia Z2 Tablet as an optimal home entertainment device, and with its attractive 1080p display we’re expecting it to deliver on that idea.
Like Sony’s other devices in the Xperia family, the Z2 Tablet comes with the company’s custom UI skinned over Android. Our specific demo unit was running Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which is a generation behind the newest KitKat edition. Sony houses its collection of media apps on the main home screen, which include its Walkman music app, its movie player app and an Album app where the camera roll is stored. All three apps sport an attractive and extremely visual design. The movie player, for instance, plays a clip of a film from your library at the top of the screen while the rest of your collection is displayed in tiles.
Sony hasn’t announced how much the Xperia Z2 Tablet will cost when it launches in March, but we’re looking forward to bringing you our full review soon.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5
The first tablet whose display outshines the iPad, the Galaxy Tab S sports a glorious 10.5-inch Super AMOLED screen with eye-popping color and ultra-wide viewing angles. Everything from movies and YouTube videos to photos and games just pop more on this canvas. Own a Galaxy phone? The innovative SideSync app can let you take calls through your tablet and drag and drop files from your handset to the slate.
Microsoft Surface Pro 3
The Surface Pro 3 aims to replace your laptop with a large and sharp 12-inch display (2160 x 1440 pixels) and an improved typing experience, thanks to a more versatile kickstand. This 2-in-1 device also makes good use of the included pen, making it easy to take and share notes. The 7.5 hours of battery life is slightly below average, but if you care more about creating content then consuming it, the Surface Pro 3 is a solid option.
ASUS MeMO Pad 7 (2014)
ASUS' MeMO Pad 7 is one of the best value-priced Android tablets yet. Available for just $149, you get a zippy quad-core Intel Atom processor, an HD display (1280 x 800 pixels) and 16GB of storage that you can expand via microSD. ASUS's ZenUI, which rides on top of Android 4.4, adds some handy features without getting in your way.
Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch
The Kindle Fire HDX provides a premium experience for an affordable $229 price. The stylish 7-inch slate offers a gorgeous 1920 x 1200-pixel display, a fast Snapdragon 800 processor and a strong 8.5 hours of battery life. Slick new features including Mayday, which gives users quick access to 24/7 tech support. Plus, Amazon continues to offer best-in-class parental controls.
Google Nexus 7 (2013)
The latest Nexus 7 packs a razor sharp full HD screen (1920 x 1200 pixels) and a speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2GB of RAM. There's also the addition of a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera to complement the original Nexus 7' 1.2-MP front camera. Add in 8.5 hours of battery life and you have the best Nexus tablet yet.
ASUS Transformer Book T100
An affordable Windows 8 tablet that doubles as a laptop, the ASUS Transformer Book T100 is a versatile hybrid. You get an Intel quad-core processor, 32GB of onboard storage (or 64 GB) and another 500 GB inside the keyboard dock. Our favorite feature? The T100 lasts up to 12.5 hours on a charge.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4
An excellent alternative to the iPad mini with Retina Display, the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 boasts a Super AMOLED screen that's even sharper (2560 x 1600 pixels) with better contrast and wider viewing angles. The Tab S is also lighter and thinner than Apple's tablet and boasts an immersive Kids Mode app.
Sony Xperia Z2
Wish you could use your tablet in the kitchen or by the pool without worrying about splashes? The Sony Xperia Z2 can withstand being submerged in 5 feet of water for 30 minutes. This sexy slate is also thinner and lighter than the iPad Air. Other highlights include a rich Triluminous display and 9.5 hours of battery life.
Dell Venue 11 Pro (Atom)
The Dell Venue 11 Pro gives the Surface a run for its money with a more comfortable keyboard and more than 15 hours of battery life in laptop mode. The versatility doesn't stop there. The Venue 11 Pro can also attach to an optional desktop dock, allowing you to power two external displays. Just make sure you get the mobile keyboard and not the flimsier slim model.
Lenovo Miix 2
The Lenovo Miix 2 packs a zippy Intel Bay trail processor into a think and light design for those who want the full Windows 8 experience on the go. That includes Office. You'll love the bright 8-inch display, as well as the impressive 8.5 hours of battery life. Not bad at all for just $299.
- Tablet Buying Guide: 7 Essential Tips
- Top 25 Android Tablet Apps
- 10 Tablets with the Longest Battery Life