- Plastic chassis
- Large screen bezel
- Mediocre cameras
Android tablets have suffered from a string of hit-or-miss releases in recent year. Sony hopes to prove that you can create a Android laptop with a truly premium feel and experience with the Xperia Z4. But does it live up to Sony’s hype? Let’s see what reviewers are saying!
Given Sony’s affinity for glass and metal designs, you might be surprised to hear that the Z4 features a plastic chassis. While this often means a cheap feeling device in the Android market, they have accomplished something impressive: Weighing in at just 389 grams, it is currently the lightest 10.1-inch tablet available. The plastic is also a cut above the typical budget phone materials. TechRadar notes, “It's more high-end polycarbonate, which feels grippy but perhaps not as expensive as you might hope.” PC Advisor UK proclaims that it “feels great in the hand with the weight particularly making it easy to handle.”
If you plan on using your tablet on the go, the thin, lightweight design could pose an issue unfortunately. Trusted Reviews found that “Placed under only mild amounts of pressure, the Z4 Tablet flexes and warps to unnerving levels.” While no one else mentioned having any issues, you might think twice before tossing your tablet in a bag unprotected.
Like other recent Sony releases, the Z4 is IP65 and IP68 certified making it dustproof and waterproof down to one-meter. An improved design also means no more worrying about flaps or plugs to maintain your waterproof rating. While submerged performance was questionable, it survived any dousings the reviewers performed after a quick wipe down to dry off.
The star of the Z4 is its 10.1-inch, 1600-by-2560 pixel display. Featuring Sony’s Triluminous technology, they claim it is the brightest 10.1-inch tablet currently available. Reviewers universally loved the screen, noting its clarity, vibrance and brightness. Trusted Reviews said, “It's hard to overstate just how nice this screen is.” Tablet PC Review praised it, calling the display “Outstanding.”
Pushing all those pixels, you’ll find a 64-bit Eight-core Snapdragon 810 processor. With speeds up to 2.0GHz, the tablet is ready for anything you might throw at it. Digital Trends found it “ferociously fast” during their hands-on time. Sony includes 3GB of RAM to keep multitasking and resource-heavy apps flowing smoothly as well.
When it comes to multitasking, the tablet also offers an accessory to help it stand out from the pack. Sony will offer a bluetooth keyboard dock with trackpad to complement the device and offer enhanced productivity benefits. Reviewers applauded the functionality of the dock due to its innovative start menu and recent apps dock that appears when snapping the keyboard to the bottom of the Z4. Unfortunately, quality was not as universally liked. Many reviews noted that the keyboard felt cheap and most had issues with balancing the tablet with the dock on their laps.
Whether you’re looking for a second screen to park by the couch or a productivity tool for editing files on the go, the Z4’s 32GB of internal storage with support for microSD cards with capacities up to 128GB will keep even the most media-hungry users happy. Add in 3G and 4G LTE connectivity and a cloud storage provider and you have a tablet ready to let you access and store media however you please.
With the 2K resolution screen and powerful processor, you might worry about battery life. According to Sony, this shouldn’t be a concern. The 6000mAh internal battery reportedly offers 17-hours of video playback on a single charge.
Like many tablets, the Z4’s 8.1MP rear camera and 5.1MP front-facing camera received mediocre reviews. From lack of detail in low lighting to a complete absence of flash, reviews indicate that it won’t replace even a point-and-shoot camera any time soon.
Overall, Sony appears to have succeeding at its goal of proving Android tablets can offer a premium experience. Trusted Reviews stated, “The Xperia Z4 Tablet is undeniably beautiful, with a screen that can melt your heart as well as your eyes.” TechRadar praised it, saying, “In true Sony form, the Tablet Z4 comes with all the really good things that make Sony a top brand if you're looking to get involved in the mobile space (be it tablet or smartphone).” Digital Trends went even further, proclaiming, “Sony's premium Xperia Z4 Tablet is quite simply the best large Android tablet on the market.”