There's a new tablet in town. It's the new Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet and yeah, it's slimmer, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor, the Xperia Z2 Tablet. But the biggest achievement here is that the attachable keyboard transforms the Z4 into an Android PC, with its own mouse cursor and adapted UI. I tried it, and it's surprisingly plausible.
Lighter than the iPad Air
Down to specs, Sony's tablet is as thin as the iPad Air and lighter (it's made of plastic, not aluminium, though). Like the Z2 tablet before it, it feels so damn light, it's almost unbelievable. The screen is down right gorgeous: 299 dpi and QXGA resolution with LTPS. It is slightly bigger than the iPad too. Inside, this beast hides a Qualcomm 810, 3GB of RAM, WiFi MIMO, an option for LTE, and 6000 mAh of battery. Not bad.
The whole device is water resistant and, like the Xperia M4 Aqua, Sony has finally (big round of applause here) managed to take those annoying flaps out of the microUSB port. Now you can recharge without having to worry if a flap is completely closed, compromising your otherwise water-resistant tablet.
If you want some two-in-one convenience, you'll have to buy the superthin keyboard separately. Even if Sony hasn't said a word about final prices yet, Microsoft's Surface keyboard (around $US129 a piece) gives us a close idea to how much we'll be shelling out. The keyboard also isn't the only accessory Sony is selling alongside the Z4 tablet. Need to plug your laptop into a printer, or maybe a projector? There's an adaptor for that, but you know, you could always just get a laptop.
Overall, promising? Yes and no. While I was playing around with the Z4 Tablet, the hardware amazes, but the added keyboard and mouse are hampered by software. Though it's worth nothing that Microsoft is launching its whole Office suite soon for Android, and that will certainly make things better.
But for general tablet-ing, watching movies, browsing the web, and even playing PS4 games in the tub via Remote Play, the Z4 is definitely a great piece of tablet — just not a particularly productive one. With competition dwindling around for 10-inch tabs, the Xperia Z4 Tablet will definitely be in the running as one of the best when it eventually goes on sale here in Australia. No word yet on local pricing or a firm release date.