Feeds
Sony Xperia Z2 tablet

Sony Xperia Z2: What we REALLY thought of this Android fondleslab

Faster, thinner, lighter – yet how much has the price changed?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Review While Sony seems wedded to a six monthly update cycle for its flagship smartphones – we’ve had the Xperia Z, Z1 and Z2 in the last twelve months – its tablet release schedule is a tad more leisurely. The impressive Xperia Z tablet rocked up in June 2013 and now, just shy of a year later, we have an update: the Z2 tablet.

Sony Xperia Z2 tablet

Light touch: Sony's Xperia Z2 tablet

Er, so what happened to the Z1 Tablet? Nothing, there is no such thing. The Z2 moniker is being used here simply to make the marketing pitch tie up more neatly with the Z2 phone. If Sony had used the more obvious Z1 name punters would suspect that Sony’s new tablet was a generation behind its new smartphone.

The big deal with the original Xperia Tablet was how thin and light it was and the Z2 improves upon this by even thinner and lighter still. At 6.9mm the Z Tablet was the thinnest fondleslab around but the Z2 is half a millimetre thinner and at 426g a rather remarkable 69g lighter. Unless you’ve handled a Z2 Tablet, it’s nigh on impossible to get an idea of how almost supernaturally thin and light it feels. It makes the iPad Air, let alone the Samsung competition, feel both leaden and lumpen.

Sony Xperia Z2 tablet

Albeit thinner, the Z2 sticks with the Omni-Balance aluminium frame

The essential design of the Z2 is much the same as the original Z but that’s no bad thing. The Omni-Balance aluminium frame is still in evidence, which makes it a handsome device and, more importantly, a very solid one. Actually it feels rather more solid than the Z Tablet, with less flex in evidence when you really twist it. There is perhaps a wee bit too much bezel in evidence, especially at the sides, but I presume that’s a side-effect of being so slim – the innards still have to go somewhere. And at least it gives you someplace to put your thumbs that isn’t screen.

A small change, but for the good, is to be found at the back. Out goes the toughened glass rear to be replaced by a soft, matte-effect plastic panel. This is more pleasant to the touch, less prone to smudging and I suspect less likely to crack if dropped. Sony has also moved the micro USB and memory card/SIM slots from the bottom to the top of the device, a change I heartily approve of.

Sony Xperia Z2 tablet

Repositioned to the top of this Xperia are the micro USB and Sim card slots

Things are still not perfect though. While the 3.5mm audio jack is no longer hidden away beneath a waterproof cover, it has been moved from the left hand side to the bottom. That’s where the pogo pins are so you can’t plug in your headphones if the Z2 is sitting in its optional dock unless they have a right-angle or short jack. My Sony cans have the former, my Sennheisers, however, do not.

Sticking to matters audio, Xperia devices, be they phone or tablet, have traditionally had weak loudspeakers but the Z2 Tablet attempts to remedy this by moving the stereo monitors from the bottom edge to the front, where they are considerately positioned low enough down to avoid being covered by your hands.

Sony Xperia Z2 tablet

3.5mm jack and dock pins both a the bottom... hmmm

This change represents a useful step forward but there is still an overall lack of volume, even if Sony’s S-Force surround sound system makes what there is impressively expansive. The lack of volume is more than likely a side effect of the dust and waterproofing, bumped from IP57 on the Z Tablet to IP58 on the Z2.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.