Reviews
Pros

• large, bright, high resolution display
• front facing speakers
• Hi-Res audio
• great build quality
• microSD expansion
• excellent performance
• easy to use software
• PlayStation integration
• IP65/68 certified against water and dust
• thin and lightweight
• exceptional battery life

Cons

• Average camera
• Only one storage capacity
• Expensive

Rating
Our Rating
Battery
9.1
Display
9.3
Camera
7.7
Software
8.9
Design
8.4
Bottom Line

Sony manages to introduce another fantastic high-end device to the Android tablet market, which checks all the right boxes, with its sleek and elegant design, gorgeous display, excellent performance, smooth and snappy software, and great audio experience. Add Sony staples like dust and water resistance into the mix, and what we have is an extremely compelling device in the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet.

8.7
Our Rating
You have rated this
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Editor's Choice Update 2015While there are quite a few good Android tablets around, many of them lean towards the budget-friendly, and therefore, mid-range side of things. As good as some of these devices may be, it’s been some time since we’ve gotten our hands on a truly compelling Android tablet. Sony is attempting to change all that with their latest high-end tablet offering, the Xperia Z4 Tablet. This device certainly seems to check all the right boxes on paper, but does it manage to meet, or even go beyond, our expectations? We find out, in this comprehensive Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet review!

Design

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet-7

One of the highlights of the high-end Sony tablet line has always been how sleek and light these devices are, and that is something that continues with the latest addition to the series. With a thickness of just 6.1 mm and weighing 393 grams, the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is an absolute pleasure to hold, and you almost forget that this is actually a rather large device. While featuring a plastic construction, the build quality certainly doesn’t feel cheap, and the textured matte finish of the back panel allows for plenty of grip as well.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet-22

The rectangular shape, silver trim, and somewhat angular design, with signature elements like the large silver power button, are all very true to Sony, but its overall simplicity can understandably be mistaken as being bland, rather than elegant. The bezels up front may also not be the most aesthetically pleasing design element, giving the tablet the look of a picture frame when looking at it head on. It does serve a purpose functionally though, as the large bezels make for great resting points for your thumbs when holding on to the device.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet-2

When holding the device in the landscape orientation, the power button and volume rocker are found on the left side within easy reach. This placement that makes complete sense, given that a large tablet such as this is primary designed for use in this manner, and it is actually quite surprising that not a lot of tablet manufacturers do this when it comes to their large tablet offerings.

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The remaining ports are in their typical positions, with the microUSB port on the right, the headphone jack up top, next to a large plastic flap that covers the microSD card slot and the SIM card slot, of course, with the latter available with the 4G LTE-enabled version of the device. Up front are the usual sensors, a front-facing camera, and a multi-colored notification LED, but of note is the dual front-facing speaker setup, denoted by tiny slits that are very inconspicuous to maintain the simplistic elegance of the Xperia Z4 Tablet.

Display

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The display of the Xperia Z4 Tablet is one of the main attractions of the device, with the 10.1-inch IPS LCD screen (2560 x 1600 and a pixel density of 299 ppi) being an extremely sharp display that provides everything you’d expect from a device of this caliber. The display is bright, vivid, with great viewing angles, and good color saturation, allowing for a fantastic experience regardless of what you are using the display for, be it web browsing, reading, keeping up with social networks, gaming, or watching videos.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet-1

Given that this is a Sony device, you can also take advantage of Sony’s X-Reality engine for clearer, sharper, and more natural images, and there is also a Vivid mode that really increases the saturation for a more vibrant image with photos and video. More granular controls are also available, allowing users to make adjustments to the white balance, but it has to be mentioned that the default white balance and color temperature are already quite accurate, so you likely won’t have to make a lot of changes in this regard.

Performance

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Under the hood, the Xperia Z4 Tablet packs an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, clocked at 2 GHz, and backed by the Adreno 430 GPU and 3 GB of RAM. This processing package, despite some well-documented issues, is still one of the best out there, and that is easily seen when it comes to the performance of this tablet. The overall experience has been very fluid, with hardly any instances of lag or stutters. Opening, closing, and switching apps, multi-tasking, and navigating around the various elements of the UI have all been extremely smooth, and gaming on the Xperia Z4 Tablet is of no concern either.

Of course, the big question that will be on everyone’s mind is with regards to the known overheating issues that come up with the Snapdragon 810, but fortunately, this problem hasn’t come up with this device thus far. Given that tasks that usually generate a lot of heat, such as gaming and watching videos for a while, is what this tablet was primarily used for, the Xperia Z4 Tablet has done surprisingly well with keeping its cool.

Hardware

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The Sony Xperia Z4 comes with 32 GB of on-board storage, which is further expandable via microSD card by up to 128 GB, and comes with a standard suite of connectivity options, including the availability of a 4G LTE-enabled version. Everything is kept protected from the elements as well, courtesy of its IP68 rating from dust and water resistance, which means that the device can be submerged in up to 1.5 meters of water for as long as 30 minutes without a negative impact on performance and usability.

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There is also a big emphasis on audio with the Xperia Z4 Tablet, with device featuring built-in Hi-Res audio support for reduced distortion digital noise cancelling technology, that is capable of reducing exterior noise by up to 98%, when paired with DNC headphones. The Xperia Z4 Tablet can also optimize audio specifically for your ears, no matter what pair of headphones or earbuds you use, and all of this does make for a fantastic audio experience. The audio enhancements are applied automatically, but you do have the option to play around with the manual equalizer controls and surround sound effects to cater the listening experience exactly to your liking.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet-15

The great audio features continue with the dual front-facing speakers that the Xperia Z4 Tablet rocks. While you aren’t able to take advantage of any of Sony’s audio enhancements through these speakers, the quality even without it is still quite good, and significantly adds to the media-consumption experience. The speakers get loud, and everything remains crisp and clear throughout, with no signs of distortion even at the highest volume. This is easily one of the best speaker setups you can get a tablet right now, and this is one aspect where Sony, with its Xperia Z4 Tablet, is far ahead of the competition.

The Xperia Z4 Tablet features a large 6,000 mAh battery that has allowed for some quite impressive battery life. Using the tablet primarily for playing games and watching videos, the tablet still managed up to 6 hours of screen-on time in the 24 or 30 hours since being taken off the charger. The usage is significantly heavy in this case of course, and more casual use will provide a drastic increase in these numbers, so battery life is another area which should be of no concern to users.

Camera

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Cameras have historically never been a standout feature of a tablet, and have always sort of felt like an afterthought, especially when compared to the cameras available with smartphones. The Xperia Z4 Tablet doesn’t do much to change the status quo, but does pack a decent camera package, with its 8 MP rear camera, and a 5 MP front-facing shooter.

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The camera software is as you would expect from Sony, with its minimalist and user-friendly interface. Apart from standard modes like Superior Auto and Manual, there is also a bunch of novelty shooting modes included, like face in picture, sweep panorama, multi-camera, and AR effect. The usefulness of some of these modes is questionable, but they can be a lot of fun if you do choose to use them.

The picture quality, however, is exactly what you would expect from a tablet camera. Some decent shots are possible, and this camera should do fine in a pinch, but you’re in for some disappointment if you’re hoping to be able to replace your primary mobile photography device, be it a point and shoot camera or your smartphone. Lighting conditions play a big role in this case, with the best shots possible in well-lit environments, and with the level noise and loss of detail increasing as the lighting situation worsens.

Software

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On the software side of things, the Xperia Z4 Tablet is running Android 5.0.2 Lollipop with Sony’s Xperia UI on top, which remains one of the best Android skins out there. While there are some noticeable differences from stock Android, such as the color scheme and the customizable application drawer, a lot of Material Design elements are intact, and together makes for a smooth and snappy software experience.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet-21

Many of Sony’s staple software add-ons are available here as well, such as Small Apps that allows for easier multi-tasking, and is a lot more useful on the large screen of a tablet with the additional real estate available, rather than on a much smaller smartphone. The Lifelog application is also included, which is great not only for tracking your fitness data, but also your general overall lifestyle, to see how much time you’ve dedicated to certain activities, like sleeping or listening to music, throughout your daily routine.

Like many other Sony mobile product, the Xperia Z4 Tablet also comes with PlayStation integration, allowing users to remotely play PS4 games directly on the tablet. This is definitely a huge selling point for PS4 owners, and is something that is very unique to Sony, which gives this device a huge leg up in the gaming department when compared to other tablets.

Specifications

Display10.1-inch IPS LCD display
2560 x 1600 resolution, 299 ppi
Processor2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810
Adreno 430 GPU
RAM3 GB
Storage32 GB, expandable via microSD up to 128 GB
Camera8 MP rear camera
5 MP front-facing camera
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1
GPS + GLONASS
NFC
FM Radio
microUSB 2.0 (MHL 3.0 TV output)
Battery6,000 mAh
SoftwareAndroid 5.0.2 Lollipop
Dimensions254 x 167 x 6.1 mm
389 grams (Wi-Fi only)
393 grams (LTE)
ColorsBlack, White

Gallery

Pricing and Final Thoughts

The official availability of the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet in the US is yet to be announced, but the device is available via Amazon, with the price points currently at $699 for the Wi-Fi-only version, $729 for the 4G LTE version, along with another option that comes with an included Bluetooth keyboard, priced at $759, but keep in mind that these prices do tend to fluctuate.

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Editor's Choice Update 2015So there you have it for this in-depth look at the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet! Sony manages to once again tick off all the important boxes, with the device featuring a large beautiful display, thin and light design, fast performance, excellent software experience, Hi-Res audio, and PlayStation integration. Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect product, but Sony does come close with the Xperia Z4 Tablet. As mentioned, it has been a while since we’ve seen a truly compelling Android tablet in the market, but this device manages to go even beyond our expectations, which is very exciting. Granted, the price is towards the higher-end of the spectrum, but the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is certainly worth it.

Buy now on Amazon
  • V-Phuc

    Fantastic high-end tablet. Very impressive specs. I wish it could be a bit cheaper, around $550US. However even at its current price ~$700, it is a much more worthwhile buy compared to the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 (a piece of garbage IMHO)

    • Shamoy Rahman

      Samsung’s tablets are ugly and the iPad lacks good specs, I would totally chose this tablet.

      • Ruturaj

        ipad air 2 has very good specs.

        • kaostheory

          Not compared to the Z4

          • Ruturaj

            I don’t trust snapdragon 810 in Z4. Scores are pretty low, so SOC apperars throttled. I would rather get nvidia shield, nexus 9 or if samsung comes up with cortex A72 based note tablet, I would prefer that one. But for now ipad air 2 will run and perform better in benchmarks too than Z4.

        • Kamalnath Kanthimathinathan

          ya, IOS doesn’t require as much Processor/RAM as Android. In all other aspects Air 2 is good enough (if you have the money to buy a 128Gb model)

          • Ruturaj

            Yep, that’s true and it has 2gb RAM not 1gb like other ios devices. I own 16gb model, I don’t store much data in there as I use it in home where I have internet connection.

      • Dinsy Jones

        Wut? The CPU on the iPad Air 2 pretty much destroys everything else on the market (leaving things like Surface aside, ofc). But yeah, it only has three cores /s

        • Svnjay

          The Z4 Tablet obliterated the iPhad Air 2.

          • Dinsy Jones

            With a Snapdragon 810? Whatever.

          • Svnjay

            With better multicore performance, superior battery life, Android has more functionality, dual front facing speakers, water and dusk resistance, higher PPI, more ram and lighter.

        • Shamoy Rahman

          The iPad Air 2’s CPU is not powerful, its Apple’s customization that makes it powerful.

          • Dinsy Jones

            Go read Anandtech. Now.

        • Shirley_Green

          FRU….

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        • Svnjay

          Nvidia has faster CPUs.

        • Da Fuq

          Android is a more advanced OS, so you can’t really compare iOS benchmarks with Android.

        • janice_simmons
    • Jesus

      I’d choose the original Galaxy Tab S than this or the Tab S2.

      …for multi window. Big screen? YouTube and Chrome at the same time, 25/75 split on the screen, portrait (so widescreen for youtube videos).

      • Shamoy Rahman

        This has multi window too…
        The Tab S2 has absolutely horrible specs. It lags behind the S5 in benchmarks…

  • Defenestration

    A Surface 3 is $499, so can’t justify this price.

    • Shamoy Rahman

      Surface 3 doesn’t run Windows, it runs Windows RT which is a featureless version of windows that has almost no apps. the Z4 tab is better than the Surface 3 in almost every way because the Z4 Tab now comes with microsoft office.

      • s2weden2000

        surface 3 runs full windows ..time to get updated with facts..that information is freely accessible on this new thing called the internet…

        • Ruturaj

          Yes, absolutely.

      • Wow, get a clue before you spout misleading information. Surface 3 runs full windows.

        • Shamoy Rahman

          Sorry I was wrong

  • Dashboard Digital Watch Face

    The Sony Xperia Z4 is stylish, sleek and loaded with many features. It is probably one of the best in the market and something that is worthy of your money. http://www.crittermap.com/app/dashboard-digital-watch-face/

  • Kamalnath Kanthimathinathan

    Usually sony’s displays are under par to samsung’s OlEDs (that’s about the only concern I used to have with sony devices). But this time, sony did a fantastic job with the display. For me it’s the best tablet in 2015.

  • monkey god

    Man, i wonder if this is worth it to import to the US @ $700. I would jump at it if it were $500-550. I was keeping my fingers crossed that it would arrive in the US, but no such luck. I had the Nexus 9 and was largely satisfied with it; just couldn’t stand the crazy lightbleed.

  • pleas67

    read this androidauthority < http://www.TheBestFinanceThings.Org

  • Ambkor

    I dont get it… Sony claims 17 hours of video playback but he got 6 hours of screen on time. Where are the other 10hours?

    • Svnjay

      He also played video games and probably did some web browsing. The Z4 Tablet lasted longer than other tablets that he has used.

  • fried_egg

    Now if only they can find a way to get the “heat” out of the phones… perhaps if they did not worry about being 1mm thinner each time!

  • I have had two sizes of iPads and a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4. My current tablet is the Xiaomi Mi Pad, 7.9 inch QHD display. The best parts:…only about $250 and 6700 mAh battery, plus excellent build quality, smooth, fast performance. Compared to the Tab S, the Xiaomi is heavier but has a much longer lasting battery, a great buy at half the price. I can’t see the Sony tablet being good value for money or even better all around, not at 3 times the price of the Xiaomi tablet. Sony is dreaming of their glory days when they could get away with charging high prices with little or no significant competition.

  • Jamie Taylor

    Any news on any wireless charging?

  • Jean-François Lévesque

    The problem with Android tablets is availability. Where to get this tablet or the z2? In Canada, apart from Samsung tablets and the Nexus 9, it’s very difficult to find any tablets we hear about on Android Authority, unless you buy them online for twice the orignial price tag… very annoying. And that seems to be true for most tablets no matter the size or the quality. I’m considering buying the Galaxy tab s 10,5 even tough I don’t like Touchwiz… but I’m considering an Ipad air also… It’s not my first choice at all but I’m getting desperate.

    • Hey JF,

      I understand what you mean. Sadly, for a lot of the technology we review, it is difficult to come by. There are always resellers in Canada, but you will pay a premium for the Z4 tablet, and many of the Chinese smartphones we review. Sony in particular has an obtuse and poorly executed global roll out strategy. Sony has no official mention of when the Z4 tablet will go on sale in Canada, but it is likely too, just in probably 4-6 months from now, which is absolutely ridiculous. The Android tablet ‘market’ is dominated by Samsung, with their robust global supply chain relationships, but I know what you mean about Touchwiz. I just gave my Father the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 The performance wasn’t good enough, even though it had a remarkable display. It’s honestly hard to recommend one for buyers who want a premium experience. The Dell Venue 8000 and Z3 tablet compact are both excellent tablets right now. Both Nexus 9’s we had would die when they got to 50% battery life, I wouldn’t recommend it. Hope that helps.

  • Oleg

    Must have our precious…

  • nfs2010

    Please stop quoting bloated price from third party Amazon sellers. An ebay seller with good feedback is way way better than a thirty party Amazon seller. Ebay has the LTE version for $680. That’s pretty close to standard US price for Sony LTE tablets.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sony-Xperia-Z4-Tablet-LTE-SGP771-White-FACTORY-UNLOCKED-WiFi-4G-10-1-/201365609535?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2ee2535c3f

  • robertkoa

    Again SONY who makes the Sensors for top rated Cameras
    on Samsung and Apple (i6 new 12 megapixel SONY for i6S soon; S6; Note 4 etc)
    manage to get mediocre Camera in their Device.
    Odd.

    • Svnjay

      It’s a tablet. The camera is just as good as the iPad.

  • Da Fuq

    Great hardware, but the software is just a blown up phone UI, which is unfortunately the case with most Android tablets. I wish it had a proper UI like Remix OS.

  • cfriedman2000

    good review however this is the second review that seems to imply that the tablet has this amazing battery life that only needs to be plugged in for recharge one a week. I have had seveal tablets and use them for many apps and fair amount of internet browser usage–I always need to charge within several hours so why so you make the statebment that you only charge every few days; please explain thanks

  • TasteDatRainbow

    Is there any word on a US release for this? I love it, and really want to buy one, but I’m wary of importing one. Anyone know how safe it is to import, and if there’s any way to get a warranty if I do?

  • vizirxsmart

    Great review, thank you so much! I love Sony products with all their modes and software and suppose that is a wonderful tablet, and I’m okay with its camera, but it’s really expensive.

  • This is best tablet in the world

  • s2weden2000

    L 0 L aijpaddy itouch lovers …

  • Mitchell Pancu

    Can I perform multitask on xperia 4 tablet

  • Paul Winn

    I’ve had a Sony Z4 tablet for about 4 months. While it was in my bag next to me in the car the screen developed a crack across the lower corner – I may have lent on it, but it didn’t signify and it certainly wasn’t being abused. The touch screen stopped working near the crack. On the same trip another crack developed down the middle. Now the screen fails to respond at all. The Sony flexes a great deal and the glass seems to be a large part of its strength. Until the cracked screen developed, I liked it. But I’ve had cracked screens before on tablets and smart phones and always been able to continue using them. I’m looking for an ipad air now as a replacement. They seem much sturdier. Sony seem to have developed this micro thin tablet at the very important expense of frame strength.