Ever since Sony said adieu to the laptop business, dropping their Vaio line of notebook PCs into a separate Japan-only company, they’ve been hot on the heels of the industry’s leading tablet makers; most notably, Apple and Samsung. When talking tablets, it’s fairly safe to say that the best two on the market are Apple’s iPad Air 2 and Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge, both in terms of performance and portability. But if the details we’re hearing so far are any indication, Sony’s new Xperia Z4 tablet is on track to give them a run for their money.
The Xperia Z4 Tablet is a direct replacement to last year’s Z2 Tablet, which was already arguably one of the best tablets to come out in 2014. While none of the changes that occurred between versions are notable enough to be the standout feature of the product, it got enough tweaks and updates in all the right areas to be a lighter, brighter, better-performing tablet all-around. The first noticeable difference is in the design. Gone is the silver border, magnetic charging pins and IR blaster of the Z2 in favor of soft, rounded edging complemented by aluminum at the corners to reinforce the device and improve its rigidity. At 6.1mm thick and weighing only 393 grams in its heaviest state, it is easily a contender for lightest, thinnest tablet on the market. It easily beats out its Predecessor the Z2, which weighed 439 grams, and even trumps the 444 gram cellular iPad Air 2 without breaking a sweat.
Perhaps the most noticeable update to the new Xperia tablet is in its display. The new screen boasts a 10.1-inch 2K panel with a 2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution and the same Triluminos technology that we saw in the Z2. Every inch of the display packs 298 pixels and luminous 500-nit brightness, making the Z4 superior to any other 10.1-inch Android in its class when it comes to display power. This miraculously does not come at the expense of battery life – the Z4 integrates a 6000 milliamp-hour battery that Sony claims is powerful enough to loop a video for 17 hours. Powering the device is a Snapdragon 810 processor. This octa-core arrangement combines a 2GHz quad-core CPU with another clocked at 1.5GHz, and comes with the brainpower to determine which to use depending on the computational power needed for the task at hand. Combined with an Adreno 420 GPU and 3GB of RAM, the Z4 is able to handle the Android 5.0 operating system with ease. While it only comes with a meager 16 or 32 gigabytes of internal storage, it can easily be beefed up with a 128GB microSD card.
Other notable features of the Z4 are its incredible waterproof claims (it can be used in freshwater 150cm deep for up to thirty minutes) and its awesome underwater photography capabilities. While the rear camera has not strayed from its fairly unimpressive 8.1-megapixels, the front camera has increased to 5.1-megapixels, making this tablet a selfie-lover’s dream. Both front and rear cameras are capable of recording 1080p resolution video. The only visible downside to the Z4 Tablet seems to lie in Sony’s largely unsuccessful attempt to make the tablet more like a hybrid. The included keyboard dock simply lacks the ease of connectivity and position options that we’ve grown accustomed to with hybrid PCs. But keyboard docking aside, the Xperia Z4 looks to be one of the best 10-inch Android tablets on the market today.
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