Apple's most recent financial results showed a noticable slow down in sales of the iPad Air. This brought out the usual 'expert' Android naysayers suggesting that the volume of Android sales was eating into Apple's success. I don't buy that: I think the premium end of the 10in tablet market is saturated. No-one *needs* a tablet, and unlike smartphones we are just not in the habit of updating our tablets each year. If you have an iPad 3, you don't need an iPad Air. See also the best tablets of 2014.
If I am right that would in turn be bad news for this device: the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet. That's because this superbly thin-and-light Android tablet is at the same premium pricepoint as is the iPad Air. And, unusually, it offers a broadly similar premium experience. In some ways it is better.
Xperia Z2 Tablet: better than the iPad?
The Xperia Z2 Tablet is thinner and lighter than is the iPad Air. It is water- and dust-proof, and holding it to read or watch movies is comfortable because of the weight and design. Its display is stunning, a full HD IPS display no less. It's not great under natural light but it shows off images and movies perfectly. Even text looks crisp and colourful. According to our synthetic benchmarks the Xperia Z2 Tablet s even faster than is the iPad Air.
We don't buy the latter. In use the Xperia Z2 Tablet is plenty fast enough in general use and games, although occasionally a little laggy. Battery life is pretty good, Sony's take on Android KitKat is one of the better ones we've seen. We're not over enamoured of the cameras, although they are perfectly fine for tablet use.
The Xperia Z2 is a great looking and well built Android tablet. It is staggeringly thin and light for a 10in device, has a great screen, expandable storage and good performance. We like the OS and the camera. Indeed, our only issues with the Xperia Z2 Tablet is occasionally laggy web browsing, and the fact that the screen is poor under natural light. But priced in line with the iPad Air this is right at the top of the shop.