Sony's tablet heritage is well-known in the Android community. The Japanese company knocked it out of the park with the Xperia Z2 Tablet, and has made some enormous strides since then. And although the company's lineup hasn't achieved anywhere near the iPad's level, they've offered arguably the best Android tablet experience out there. Now that the Xperia Z4 Tablet is available, there's no longer any question which tablet is king.
If you've used any Sony device in the past few years, the Z4 Tablet's design will immediately feel familiar. Not only is it a beauty to look at, but it feels great, using a combination of thinness and lightness to achieve what is one of the best-looking tablets we've ever seen. And when I say light, I mean light. With a weight of just 393g—not to mention it's just 6.1mm thick—you get the impression you're holding onto a piece of paper.
That's not to say the device doesn't feel substantial. Although it wasn't forged from a single piece of aluminum, the Z4 Tablet still has a satisfying heft and feeling of durability, like it could withstand an unfair amount of mistreatment. Not that you would want to deface such a stealthy beauty. This is something you want to maintain in its most pristine state, a device you cherish and admire for its exquisite engineering.
What's especially impressive is that the entire package is IP65/IP68 rated, which means it's resistant to water and tiny dust particles. Sony says it can easily "handle a dip in the sink," but that's actually doing its element-blocking powers a disservice. If you wanted, you can take the device for a dip in freshwater for up to 30 minutes at a depth of 1.5 m (about 5 feet). You won't be able to take it into the Pacific, but you could use it while taking a bath.
The Z4 Tablet's build quality isn't the only thing going for it; the slate sports a stunning 10.1-inch 2K screen (2560 x 1600-pixels), which Sony says is 40-percent brighter than the Z2 Tablet's; there's also a Snapdragon 810 processor, a 6,000mAh battery, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, an 8.1-megapixel camera, optional LTE and, best of all, a pretty stellar Bluetooth keyboard accessory that turns the device into a bona fide workhorse.
And if that wasn't enough, the device also comes with PS4 Remote Play support, which allows users to easily beam games from their PS4 to the Z4 Tablet. It's a very underappreciated feature, and works exactly as you'd hope. Using the feature tends to suck the battery dry rather quickly, but chances are if you're using it, you're not far from an outlet.
Over the years, we've seen Sony get close to offering the perfect slate, and the Z4 Tablet is the closest we've ever seen the company come. It's not quite an A+, but it's practically there, combining a beautiful design, water resistant superpowers, a relatively light OS, and a gorgeous screen into a very excellent package.
Unfortunately, this thing isn't that widely available, and is fairly expensive. Here's a rundown of where you can pick one up, and for how much. Yeah, expensive.
Beyond that, we don't have too many complaints about the Z4 Tablet. If you're looking for something a little more advanced than the Nexus 9, it's worth your time. To hear many more thoughts about the Z4 Tablet, check out Jon's video review above.