Sony Xperia Z4 The Xperia Z4 Tablet runs the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop. This means you’re treated to the new Material design and all of the layout tweaks that come with it.The Sony Xperia Z4's slim, waterproof design is simultaneously sleek and solid. Running the latest version of Android, it features a colorful user-friendly overlay. It has a sharp HD screen, and its performance is fast and smooth. The 64-bit octa-core processor clocked at 2GHz and 3GB of RAM combine to excellent effect, making the Xperia Z4 Tablet very powerful indeed. This is reflected by our benchmark results.
It scored 4,500 in the Geekbench 3 multi-core speed test, placing it and the iPad Air 2 (4,509) on an even keel. It’s streets ahead of Android rivals, leaving the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (2,669) in the dust.
The Xperia performs even better in the graphics department, scoring a sublime 24,283 in the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited test. That’s a terrific result. Even the iPad Air 2 (21,797) can’t keep up, with the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 (13,500) again way behind.
However, benchmarks aren’t everything. Fortunately, the Xperia’s performance is generally excellent. It blitzes through 3D games, including Real Racing 3, Asphalt 8 and Dead Trigger 2, delivering a flawless experience. Similarly, movies and videos play smoothly, without a hint of lag.
On occasion, we did find that sound and videos sometimes stuttered when rotating the screen, and we’re not sure why. However, it seems to happen on an irregular basis, and is so fleeting that few users will actually be bothered by it. Sony claims you'll get 17 hours of video playback from the Z4, and from our tests, that's not too far from the truth. The Z4 managed almost 15 hours of continuous video while syncing Twitter every 10 minutes over WiFi. That's pretty damn impressive given the battery is exactly the same size as last year's model, and the same test drained the Z2 in just eight hours.
The storage options aren't overly generous, and it would be nice if Sony offered a 64GB version; microSD storage is handy, but files on there don't perform as well as on the main memory. The optional Bluetooth keyboard is cramped to type on and has a frail plastic build.
THE BOTTOM LINE For novice Android users with a desire to greatly personalize their experience, the Sony Xperia Z4 is a beautifully constructed tablet with high-end specs that won't disappoint. Key Features: 10.1-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 IPS display; Android Lollipop; Snapdragon 810 processor; 3GB RAM; 6,000mAh battery; 393g; 8.1-megapixel rear camera; NFC; Bluetooth 4.1
iPad Air 2
It's even thinner and lighter than last time around and to a noticeable extent. The screen is better, with more vibrant colours, it's more powerful thanks to its A8X processor and the battery life holds up just as well. It even benefits from Touch ID and Apple Pay and while these features aren't as exciting here as they are on phones they're still nice to have. Performance
The 64-bit A7 processor introduced on the iPhone 5S was altered to provide a power boost to last year’s iPad Air. Called the A7X this chip was similar in performance to the A7 – up 5-10% in our benchmark tests.
This year Apple has gone further and designed a processor specifically for the iPad Air 2. The A8X has a tri-core CPU running at 1.5GHz and a quad-core graphics processing unit coupled, for the first time, to 2GB of RAM.
If we play Specs Top Trumps the iPad Air 2 looks a shadow of top-end Android tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and its 2.3GHz quad-core processor. Don’t let that fool you, though. The iPad Air 2 is the most powerful tablet we’ve ever tested – and that’s including Nvidia’s Shield Tablet that packs the great new Tegra K1.
And while the processor is key to that performance, Apple has also ensured that iOS 8 can make the most of it. Metal lets developers take full advantage of the quad-core GPU, while the new iOS programming language, Swift, means apps can hook into certain features such as Touch ID.
Some observers have even compared the iPad Air 2's performance to a desktop PC. In some respects they’re right. The A8X processor performs a few tasks faster than PCs just a few years old, but the question is: do you need all that power? If you intend to use your iPad as a productivity device then you’ll appreciate it. Even if you don’t, you may find yourself using it more as a laptop replacement than you anticipated.
During the launch of the Air 2, Apple showed off a video-editing app called Replay that lets you create slick-looking videos with ease. The iPad Air 2 powered through the edits.
There are clear benefits to be had from the extra performance, but let’s see how it stacks up against the competition.
The iPad Air 2 scores an excellent 4,509 on Geekbench 3. To put that in some context, the next fastest tablet we’ve reviewed, the Nvidia Shield, scored 3220 – that’s 40% faster. That also makes the iPad Air 2 almost 70% faster than the iPad Air. That’s some impressive work in just a year.
And the wins keep coming with a 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited score of 21,797. That’s 33% higher than the Shield and almost 50% better than the first-generation iPad Air.
The iPad Air 2 is astonishingly fast – so fast, in fact, that you might not know what to do with all that power. Not that we’re complaining, of course. The extra grunt means that this is a tablet you can use for more than just checking out the latest memes and Facebook. It future-proofs the Air 2 to some degree.
There’s also been an upgrade to the co-processor, now called the M8. This handles all the sensor data from the iPad Air 2, such as the accelerometer and the new barometer. The reason that Apple favours a co-processor is that it uses much less power than the main processor, helping the battery to last longer.
In short the iPad Air 2 really is the complete package and while you can always find things to niggle about there are no significant flaws. In the time since the original iPad Air launched everything else is still struggling to match it and yet Apple has managed to raise the benchmark higher still. Everyone else really has their work cut out if the iPad Air 2 is going to be unseated from the number one spot. The new iPad Air gets an improved A8X processor, better rear and front-facing cameras, an even thinner and lighter design, an anti-reflective screen, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and more built-in storage at higher configurations than last year. But The Air 2 isn't a big change from last year's iPad in terms of overall function; battery life remains the same, although its battery life is already pretty good. Audio playback via speakers makes the thin metal body resonate more than before. The Bottom Line The iPad Air 2 is a nice refinement and finesse of last year's model, with a bevy of tweaks, enhancements, a much faster processor, and the welcome addition of Touch ID. Simply put: it's still the gold standard for tablets.Weight: 437g | Dimensions: 240 x 169.5 x 6.1mm | OS: iOS 8.1 | Screen size: 9.7-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2048 | CPU: Triple-core 1.5 GHz | RAM: 2GB | Storage: 16/64/128GB | Battery: 7340mAh | Rear camera: 8MP | Front camera: 1.2MP $349.95 VS Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet Sony's previous Xperia Tablet Z was an incredibly slender piece of kit, measuring only 6.9mm thick, but the new model has managed to slice off even more, coming in at only 6.4mm. Its slimness is immediately noticeable when you pick the slate up as it feels like a thin pamphlet. At 426g it's very light as well, which should help make it comfortable to use for longer periods.Design-wise, not much has changed since the previous model. The front is a button-free, all glass design, while the back panel is a wide expanse of matte black plastic, with the minimal Sony branding in the middle. Like its predecessor, the Z2 Tablet is completely waterproof, allowing it to shrug off an errant spilled drink or let you dunk it in the sink to rinse off smeary fingerprint marks.The 10.1-inch display boasts a Full HD resolution, making it well equipped to tackle glossy, high definition shows on Netflix. It's not quite matching the iPad Air's whopping 2048x1536-pixel resolution, although side-by-side, I doubt you'd notice much difference.On the back of the tablet is an 8-megapixel camera which should be at least good enough for some Instagram shots of whatever you've cooked that evening.Stuffed into that skinny frame is a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, clocked at an impressive 2.3GHz, backed up by 3GB of RAM. Specifications
Display type10.1 in
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 2.3 GHz
Dimensions (WxDxH)0.25 inWeight15.03 oz