For professionals and consumers looking for a tablet device that is both stylish and functional, the Sony Xperia Z4 may be just what you are looking for.
The Sony Xperia Z4 tablet was recently introduced at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Barcelona during February 2015. The new Sony Xperia Z4 tablet is surprisingly thin, offers fast performance, and provides a cutting edge computing experience running on the new Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system.
Sony has designed the Sony Xperia Z4 tablet with work and play in mind with a generous amount of screen real estate and enhanced sound that make it convenient for many different uses. There is also a unique keyboard option for the professional. Plus, the device is designed with waterproof and dust-proof technology that can withstand daily use with a battery life that has enough stamina to provide multitasking without having to recharge.
What Are the Design and Aesthetics Like?
Sony has gradually performed a few upgrades to the Xperia line of tablets since the first Z model was officially released. The edges of the device are still rounded however, Sony has retained the high quality materials used in the predecessors to the Xperia Z4. The first design upgrade that is really noticeable is the slimmer profile which provides a more lightweight tablet than its predecessors.
When you hold the Xperia Z4 in one hand, it is obvious Sony designed it for entertainment and reading as it feels as though there is no weight to the device at all. In fact the Xperia Z4 is so thin and light, it almost looks like you could easily bend it if you were ever inclined to do so. However, Sony has made certain to construct the Xperia Z4 with a durable build to prevent bending and flexing.
The 10.1-inch screen is primarily designed to be used in landscape mode judged by the position of the ports and buttons. The microSD card slot and headphone jack are located along the upper edge of the device when in landscape mode with the volume rocker and power button on the left hand side. The micro USB port used for charging the tablet is located on the bottom when in landscape mode.
The overall design appears to be more polished than the previous Xperia Z3 which was designed with more angles. Additionally, the softer rounder edges make the device a pleasure to hold in your hands with screen bezels that are thinner, providing you with more screen space. The thin bezels also contribute to the thin and sleek design as well.
In terms of the body on the Xperia Z4, the construction consists of a sturdy plastic material as opposed to metal material contained in the iPad. The plastic construction helps to reduce the weight and has a well finished styling that does not look cheap by any means. The casing is also durable enough to hold up to daily scrapes and bumps, in addition to fingerprints associated with everyday use.
Also, new with the Xperia Z4 is a waterproof and dustproof design with an IP68 rating. This is the highest certification rating for protection against dust and liquids. The letters “IP” stand for International Protection or Ingress Protection.
In terms of the two numbers that follow, the first number represents the degree of protection against solid objects with 0 being the lowest and 6 being the highest. This means the Xperia X4 which has the number 6 offers total protection from dust.
The second number represents the degree of protection against liquids with the lowest number being 0 to 8 as the highest number. The number 8 means the Xperia X4 is protected against extended periods of immersion in liquids under pressure in depths of up to 1.5m for up to thirty minutes.
The certification applies to fresh water which means ocean water may be capable of causing damage to the device. However, it is possible to use it in a swimming pool as long as it is cleaned with tap water. Additionally, the ports including the headphone jack and micro USB do not require a protective cover to keep the moisture out which is a new feature not included in many tablets.
Aside from the above changes we mentioned, the design and aesthetics for the Xperia Z4 remain basically the same. The Xperia Z4 tablet will be made available in two colours which include black and white.
What Are the Specifications?
Another outstanding feature of the Sony Xperia Z4 is the display screen which is ideal for both business and entertainment. The 10.1 inch 2K display offers a 2560 x 1600 resolution which is higher than its predecessor. This is also the first 2K screen in the Z tablet line and was previously omitted on the Z3 to preserve battery life.
The 2K screen is very bright with 299 ppi (pixels per inch) which is ideal for viewing in sunlit environments. This is more than the iPad Air 2 which offers 264 pixels per inch. Additionally, the screen is designed with Triluminos technology which was an original technology used in Sony televisions.
Triluminos allows the display to offer a broader variety of colours which results in images that are sharp and richer than displays designed without this technology. The colour gamut in a Triluminos display is up to fifty percent more than the colours in an LCD panel. Additionally, the Xperia Z4 display is designed with IPS (In-Plane Switching) which improves the viewing angles as well.
The Xperia Z4 provides powerful processing performance thanks to the Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit CPU running at 2GHz with 3G of Random Access Memory (RAM). 3G of RAM is exceptional considering most of the tablets on the market are equipped with 2GB of RAM.
The processing performance provides more than enough horsepower to run the 2K display without having to sacrifice battery life. Additionally, the Xperia Z4 offers 32GB of onboard storage along with a microSD card slot for adding up to 128GB of extra storage.
In terms of port connectivity, the Xperia Z4 is equipped with one micro USB port for charging the device and one full-sized USB port. The full-sized USB port is an advantage and prevents you from having to purchase an adapter to connect your full USB peripherals and storage devices. There is also one 3.5mm headphone jack for connecting a high quality set of headphones for listening enjoyment.
The Sony Xperia Z4 is equipped with wireless 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi connectivity which is the latest standard of Wi-Fi. Sony also added MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) 3.0 which provides an ecosystem for connecting multiple mobile devices and home theatre products.
You also have access to Bluetooth 4.1 for connecting Bluetooth-enabled peripherals and the optional Sony Bluetooth keyboard for business professionals. The Xperia Z4 is offered in a Wi-Fi only model with the option to purchase a model that offers 3G/4G LTE connectivity for making phone calls.
The camera on the Xperia Z4 takes decent quality pictures. Sony retained the 8.1 megapixel (MP) camera and increased the quality of the front facing camera which is now 5.1 megapixels (MP). The front facing camera is designed with a Sony sensor and offers a wide-angle lens which makes it easy to take selfies with a group of people.
Both the back and front facing cameras are capable of capturing video. The front camera is capable of 720p videos where the back facing camera takes 1080p resolution videos.
Sony has added a number of sound enhancements to the Xperia Z4 which have significantly increased the audio quality while reducing unnecessary noise. Sony has added Digital Noise Cancelling (DNC) technology which reduces noise interference when you use any set of headphones enabled with DNC.
Sony also added other enhancements and support for high resolution audio. In addition to the DNC technology, the Xperia Z4 sports two front facing speakers and automatic headphone compensation. The new LDAC codec technology is capable of transmitting audio up to three times better than Bluetooth technology.
The Sony Xperia Z4 is equipped with a powerful 6000mAh battery which Sony claims provides you with about 17 hours of life when streaming video non-stop. Basically, you can get about two days of use out of the battery without having to recharge.
The extensive battery life is due in part to the Battery Stamina mode which Sony included in this model of the Xperia tablet. Battery Stamina mode automatically deactivates specific programs running in the background to help you get the most out of the battery. The battery life is significantly longer than the iPad Air 2 which gets approximately ten hours of battery life before a recharge is necessary.
What Other Tablet Devices on the Market is it Comparable To?
The Sony Xperia Z4 tablet stacks up to the Apple iPad Air 2 and the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 in terms of features and functionality. However, when it comes to the weight, the Xperia Z4 is significantly lighter than both the iPad Air 2 and the Surface Pro 3. Additionally, Sony has kept things rather consistent with the Android OS with performance that is very close to the Nexus devices.
Sony has also remained in step with the Surface Pro 3 which is a leading device for business, by making a custom Bluetooth keyboard available for use with the Xperia Z4. The keyboard offers a special slot designed for anchoring the tablet with an adjustable tilt mechanism that allows you to adjust the viewing angle.
The keyboard is also full-sized to allow business users the convenience of being able to type easier and comfortably use gestures on the generously sized touchpad. Additionally, when you set the tablet on the slot in the keyboard, the interface automatically senses it has been docked and displays a Start menu similar to what you would see on a PC. Sony has also been partnering with app and security technology producers to have the Android version of Microsoft Office pre-installed on the Xperia Z4.
What Are the Pros and Cons?
At this point, it is still early to identify some of the pros and cons. However, here are a few that were noticed at the Mobile World Congress:
- Super thin profile and lightweight design is like no other tablet on the market.
- Octo-Core processor provides lightning fast performance.
- 2K display screen with Triluminos technology provides vivid colours and sharp contrast.
- Waterproof and dustproof certification withstands daily wear and tear.
- Long battery life ensures you can get through your day.
- Back facing camera is the same as the Z3 model.
- Thin and lightweight design may be too fragile if you tend to be rough on your devices.
THE FINAL VERDICT
At a price of £499 this is not a cheap option, however the Xperia Z4 shows a lot of promise as a thin and lightweight device that offers great specs under the hood. Sony has maintained the great features included in the previous models of the Xperia before adding some new breakthroughs such as waterproofing, 2K screen, thinner profile, and sound enhancements.
Although the plastic construction may not appeal to Apple fans that like the metal construction of the iPad, the Xperia Z4 performance more than makes up for this. Meanwhile, the Sony Xperia is expected to make its debut in June 2015.
About the Author
Our IT Department is one of London’s premier IT services organisations, providing a comprehensive range of IT support services and solutions to SMEs across the capital and surrounding area. Visit our IT Unlimited page to find out more about what we do.
We hope that you enjoyed this review. Don’t forget to subscribe so you never miss our product reviews and other blog entries.
All images used are property of their respective owners. We would use our own, but they wouldst look this good!