Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
LAwLz

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet - Finally A Worth Replacement For The Nexus 10

Recommended Posts

Posted · Original PosterOP

post-216-0-78296400-1440355313.jpg

(Credit: tbreak)

 
Introduction
@razor767 asked me to do a review of the Z4 Tablet which I bought a few days ago. So here is my review of it.
 
I have been looking to replace my aging Nexus 10 for a very long time now. I was so excited for the Nexus 10 I had one imported to Sweden. I got it in December 2012 and it has served me very well. Since then I have used it every single day. It has not aged well though, and even from day 1 it had some serious flaws. Most of the flaws were related to the 2560x1600 display. They made compromises both in terms of display quality as well as GPU performance to get to that resolution.
Despite all the flaws, I loved it and could not find any good tablet to replace it. All new tablets had way more deal breaking flaws. The Z4 Tablet ticked all my boxes though and now I finally got one.
 
Here are the specifications compared to my old Nexus 10:
post-216-0-43699800-1440356103.png
 
 
 
Design
post-216-0-65711600-1440357566.jpgpost-216-0-04027800-1440357570.jpg
 
The design of the tablet is the best I’ve ever seen, but it has some minor flaws.
 
First the good things. It is incredibly thin and light. It is 214 grams lighter than my Nexus 10 (about 35% lighter) and the weight seems very well distributed.
This makes it far more comfortable to hold in one hand.
Just to give you an idea of how thin it is, this is the 3.5mm headphone port.
post-216-0-94968200-1440357782.jpg
 
The bezels are quite slim but not slim enough to make you accidentally touch the display when resting your thumbs on them.
post-216-0-57244300-1440358432.jpg
 
Despite being IP68 certified (dust proof and water proof up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes) the tablet does not have covers on the headphone jack and microUSB port. There is a flap on the microSD/SIM card slot but that’s to be expected since you don’t want those exposed anyway.
 
The bad things about the design are the buttons’ and speakers’ positioning.
Both the volume rocker and power button are on the left side in the middle. That’s where I usually put my hand. It’s not a big deal since I haven’t accidentally pressed them yet, but I got a feeling it will happen at least a few times.
 
The speakers are front facing and there are 2 of them. That’s great, but the problem I have is the positioning.
They are on the sides of the display which is good, but they are quite far down and very close to the side. This makes them very easy to block with your palm when holding the tablet in landscape.
I have gotten used to it to the point where I automatically put my hands so they don’t get blocked so it’s not a major issues, but moving them to the upper part of the tablet would have been a better design in my opinion.
 
The vibration motor is bad. Not only does it feel very small and high frequency, when pressed rapidly it makes a very audible high pitched sound.
Press it as fast as you can and it will sound like a mutated mosquito. I much prefer the more bassy vibration in the Nexus 10.
 
It is made out of plastic but it feels very high quality. It has the weight in the just right places, the back finish is soft touch and it feels very solid overall. The tablet is also very square. A lot of tablets and even phones are thinner at the edges than in the middle of the back. This is not the case with the Z4 tablet. It has a completely flat back (no camera bump) and the sides are rounded, but just barely.
This actually makes it quite hard to pick up from a table or other flat surface since there is no place to get a grip.
 
 
 
Software
Sony’s Android skin is very close to stock Android. There are a handful of annoying apps on it which can’t be removed, such as “Movie Creator” and “Experia Louge” but other than that the only non-removable apps are the Google things as well as some basic functionality like the camera app, gallery, video player and so on. It came preloaded with Microsoft Office as well as some Playstation apps but those were removable.
post-216-0-40106800-1440358844.jpg
 
Sony has also included some “small apps”. You access these from the multitasking menu. They are windowed apps which allows you to do more than 1 thing at the same time. I don’t think I will use them very much, but I can see how some people might find them useful. Among the “small apps” are “Timer”, “Music”, “Google Keep”, Calculator”, Browser” and a few more.
post-216-0-27284900-1440358900.jpg
 
The camera is pretty mediocre in terms of quality, and the camera app is bad. The “manual mode” offers next to no manual controls. Not a big deal though since you shouldn’t be taking photos with your tablet anyway. Just use your phone or a proper camera.
 
One feature I was very interested in was hardware accelerated HEVC decoding and I am glad to say that it works… Kind of.
The video I tested with was a 4K, 60 FPS version of Big Buck Bunny and the Snapdragon 810 could decode it in hardware just fine. That was an 8bit file though.
When I tested with a 10bit file it could not be hardware accelerated which is very disappointing to see, especially since 10bit files are one of the main profiles with HEVC. It had no problems decoding the 720p 10bit HEVC file in software though so there is at least that.
post-216-0-26080100-1440358964.jpg
 
 
Screen, Performance and Battery Life (no benchmarks or tests… Sorry)
I would have loved to give everyone some proper numbers such as DeltaE, color balance, white point accuracy and so on, but I don’t have the tools to do that. So instead I have to do like the reviews I dislike do and just tell you about my subjective opinion.
 
The screen seems good. It is far brighter than my Nexus 10 which was a major issue on that. The resolution is great and things look sharp. Colors look vivid but I can’t tell how accurate or inaccurate they are without anything to test it with. According to GSMArena the Z4 Tablet is brighter and has a higher contrast ratio than the iPad Air 2, which is very good.
 
Performance is what you would expect from a Snapdragon 810 device. It is very good. Much faster than my Nexus 10. Which shouldn’t be a surprised since it has twice the number of cores, higher frequency and better IPC (instructions per clock).
 
Battery life has so far been good. I was a bit worried about the small battery but it seems like it will last longer than my Nexus 10, but I have not verified that. This is how it performed in GSMArena’s Z4 Tablet review, compared to their iPad Air 2 review.
 
Web Browsing:
Z4 Tablet – 15:05 hours
iPad Air 2: 10:05 hours
 
Video Playback:
Z4 Tablet – 14:58 hours
iPad Air 2 – 11:41 hours
 
 
Price
It's expensive as balls... In some areas such as the UK you also have to buy the keyboard bundle which makes it even more expensive.
In Sweden you can get it without the keyboard but even without it's still a quite significant amount more than even the iPad Air 2.

This is the only thing I dislike about it, but I guess (near) perfection costs a lot...
 
 
Conclusion
I am amazed at the sheer incompetence of other tablet manufacturers. Sony is currently the only manufacturer who offers a Snapdragon 810 powered tablet. The only other manufacturers who bothers keeping up with the latest hardware are Samsung and Apple. I don't like iOS so the iPad is a no go for me, and Samsung's latest tablets have a long list of reasons why I dislike them ranging from bad aspect ratio, physical buttons and how bad TouchWiz is (but it is getting better).
 
I have been waiting for a refresh of the Nexus 10 for a very long time now but for some reason everyone has just abandoned the tablet market, or decided that they want to copy the worst aspects of the iPad.
I really hope the Z4 Tablet sells well and is successful, because otherwise we might never get a good 16:10 or 3:2 Android tablet again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It is made out of plastic but it feels very high quality. 

 

Is is bendy like the previous Z4 tablets? or is it more rigid


Desktop - Corsair 300r i7 4770k H100i MSI 780ti 16GB Vengeance Pro 2400mhz Crucial MX100 512gb Samsung Evo 250gb 2 TB WD Green, AOC Q2770PQU 1440p 27" monitor Laptop Clevo W110er - 11.6" 768p, i5 3230m, 650m GT 2gb, OCZ vertex 4 256gb,  4gb ram, Server: Fractal Define Mini, MSI Z78-G43, Intel G3220, 8GB Corsair Vengeance, 4x 3tb WD Reds in Raid 10, Phone Oppo Reno 10x 256gb , Camera Sony A7iii

Link to post
Share on other sites

How's the heat in that 810 compared to what people found in phones? Does it throttle at all, or does the larger footprint of a tablet allow it to cool off much better? Because if it weren't so expensive I might honestly look into getting one of these things.


Mechanical keyboard aficionado, professional fox

Mechanical Keyboard Club | Don't buy "gaming" keyboards, yo

Please quote me so I can see that you replied.

 

Be proud of who you are.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is also Jon4lakers favorite tabtlet right now. I'm very tempted to get one.


Hardware: Intel I7 4790K 4Ghz | Asus Maximus VII Hero Z97 | Gigabyte 780 Windforce OC | Noctua NH-U12P SE2 | Sandisk Extreme Pro 480GB | Seagate 500Gb 7200Rpm | Phanteks Enthoo Luxe | EVGA Supernova G2 850W | Noctua NF12 | SupremeFX 2014 | Patriot Viper 3 16GB.

Gaming Gear: Cooler Master TK Stealth | Sennheiser PC350SE | Steelseries Rival | LG IPS23L-BN ' 5ms | Philips Brillians 144hz 

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's £499 here in UK. Yeah too expensive for what it is (android tablet) imo.. Why not get Surface 3 instead which is much cheaper but has better overall functionality (can use Bluestacks if you need to emulate android apps) or even the Nexus 9? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

Is is bendy like the previous Z4 tablets? or is it more rigid

Do you mean the Z2 tablet? I've never even seen a Z2 tablet so I don't know.

I could probably snap it in half with my bare hands but it seems like it's stronger than you might think.

 

 

How's the heat in that 810 compared to what people found in phones? Does it throttle at all, or does the larger footprint of a tablet allow it to cool off much better? Because if it weren't so expensive I might honestly look into getting one of these things.

I don't have a phone with the 810 in so I can't compare. What I can say is that given the same workload (decoding 1080p video on the CPU instead of GPU) the Z4 is far far cooler than my Nexus 10. It is probably like a 10-15 degree Celsius difference. I don't know how much it throttles (don't feel like paying 4 dollars for the System Monitor app) but it should have a far higher thermal headroom compared to phones.

So far I haven't used it for that much demanding stuff but it has been very cool through the entire time during web browsing, manga reading, movie watching (except when decoding on the CPU).

 

 

 

 

 

It's £499 here in UK. Yeah too expensive for what it is (android tablet) imo.. Why not get Surface 3 instead which is much cheaper but has better overall functionality (can use Bluestacks if you need to emulate android apps) or even the Nexus 9? 

Don't want Android on my tablet because the app support is crap. I have tried bluestack and trust me, it is just not as good as running things natively.

The Surface 3 is also more expensive than the Z4 Tablet here in Sweden, but it does have 64GB instead of 32GB of storage.

I don't want the Nexus 9 because I think the display has a stupid aspect ratio. It doesn't have a microSD card slot either.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a phone with the 810 in so I can't compare. What I can say is that given the same workload (decoding 1080p video on the CPU instead of GPU) the Z4 is far far cooler than my Nexus 10. It is probably like a 10-15 degree Celsius difference. I don't know how much it throttles (don't feel like paying 4 dollars for the System Monitor app but it should have a far higher thermal headroom compared to phones.

So far I haven't used it for that much demanding stuff but it has been very cool through the entire time during web browsing, manga reading, movie watching (except when decoding on the CPU).

Sounds pretty good. Gonna look more into this now. Thanks.


Mechanical keyboard aficionado, professional fox

Mechanical Keyboard Club | Don't buy "gaming" keyboards, yo

Please quote me so I can see that you replied.

 

Be proud of who you are.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

Thanks a lot for the review.

 

Just one question. There have been some reports of the included charger being underpowered and having slow charge times. Have you experienced anything like this?

 

source

http://www.notebookcheck.net/Sony-Xperia-Z4-Tablet-Review.146228.0.html 

I've only charged it once and that was at night when I was asleep so I don't know how long that took. The tablet itself supports Quick Charge 2.0 but I have seen reports that the included charger does not support it. So if you want you can just get a third party charger and it should charge a lot faster. Personally I will just recharge it during the night.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

Newegg

×