The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is the upgrade to last year’s very well received Xperia Tablet Z. Sony sensibly decided not to mess around with its winning formula too much, boosting the performance by adopting the Snapdragon 801 chipset and 3GB RAM. The display size and resolution remains the same as last year’s tablet, along with the design.
The Xperia Z2 Tablet has largely drawn positive reviews, with many sites claiming it as the best Android tablet on the market. It wins admiration for the lightweight design and portability. Some of the bad points centre around a reflective display, making it hard to see outdoors, the use of large bezels and the relatively low display resolution compared to peers. We’ve rounded up some of the best reviews below, feel free to click on the links to read the full reviews.
Xperia Z2 Tablet review roundup
Android Authority: “The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is certainly a premium device, and luckily, that is as true as much in the experience as it is with the price. While its main competitor, the Samsung Galaxy TabPRO 10.1, does include Samsung’s flavour of Android, and course, there is also the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014, that has the S-Pen functionality to boast, all on a screen with an even higher resolution, ultimately you’re looking at whether or not Sony’s style and thinner, nimbler tablet is more suited to your needs. In a lot of ways, the Sony style is hard to deny, and the Xperia Z2 tablet does feel premium enough in a number of respects to justify its higher cost.”
Btekt: “This is a tablet geared towards play and consumption, it caters to those needs brilliantly. Creation on here is more of an afterthought.What do we mean? Lets start with the camera – it’s bad. Moving on to productivity, you’ll also be hard pressed to get a decent amount of real work done on this thing. Chances are though; you’re not getting an Xperia Z2 Tablet as a camera or a laptop replacement. It reads virtually all video file formats brilliantly when paired with Play Store video players and shows them off well too on its bright, bold display. The tablet is also a joy to hold, is thin, light and waterproof while also being incredibly powerful.”
Clove: “The Sony Xperia Z line of smartphones and tablets are gaining more recognition globally, but probably not as much as they deserve. The big marketing budgets and presence of Samsung and Apple products give Sony a tough time to compete, but the Z2 is very capable. It is desirable and has the processing power and might to give the competition a very good run for its money. The battery life is the biggest disappointment, but this isn’t the biggest issue all told. If you own the original tablet Z, then there isn’t really enough reason to move to the Z2, but if you are looking for a replacement Android tablet or getting one for the first time then I can assure you the Z2 is not going to leave you feeling you need more.”
Engadget: “When people trot out the tired “evolution, not revolution” cliché, it’s usually to cast evolution in a pejorative light. I don’t think that’s fair. There’s plenty of value and enjoyment to be had in the continuous refinement of a formula, especially when it one day results in a new iteration that works far better than the original could’ve. That’s exactly the case with the Z2 Tablet — it’s not going to upend the industry, but it’s been polished to the point where it stands strong against (and in some ways outshines) formidable rivals. It’s worth noting that you can pick up a Z2 and one of Samsung’s 2014 Galaxy Tab Pros for the same price. Your mileage may vary, but the combination of an ultra-slim body and an Android experience that doesn’t hit you over the head with potentially extraneous features makes Sony’s latest tab one that’s definitely worth your attention.”
Gizmodo: “Software aside, we wish the tablet supported wireless charging so you didn’t have to fiddle with port-covers every time you want to charge, and we wish the speakers had a little more bass. The bezel could be shrunk down, too. For such an outdoorsy tablet, it should be able to go brighter. Oh, and it’s pretty expensive compared to something like the very capable Nexus 7. Other than that, there’s not much to gripe about.”
GSM Arena: “We keep repeating “thin and light” over and over, but it’s not something that can quite be put into words. It has practical applications of improving portability, but the biggest effect is on the in-hand feel – the elegance and character of a premium product.
The one thing we are not perfectly happy with is the screen. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a very good display with stunning colors and very wide viewing angles great, but it’s quite reflective (damaging experience outdoors and when bright light sources are present) and the resolution could have been higher. The side bezels are also not our favorite thing about the Xperia Z2 Tablet, but we guess Sony was working with limited internal volume and couldn’t help it.”
Know Your Mobile: “Sony has kept the almighty bezels which were present on the original Z tablet. In a way, you can see why Sony have kept them, especially on the left and right sides. When watching video and trying to hold the tablet with both hands, it means you’re not constantly sticking your thumb onto the screen. Still it would have been nice if Sony had shaved off at least a few millimetres. The iPad Air is a lot more useful with its new iPad Mini-style bezels. Overall, it’s an improvement on the original Xperia Tablet Z which has been trimmed down and is easy to use. The flaps pose a big problem. One broke with minimal use which needs sorting and the battery life needs improving before we can scream and shout about Sony’s tablet.”
The Next Web: “Too often, Android hardware feels like a race to the bottom. Manufacturers want to hit increasingly lower price-points and inevitably, most of these products are riddled with compromises. It’s therefore refreshing to see Sony target a premium, high-end experience with the Xperia Z2 Tablet. While not perfect, the device offers a stunning, spartan industrial design and competitive internals. The display is a noticeable leap from last year’s model, although the resolution and pixel density feels like a missed opportunity. The front and rear-facing cameras are solid and its take on Android is better than almost any other tablet manufacturer. In short, this is probably my favorite full-size Android tablet. At least until Google launches a follow-up to the ageing Nexus 10.”
Recombu: “Thankfully Sony hasn’t just bolted the same screen as last year onto the Z2 Tablet. This time around the pleasingly bright panel boasts improved colour reproduction, just like the Xperia Z2 smartphone, and the results are gorgeous. Photos and videos really burst with colour, and while you probably couldn’t describe images as realistic, they certainly are vibrant. The tablet’s front-facing speakers are absolutely tiny yet blast out some impressive audio, which easily fills a small room on top volume. The only problem is the position of the speakers, right at the base of the device, which just happens to be where we clutch the bloody thing. Whenever we shifted our grip, our palms obscured them and muffled the sound, making us readjust. As far as First World Problems go, it isn’t a killer, but it is a little irritating.”
PhoneArena: “Sony’s Xperia Z2 Tablet is a great improvement over its record-setting predecessor. It is even thinner, with a much faster chipset, a better display, and excellent sound output. The slimmest, lightest 10-inch tablet on the planet makes a striking first impression to anyone who grabs it, and can even be held with one hand without wrecking your wrist. The lack of premium materials for the chassis is more than offset, too, by the tablet’s waterproof certification, which makes it stand out in the Android crowd. There are only a few issues with the Z2 Tablet, chief among which is the high screen reflectivity, which makes it a nuisance to use outdoors. The pixel density also leaves something to be desired, compared to other high-end devices in its category. In the end, unless you are aiming for a tad higher pixel density, the Z2 Tablet comes out as the best 10” Android slate you can buy at the moment. Even if you are firmly invested in the iOS tablet vortex, Sony’s slate might wow you with the extra features it offers before the iPad Air, too.”
Pocket-Lint: “Once in the hand the Z2 Tablet presents its obvious weakness: that excessive bezel. It undoes some of the otherwise excellent design. That plus a screen resolution that’s now a step behind the competition – even the 2012 Google Nexus 10 is preferable in this department – are two things impossible to ignore. We said we’ll sound like a stuck record about the bezel, but we wanted less of it and an overall smaller product. Which is a shame, because the Z2 Tablet is a great device. It can mix in among the best of them when it comes to raw power, battery life, software and build quality. But for all its progression compared to the earlier Tablet Z, the sum of all those top features fail to add up to the best overall user experience, particularly in light of current competition.”
TechnoBuffalo: “Among similar tablets on the Android side, the Z2 Tablet certainly stands out. It can’t be overstated how lovely the hardware is; that breathless feeling after picking it up is uncommon, highlighting how special this is. You could argue the bezel could be smaller, but that’s about the only knock on hardware. Despite being extremely thin, light and waterproof, it gets days and days of battery, and that back soft touch cover feels just right. You can also comfortably hold the device one-handed without getting fatigued, which is a miracle for a tablet of this size.”
TechSpot: “The only aspect of the Z2 Tablet’s hardware that’s subpar is the camera, which may be a Sony Exmor RS sensor, but generally produces poor results. Luckily the camera on a tablet isn’t that important, so it’s unlikely it’ll affect anyone’s purchasing decision. But the good hardware of the Xperia Z2 Tablet is let down by poor software. Android on a 10-inch tablet just isn’t all that special, lacking when it comes to both applications and features, where iOS and Windows 8.1 succeed respectively. There’s nothing that’s especially terrible about tablet Android, but it’s still behind its competitors and there has been little improvement since the last time I used it.”
Tech Radar: “The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is even slimmer and lighter, while it retains the original’s distinctive looks and adds an eye-scorching Live Colour display. Meanwhile an improved processor and more RAM ensure that the tablet is right near the top of the performance tree. However, with the iPad Air and a whole range of improved Samsung tablets arriving in the interim, the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet simply doesn’t impress as much as its predecessor did – but that’s not to say it isn’t one of, if not the, best Android tablet on the market right now if you’re a fan of specs and design married together in an interesting and unique way.”
Trusted Reviews: “The 6,000mAh battery on the Z2 Tablet is significantly smaller than the batteries found in the likes of the Galaxy Note 10.1 – 33% smaller in fact. Fortunately, the lower resolution screen means that this doesn’t correlate to a 33% lower battery life when compared to its competitors. Usage included three and a half hours of 720p on-board video, three hours of Wi-Fi web browsing, an hour of 3D gaming and an hour of mixed used picture taking and video calling. This is a competent and attractive tablet, but we’d happily trade its thinness and lightness for a better screen and beefier speakers.”
The Verge: “The Z2 Tablet is an engineering marvel. 10-inch tablets shouldn’t be this light and easy to handle. The sumptuous feel of the back cover, the waterproofing, the long battery life — Sony’s ticked off every possible checkbox on the list of desirable hardware features. But the fact remains that there are better alternatives out there, whether in the form of the iPad itself or the much more affordable (if less stunning) Nexus 7. Until Android finally catches up with iOS in terms of apps and user experience, premium 10-inch tablets will continue to struggle to find their niche.”