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Customer Review

134 of 139 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Tablet 2014, but for reasons not in the main headlines., 18 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: Sony Xperia Z2 10.1 inch Tablet (Black) - (Qualcomm 2.3GHz, 3GB RAM, 16GB Memory, Google Android 4.4) (Personal Computers)
I have read most of the reviews for tablets either on ebay/amazon or magazines, but they all review the same key items to compare it with the iPad Air. I hope those reading my review will realise that I am highlighting other areas that maybe are not in the spotlight as much, but are worth noting for people undecided...
And by the way a love Apple product but it was the right decision to make the switch now, this tablet is a definite alternative for Apple lovers.

Now people who say that 16Gb is enough for all iPads or the Google Nexus range are very much mistaken. And no amount of "it has cloud storage" will change that. Using Sky Go or the new BBC iPlayer/ITV player for on the go viewing will not handle 16Gb. Invariably you will sometimes use the download feature so you can watch the program without Internet connection. You need the SD card slot to expand the memory to an extra 64Gb for a reasonable price, something I can't say for the iPad Airs 64Gb or 128Gb tablet asking prices! Trust me, an SD card slot is simply a must.

Connectivity and Media Serving.
Now this could be showing why I think Android format is becoming much more superior to iOS, however although this area is a very Android item I think Sony products now definitely execute this much better than all other Android providers even Samsung . Now yes with Apple you can send pictures, movies or music from your tablet or phone to your TV screen of wifi stereo, however like all Apple products this comes at significant costs (Airport Express + Apple TV + iMac PC). With this tablet it is simply free, I can view all media from my PC hardrive from my tablet using a simply media server software on my PC, and I can also "throw" any media on my tablet to any smart TV screen or wifi speaker/stereo equipment and it doesn't matter who it's made by. I can "screen mirror" to which means when finding a good imdb or YouTube trailer I can watch also on the TV. Also the wireless printing is much better than airprint as instead of requiring an airprint enabled printer, you either cloud print or download wireless tablet printer plugin software for the particular printer you have. And if you are a iTunes must person, like I still am, you can use other 3rd party apps for iTunes remote or sync. Retune is a good remote for example. DLNA simply works and is free cause guess what, all electronic providers use it barring... Apple.
In short you don't need an Apple like "ecosystem" for this tablet to work, it will interconnect with any smart device or media server setup old fashioned PC. And will work between Android, Linux and Windows operations systems also.

App Store vs Play Store.
I've read so many articles saying you can't get apps on Android but I'm really starting to doubt if these people have ever used Android products or are just on the Apple wagon. Android store is virtually the same now, I am really struggling to find anything I was missing from Apple, and even if there is not the exact app, the alternatives are just as good. Let's say this simply, Android owns 80% of the smartphone market now and is rapidly selling more tablets than the Apple or Windows systems combined... Apps are easily more available now, it's a none argument.

This is like a PS4 in a tablet... And you can use your PS3 controllers with it. That's just cool period. Free downloaded game of FIFA14 anyone?

IR Sensor.
Yes this is the ultimate remote control. I can control my TV, marantz amplifier and CD from the 90s, and PS3 with this thing!

It's more than Waterproof.
This is not like another Sony product or even the new Samsung S5. It has a higher waterproofing factor, and also and more significantly, it means you can use the screen underwater. This is something that previous generation devices couldn't do. So Internet surfing in the shower is a possibility.

The Frame Bezels.
I keep hearing the frame is too fat compared with the new iPad Air. Yes it is bigger but look at the context of that argument. It is only on the eye/feel around 1cm on each side a wider bezel... The top and bottom is the same width. It really isn't that much! It's not a show stopper. And if that is so significant, then I would argue it is equally significant that the iPad Air has a smaller display at 9.7" not this Xperia Z2 10.1".

This makes the iPad Air feel heavy. It's stupid light... in a good way.

Operating System.
Android feels much more new and fluid to use nowadays. The Apple format of all apps on the desktop, to me, does feel alittle old fashioned now. Plus with screen switching, small apps and widgets make multitasking is so much easier on Android than Apple.

NFC and Wireless Connection.
This is hard to explain. But look it up... Smart tags are really useful additions, plus Xperia Link for quick tethering to a mobile phone and not just for the Internet, the tablet can send and receive messages. It becomes a smartphone extension, a very nice addition.

For the 2 reviews struggling with screen responses, you have a manufacturing fault so why didn't you get a replacement first before saying it was rubbish. I've had Apple and all sorts of products that have failed on arrival, but have never said it's rubbish and wanted a refund. Get a working one before you judge it. There will always be Quality Defects cause they are made by humans...

Overall I think this is a wonderful table and I'm very happy with my purchase over an iPad Air.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Jun 2014 13:58:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 19 Jun 2014 14:00:04 BDT
R says:
Let me just say good review.

How did you get the PS3 to work with the Z2 IR Blaster? The PS3 doesn't have an IR Sensor unless you have the Logitech IR Sensor that connects to the PS3 via bluetooth - but is it compatible with the Z2? I've tried the infra red commands manual learning thing - can't get it to work at all - it hasn't learned one IR Command I've thrown at it. It also seems very limited on supported devices for the IR Blaster - nothing for my Sanyo Mini Hi-Fi for example.

On a related topic. Not sure if you have tried the HTC One IR Blaster - it has a companion app which has the TV listings and touching a programme icon changes channel. I'd really like to see the same sort of thing on the Z2 because without it the IR Blaster is no better, if a little more clumsy, than using a remote control. I really don't rate the Z2 IR Blaster companion App at all, now that I've seen the HTC One equivalent.

The other main drawback I have with the Z2 is the SD Card expansion. Seems very very limited at what you can put on it. For example, if I want to download music from Music Unlimited, Amazon Prime or Video Unlimited there is no option to choose storage destination, and trying to use the file transfer app it doesn't allow it either. The SD Card storage seems to have pretty restricted use.

And your comparisons between IPad Air and the Z2 are fair. In my experience though comparing it to my IPad mini Retina the fluidity of use in terms of navigation, app opening closing and typing is much more fluid on the IPad - the touch screen on the Z2 isn't quite as accurate or sensitive as the IPad (I don't have a faulty Z2) and the Z2 isn't quite as snappy quick as the IPad - in that I've experienced a limited amount of lag on the Z2 but it's no deal breaker.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Aug 2014 13:42:29 BDT
Peppy says:
Hello thanks for showing interest in my review.
I thought it would be good to get a review on this tablet that is more about the smaller things than the ones that the main review sites talk about.

Firstly I just worked out I didn't manage to control my PS3 with the IR Blaster on the Z2 Tablet, this is my mistake, I'm actually controlling the PS3 through the TV IR Blaster, so its Z2>TV>PS3 just to clarify. I should remove that comment.

And no I haven't tried the IR Blaster from HTC so therefore I cannot comment if that is indeed better than the Sony equivalent here. All I can say is that the functionality you are talking about for HTC is there for Sony but with a different app, it is available on the "TVSide View" App for Sony which you can download separately, however this still has a weakness that it does not use the IR Blaster directly, but instead the WiFi Smart TV Connection to do the channel hopping. So you cannot use this fully without a Smart TV. I would recommend giving this a try and compare this app instead. Although owning "older" HTC Phones (which I really loved to the point that Im not sure why I went away from them) I can imagine their offerings are very good in this area.

I have found the same draw back with the SD Card expansion too, I am hoping an update will be released to allow better use of the SD Card Slot, because Sony phones can do what you are talking about here too, so why not the tablet?

I also agree with you on the screen sensitivity and have complained like may others to Sony directly about this (as its such a powerful tablet why is it struggling?), and all I can say is that they have brought out a second system OS update as of 11/08/14 to improve this area. I haven't managed to install it yet, so I will review once this is updated, but lets hope it does what it says it does this time.
All I can say is that it is good Sony is finally improving their existing products and listening to customers responses, something I've heard they have been very weak on with their models before the "Z" series.

Thanks again

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Dec 2014 04:09:01 GMT
jameske says:
Are you seriously saying that the 16gb model cannot handle BBC Iplayer? That is a very serious flaw in my view. Are you sure you weren't using it incorrectly, because I have a tablet from years ago that is 16gb and copes with BBC Iplayer. Not sure I believe you.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Jan 2015 19:01:35 GMT
That a massive problem with Android on a tablet you cannot move most apps to the Sd card & why 16gb tablets are useless. 32gb should be the minimum on a tablet.
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