There are two things that flicker through my mind when I’m handed an Xperia Z product: 1) Waterproof, and 2) Design. A third occurred to me when I was given a Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet to review: 3) Price. So let’s mix up the format and tick off these points in reverse order.
It’s during this time of year (Dec/Jan) that we get the most queries from parents about which phones and tablets to buy for their kids. My advice is always the same. Your kid will want the latest and greatest: an iPhone 6. So compromise by getting the generation just before that – like, a 16GB iPhone 5c. If there is a mini/compact version, even better (did you know the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is one of the most popular phones in South Africa?) It’s cheaper, it also gives you the opportunity to upgrade your own device and pass on your old one, and – this last one is just my personal opinion – it sets healthy expectations. You can’t be buying your kids the latest tech as it hits shelves. Technology evolves faster than the family budget! This is my long-winded way of saying that the Xperia Z2 Tab is a steal, compared to the latest Z3. The cheapest we found the Z2 Tablet online was at Orange for R4710. The most expensive was R9699 at Smart-i. I used Pricecheck for price comparisons by the way. Specifications
What you’re getting for your money is an Android (KitKat, upgradeable to Lollipop) tablet with a 10.1-inch display, running on a pretty powerful 2.3gHz quad-core chip, paired with 3GB of RAM. It has internal storage of 16GB, which you can increase by adding a microSD card, up to 64GB. Rounding up the specs is a whopper 6000mAh battery. PS: The battery life is insane. Especially considering that I was sharing the Z2 Tab with the kids who had loaded a couple of games from the Play Store, like Cars: Fast as Lightning. It lasts 2 or 3 days, plus has ‘quick charge’ so you can top up that battery in a hurry. During the December holidays, I decided to leave my laptop in Jozi and took nothing but the Xperia Z2 Tablet along to check emails, take photos and listen to audiobooks while we were on the beach and eating ice-creams.
I can’t believe I didn’t mention the camera in my opening paragraph. Because even though we’re a bit spoiled with the Sony Xperia Z2 smartphone’s 20.7MP camera, that doesn’t mean that the Z2 Tablet’s isn’t great, even if it’s only 8.1MP. (Can you believe I said “only”?) The fact is, Sony’s photo-editing suite is phenomenal, and even if the Z2 Tablet’s camera isn’t as OTT at its smartphone brethren’s, they both have the same photo-edits. I found the pictures that I took on holiday to be super-crisp – you could even see individual blades of grass. Design (and that waterproof thing)
You have to hold a Z2 Tablet in your hands to understand what sets it apart from other tablets. It’s light, and has a plasticky finish, but not in a cheap way. You know how you hold an iPad and it feels like it’s made of glass and you’re constantly worried you’re going to drop it? Say goodbye to that worry. And while you’re at it, say hello to reading your tablet while you’re in the bathtub. Because waterproof. I have a friend who says she uses her Xperia Z3 smartphone to take underwater shots in the pool – and I was like: “Why didn’t I think of that?!” The Z2 Tablet is 6.4mm thin, and 26cm x 17cm.
Sure, it’s more expensive than your average Android tablet, but Sony has packed the Z2 with all the quality Sony is known for, and more. I’m talking about the BRAVIA TV technology that makes the display so crisp and bright. Walkman, access to Sony Pictures, and hello – it pairs with your PlayStation. This is an entertainment tablet for an older child (Android is tricky for toddlers), and it’s durable and waterproof. What more could a teen want? Except for his mom to stop using his tablet to listen to her audiobooks…