Sony's waterproof Xperia Z4 takes on premium tablets


— 10:24 AM on March 2, 2015

Sony is the latest tablet maker with an uber-slender Android slate. The Xperia Z4 measures just 6.1 mm thick, allowing it to slip into the same dress size as Dell's Venue 8 7000 and Apple's iPad Air 2. It's a relative featherweight, too, at only 13.9 ounces (393 grams). And, unlike most tablets, it can be dunked under water for up to 30 minutes with no ill effects.


Source: Sony

The Xperia's lithe, water-tight frame is wrapped around a 10.1" display with a 2560x1600 resolution. The underlying IPS panel covers 130% of the sRGB spectrum, according to Sony, and it's 40% brighter than the display in the Xperia Z2. If the backlight is bright enough for outdoor viewing, the Xperia could be the perfect poolside tablet.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 SoC lurks under the hood, serving up a big.LITTLE combination of quad ARM Cortex-A57 and -A53 cores. The 64-bit cores scale up to 2GHz, and they're backed by Adreno 430 graphics. Sony also outfits the tablet with 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a Micro SD slot that can take memory cards up to 128GB. Everything is powered by a 6000-mAh battey rated for an impressive 17 hours of video playback.

And there's more.

The Xperia Z4 tablet works with the Remote Play functionality built into Sony's PlayStation 4 console. Games can be streamed from the console over Wi-Fi, and the PS4's DualShock controller can be used as a gamepad. The controller presumably works with native Android games, as well.

On a more productive note, the tablet can be paired with Sony's BKB50 keyboard. This Bluetooth-based unit has a hinged dock with 130° of tilt freedom. It's about the same weight as the tablet, which could make the combo a little tippy at extreme angles, but at least the clamshell doesn't require a kickstand to stay upright. Sony claims the keyboard's 430-mAh battery is good for about 60 hours of typing.

Pricing hasn't been announced, but the Xperia Z4 tablet is scheduled for release in June. Versions will be available with and without 4G connectivity, and the keyboard will be sold separately.

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