It’s an oft-repeated maxim of gadget design that the overall experience should be so engaging that the device itself should “disappear.” Sony appears to have taken that advice literally with the Xperia Z2 tablet — probably the lightest and thinnest full-size tablet you can buy.
In look and feel, the Z2 mirrors the aesthetic that all of Sony’s mobile phones and tablets have brandished since the original Xperia Z — rigidly rectangular with jewel-like edges, colored black with hints of silver on the sides. My favorite ornament of the design is the round, silver on/off switch, which is both beautiful and consistent across all Sony devices, including TVs, speakers and laptops.
The Xperia X2 isn’t just pretty on the outside. Under the hood there’s a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor powering the experience, which makes everything snappy and responsive. Rocketing through photos in the Album, for instance, won’t trip it up — no matter how lightning-quick your swipes are.
Android 4.4 KitKat — the OS running on the Sony, certainly helps a lot, and the Xperia has the hardware goods to bring highly visual apps like the just-released Solar Walk to life. The app, which lets you fly all over the solar system just by tapping and swiping, is ruined if the experience isn’t smooth, but the Sony delivered it like butter.
The result of all that is great Android slates like the Sony Xperia Z2. The design is superb, the performance is outstanding and the display is beautiful. All of that goes double when you’re watching video on it, for many the number one reason to buy a tablet. It’s lacking a bit in extras, but as full-size Android tablets go, they don’t come better than the Sony Xperia Z2.