Launched at MWC last week was the latest Sony Xperia Z4 10-inch tablet. Ignore the internal specifications for a moment and consider that this rugged, waterproof tablet weighs under 800 grams, with the keyboard. With Android 5.0’s security features and knowing that Microsoft Office is available we can’t ignore it as an ultra mobile PC. I took a closer look at it and spoke to Nicole Scott of Mobilegeeks about it on the video embedded below.
The tablet is incredibly light for a 10-incher. 389 grams includes a 22 Wh battery, an impressive 2K screen and 3GB of RAM. Add the keyboard, a Bluetooth and NFC-enabled 383 gram unit and you’ve got 772 grams in total. Add about 30 grams for an LTE-enabled unit. Battery life on the keyboard is one month when typing for 2 hours per day.
Of course there are questions over how ‘productive’ you can be on Android but one must remember that Microsoft Office is now available and in some cases there are apps available on Android that you won’t find on Windows. Gaming will be a lot of fun too. There’s a decent 8 MP camera on the back and that’s something we don’t see on the 10-inch Windows tablets because they’re mostly for the low-cost market.
Battery life for the unit is said to be 10 hours video playback. Expect 6-8 hours of work and a few days active-standby.
While testing the keyboard I felt like I was back in the netbook years. It’s a little cramped compared when compared to even the $200 11.6-inch Windows and Chrome OS laptops. This isn’t an all-day keyboard but there’s a multi-touch, clickable touchpad and the quality seems good enough for emails, blog articles, note-taking and efficient use of social networks.
27 GB of usable internal storage means you’ll be able to manage a holiday’s worth of snaps and videos and the IP65 and IP68 ratings for water and dust resistance will help on the beach while you’re out there. Be careful though because this isn’t a cheap bundle at all.
The keyboard, I’m told, is going to cost $180. I had to ask again but I got the same answer. That is a crazy price for a keyboard and it makes me wonder whether the Microsoft universal folding Bluetooth keyboard (my test here) might be a better choice but as it doesn’t protect the screen in transport it’s not really a substitute. It’s certainly a lot lighter though. As for the price of the tablet…559 Euro for a WiFi-only model. You can get a tablet/keyboard bundle for 659 Euro. (via Sony France.)
Having a waterproof tablet is a big advantage and Android is really coming along in terms of productivity. I like the camera and screen and I suspect the Snapdragon 810 will be powerful but with devices like the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 10 with Windows at 369 Euros, there’s much better value around if you don’t need Z4-levels of ruggedness. If you need Android, why not go for the Yoga 2 10 Android version which is even cheaper?