Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet first impressions: Love at first sight

Sony reclaims the "world's thinnest" title and then adds a slew of features to its top-tier tablet

Emerging amidst rumours Sony will be pulling out of the smartphone space is the Xperia Z4 Tablet. The powerful, thin and light slate is the best assertion yet the company is not exiting anything anytime soon.

The Xperia Z4 Tablet is the thinnest and lightest tablet worldwide in its 10.1-inch category. The slate is whisker thin at 6.1mm and light at 389 grams.

Typically thin devices drop features as they lose weight. Somehow the Z4 Tablet appears to be the exception.

Take the 10.1-inch display, which has a high 2560x1600 resolution for a pixel density greater than Apple’s iPad Air 2, and is uncharacteristically bright at 500 nits. Such a rich screen should come at the expense of battery life.

Most tablets struggle to playback videos for more than 10 hours straight. Sony claims the 6000 milliamp-hour battery of the Z4 Tablet, coupled with efficient software modes, allows the Z4 Tablet to playback video for up to 17 hours.

The entire tablet appears to be the sum of improbable numbers and specifications.

Read more: Flagship showdown: Samsung Galaxy S6 series v HTC One (M9)

A black frame consistently borders the screen, but fat has been cut down compared to its Z2 Tablet predecessor. People turned off by the flaps protecting the USB charging port need not worry because the Xperia Z4 Tablet ditches the charging flap.

And it manages to rid the annoying flap while retaining its IP68 credentials. This means it can be drowned in freshwater a metre-and-a-half deep for thirty minutes and still endure grime, dust and dirt.

Its multimedia portfolio has been beefed up with a 5 megapixel front camera and another 8 megapixel rear camera. Music lovers will appreciate the stereo front speakers and its compatibility with high fidelity audio formats.

The only downside that comes to mind is the plastic body, though the composite used feels kind to hold. Its texture is better than the Nexus 9 and that rubber tablet is based on a metal chassis.

Inside the slate is the latest Snapdragon 810 chipset. It hosts an octa-core CPU which cycles between four 1.5GHz cores and four 2.0GHz cores. There’s an Adreno 420 GPU, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, along with support for microSD memory cards up to 128GB in size.

Sony’s rendition of Android 5.0 Lollipop retains the same refinement in which its Xperia range has become renowned. It is a light overlay styled aesthetically, and with the bright colours of the display, it looks absolutely fantastic.

Sony-made accessories make the Z4 Tablet more versatile. A Bluetooth keyboard – going by the moniker BKB50 – has Android shortcut keys so that the tablet’s screen doesn’t have to be touched when it is docked. A capacitive trackpad is built into the keyboard and it will recognise multi-finger gestures. The Z4 Tablet simply slides into the keyboard dock and rests at an angle of 130 degrees.

Topping it all off are outputs for printers and projectors. It is this kind of accessory support that makes the Xperia Z4 Tablet a serious threat to hybrid devices running Windows.

Read more: Top 5 reasons why the smartphone market needs Sony

We rarely gush over products, but the Z4 Tablet has all the makings of a great multi-purpose device. The older Z2 Tablet proved it can be as good as the leading Apple iPad. Perhaps the Z4 Tablet will go one further and be even better

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Tags Bluetooth keyboardApple iPad Air 2Google Nexus 9LollipopAndroid 5.0AndroidsonySony Xperia Z4 TabletMWCMobile World Congress

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Tony Ibrahim

Tony Ibrahim

Good Gear Guide

@slicktonyi

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