back to article Sony Xperia Z4 4G Android tablet – gift of sound and vision

Time to recap the history of Sony’s Xperia tablet range to put this new model into context. In the beginning was the Xperia Tablet, the first Sony 10-inch slab. Then came the Z2 Tablet, launched just over a year ago and reviewed here. The Z3 Tablet never existed, only the clumsily named Z3 Tablet Compact, an 8-inch affair. …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    @ 1980s_coder

    I fear not. It may run a mean instance of Zork however.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Slacker@work

      Re: @ 1980s_coder

      Actually it might - it's a Sony product so should be Playstation Now compatible.

  3. 1Rafayal

    I have owned all the previous Z tablets, so am pleased to hear about this one.

    If you prefer the stark minimalist design, then this is the tablet for you.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have had the Z2 tablet since just after it was released. It's a robust, well-performing gadget, which I can highly recommend. Would I buy the Z4 with docking station? Most certainly not. A tablet does not need a keyboard, IMHO, so I'm not going to pay the extra fee. Plus, the Z2 will easily serve me another year or two.

    1. David Paul Morgan

      I love my Z2 tablet...

      and I use it with the playstation bluetooth keyboard - which allows 'nipple' mouse control too.

      use the Z4/Z2 in conjunction with google docs and it's very handy on the move

    2. tony72

      I've got the Z3 Tablet Compact, it's a great tablet; bought it on the basis of a good review here on El Reg as it goes. But as for the Z4, yeah, if I was going to spend that much money on a tablet with a removable keyboard so I could run Office apps, I'd by a Surface 3. Except I'd never trade my Yoga 11s for a Surface, I don't buy into the whole removable keyboard lark. I much prefer having a dedicated small tablet plus a dedicated ultrabook (that can masquerade as a big tablet on occasion), rather than one device that does neither job anywhere near as well.

  5. Simon Harris Silver badge

    "Just slide the tablet along the docking channel by half an inch."

    Surely you mean by 0.0907 linguini?

    1. Old Tom

      Re: "Just slide the tablet along the docking channel by half an inch."

      Cripes, you must have very wide linguine!

    2. Jim 59

      Re: "Just slide the tablet along the docking channel by half an inch."

      Surely you mean by 0.0907 linguini?

      Don't understand these modern units. Can I have it in cubic Welsh football pitches.

  6. MrWibble

    I'm liking the look of this - tablet for mindless surfing around in front of the telly, but the keyboard means I can do proper work on the train with it - replacing my ageing Acer netbook.

    Is it safe to assume Sony will support this properly? (wife has an xperia SP phone which has never had a firmware update in it's life, even though it was "promised")

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      You can get Cyanogenmod 11, which is Android 4.4...

      https://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Huashan_Info

      An official CM12.1 is being worked on.

    2. Blank Reg

      I expect it will get the latest updates for some time to come. My Z2 tablet is currently running 5.0.2 and I've seen that 5.1 is available on the developer site so I should be getting that soon.

      1. sysconfig

        I can second that. 5.0.2 as well. It has received more firmware/OS updates within a year than my old Samsung S3 in its lifetime.

    3. Shugyosha

      I've got an Xperia SP - great phone and it had plenty of updates, but mine's close to two years old. They stopped updates after Jellybean, so if your wife bought her phone more recently then that may explain her lack of updates, but it's not really fair or accurate to say there were no updates.

      1. MrWibble

        Nope - bought from Clove as unlocked UK model when it was "new" (June 2013), and it's never received an update. until about 6 months ago when I put CM on it, that is.

        I know some handsets / territories got an update, but this one, for whatever reason, never did.

  7. Mage Silver badge
    Linux

    Alternate to Win10 laptop

    If Web, basic doc typing etc is the needs?

    Though I'd fancy an alternate to Android or switching off all reporting to Google.

    It's laptop price.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rootkit

    Is all.

  9. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Happy

    "thinner, smaller, lighter and more crud-proof "

    I'd consider such improvements quite good.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame that some of the best features didn't even get a mention

    Like all recent Xperia phones and tablets, hardware active noise cancelling that actively cancels out aircon, plane and train drones. Awesome hardware 24/96 DAC for really good audio (stick some good cans on it and some HD FLAC and look et it blow your socks off)

    The Z3 compact destroys the ipad mini, the z4 destroys the full size ipad...

  11. David Roberts Silver badge

    Updates

    My original Z has just been updated, alongside our Galaxy S4 phone. No sign of any update for the S3 though.

    So updates don't seem to be an issue with the Z range.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Updates

      "No sign of any update for the S3 though."

      Look for Slimroms and you will never regret it.

    2. Jim 59

      Re: Updates

      I bought a S3 (outright) when it was launched. Updates stopped coming 2 years later. Makers release successive generations of phones but we all know the only real advantage of the new, almost unchanged model is that the older one isn't supported. A bit of a swizz.

      A bit like Ford refusing to make spare parts for any model more than 2 years old.

  12. Cari

    Have they brought back covers for the audio jack in the latest Zs?

    The Z1 phone had one, but my Z2 doesn't, and neither does the Z3 from what I recall. Some users have reported the uncovered audio jack is a source of water ingress on their Z2s.

    1. Al Taylor

      Audio jack

      The 3.5mm jack is uncovered. A quick dunk in the kitchen sink didn't show up any issues with water ingress but then again nor did it when I did the same thing to a Z2 Tablet last year.

  13. Phuq Witt
    Facepalm

    Plus Ça Change...

    "...I do wonder quite how long Sony can continue with this conservative design language before customers become bored with it and stop being able to recognise new models when they see them..."

    Because product design is all about allowing people to show off that they've got the 'latest version'.

    If only those unimaginative designers at Volkswagen, Fiat and BMC++ had thought to completely change the designs of their cars every few months, we might remember marques like the Beetle, the Mini and the Cinquecento today, instead of having had their boring sameness, year after year, condemn them to obscurity.

    Oh wait...

    [In other opinion pieces on El Reg this week: "Why Oh Why Did Microsoft Change Things in Windows 10 –Instead of Leaving the Design the Same?"]

  14. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

    I have one of these and it's really rather good. The keyboard actually makes it more than usable for content creation, it's light enough to hold in one hand (without the keyboard) for general web browsing.

    The speakers are louder than the Z2, and the waterproofing doesn't require you to mess around with port covers (for the micro usb).

    I have two slight issues:

    1. The bezel is slightly smaller than the Z2, which makes it slightly easier to accidentally touch something at the edge of the screen. Not a major problem, just an observation really

    2. I'm not sure if the battery life is all that good. It seems to vary, and eat up the battery faster than the older z2. It seems to use up battery on standby, but lasts a good while when in use. I used the device with wifi and the bluetooth keyboard almost all the way to London on a flight from LAX recently. It does seem to get a bit hot at times, even when running apps that don't appear to be CPU or GPU intensive, but that could just be a badly written app.

    Oh and another plus point, it uses quick-charge technology which allows the charger to boost the voltage up to 12V at 1.8A (I think) so it charges a lot quicker than the Z2 did.

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