Last year Sony released one of the best Android tablets around. It was well designed, powerful and slim, with a good screen and great performance. That was the Sony Xperia Tablet Z and now it's being followed up by the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet. Some things have stayed the same, but quite a bit has also changed in this new model, so read on to find out about all the differences.
The design of the two tablets is very similar on the whole. Both use Sony's OmniBalance design, which is essentially a fancy way of saying that they have a balanced, symmetrical design. They also both have a metallic frame and have exactly the same dimensions across the length and width (266 x 172mm).
But the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is slightly slimmer, coming in at just 6.4mm compared to the 6.9mm Xperia Tablet Z. The Xperia Z2 Tablet also weighs just 439g, while the Xperia Tablet Z is a slightly heftier 495g.
The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is also slightly more water resistant than the Xperia Tablet Z. The Xperia Tablet Z is IP57 certified, which means it can be submerged up to one metre in water, but the Xperia Z2 Tablet is IP58 certified so it can be submerged beyond a metre.
On the face of it the two tablets have very similar screens too. Both are 10.1 inch 1200 x 1920 displays with a pixel density of 224 pixels per inch and both use Sony's Triluminos and X-Reality technologies, however the Xperia Z2 Tablet also uses Live Colour LED's, which makes the colours look a lot brighter and richer than they do on the slightly washed out Xperia Tablet Z screen.
The Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is far more powerful than the Sony Xperia Tablet Z, as it has a 2.3 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB of RAM, while the Sony Xperia Tablet Z has just a 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2GB of RAM. In theory the 801 should be more powerful than the S4 Pro and in any case it's clocked faster and there's a lot more RAM on the Xperia Z2 tablet.
On the other hand you might still be hard pressed to notice much difference as the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is already a very powerful device.
One of the biggest changes between the two slates is the speakers. On the Sony Xperia Tablet Z they're located on the sides, while on the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet they're on the front. This is a far better location for them as it means they're pointing towards you when you're watching movies or playing games on the device.
Beyond that they also use S-Force Front Surround, which creates a surround sound effect and the slate features digital noise cancellation technologies, allowing it to block out up to 98% of all ambient sounds when used with Sony's MDR-NC31EM headphones.
The two tablets have identical 8.1 megapixel main cameras and 2.2 megapixel front facing cameras, so there's no difference in that area.
Both tablets run Android of course, but while the Sony Xperia Tablet Z is still on Android Jelly Bean 4.3, the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet has Android KitKat 4.4.
However the Sony Xperia Tablet Z has been promised an upgrade to 4.4, so that won't always be a difference. On the other hand the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is likely to continue receiving updates for longer than the Xperia Tablet Z.
Ultimately there aren't a vast number of differences between the Sony Xperia Tablet Z and the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet. The latter is substantially more powerful, but then the Xperia Tablet Z hardly feels lacking in power anyway.
The Z2 Tablet is also lighter and a little slimmer, which certainly makes a difference, but again the Xperia Tablet Z was already quite slim and light.
The two biggest differences in practice are probably the screen and the speakers. Both are significantly improved on the Xperia Tablet Z and they're both very noticeable improvements. Sound is both louder and of higher quality coming from the Xperia Z2 Tablet, while its screen is capable of brighter, richer colours, which makes it seem a lot more vibrant.
But most other things have stayed the same. Both slates have 6000 mAh batteries and identical cameras. Both also have 16GB of built in storage along with support for microSD cards and both have the same selection of connectivity options, specifically Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, NFC, infrared and if you opt for the 4G LTE versions they'll also support both that and 3G.
Arguably there aren't enough improvements to justify upgrading from the Xperia Tablet Z to the Xperia Z2 Tablet, but if you have neither the Xperia Z2 Tablet is clearly the one to go for.
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