There’s a new tablet challenging the dominance of the iPad Air 2, and this time round it isn’t from Apple’s traditional main competitor Samsung. Rather than releasing its new flagship smartphone, Sony has instead launched its latest Z4 tablet.

So, let’s take a look to see how things stack up in our Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet vs iPad Air 2 comparison.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet specs and design

**A demonstration of technological evolution – **If nothing else, our Sony Xperia Tablet review clearly highlights just how fast technology is developing as we see the iPad’s 64-bit 1.5GHz tri-core processor being pipped by the Xperia Z4’s 64-bit 2GHz octa-core processor with a massive 3GB RAM.

The screen technology has also evolved since the iPad was launched, as we see a 10.1” display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels and increased brightness coupled with true to life colours feature on the Sony Xperia Tablet. This compares to a 9.7” Retina display with a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels as seen on the iPad Air 2.

The stylisation of these tablets also sees two completely different approaches. The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is protected by a durable tempered glass front and the whole device can be rinsed off under a tap as it is both waterproof and dustproof. The Sony Tablet is only 6.1mm thick and weighs in at 389 grams with black or white colour choices.

The Apple iPad Air 2 is also extremely thin with a thickness of 6.1mm but it weighs a little more at 444 grams. The aluminium unibody with mono-crystalline diamond cut tapered edges is certainly more pleasing to look at and the colour options are wider including Silver, Space Grey and Gold. Without the same waterproof coating, however, you’d be taking a risk if you were to pop it under the tap as with the Xperia Z4 tablet…

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet photography

**A change of focus – **Both of the main cameras match up pretty well as we see an 8.1 megapixel camera with Superior Auto rival an 8 megapixel camera on the iPad Air. But, it is a different story for the secondary cameras as consumers have demanded better front facing cameras to keep up with the growing selfie craze.

The iPad Air 2 has a fairly low resolution 1.2 megapixel FaceTime HD camera which in no way matches up to the 5.1 megapixel selfie camera on the Xperia Z4 Tablet which also features a 25mm wide-angle lens for group selfies or group video calls.

Both tablets have useful camera features and on the Z4 Tablet these include an 8x digital zoom, the ability to broadcast videos in real-time with Live on YouTube and Full HD 1080p video recording. The Air 2 on the other hand can capture 10 photos a second in burst mode, records 1080p video with stereo sound and captures time lapse video.

Tablet features

**A never ending portfolio – **The Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is loaded with extra features, part of which come installed with the Android Lollipop operating system with an extra dose of Sony specific apps. The Sony Tablet quickly converts into a professional’s tablet with an optional accessories including a Bluetooth keyboard. 4G, Wi-Fi and GPS are onboard and the high capacity 6,000mAh battery can play up to 17 hours of video or standby for even longer with Battery STAMINA Mode.

The Apple iPad Air 2 has the digital assistant Siri on hand to deal with all manner of voice commands and once again we see GPS, Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity making the cut as you’d expect on a tablet from Apple. Touch ID fingerprint security protects this tablet which has a 10 hour battery and iCloud Drive access for backing up files, photos and videos online.

Another key difference between the two devices is that the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet can download new apps from Google Play while the iPad Air 2 has access to the Apple App Store, providing an almost endless number of ways to personalise the experience.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet vs iPad Air 2 verdict: Existing Apple device owners will undoubtedly choose to the iPad Air 2 but for anyone else the Xperia Z4 Tablet clearly strides ahead and makes a better buy when it comes to specs and additional features.

Did you know? You can get a free iPad Air 2 with a phone contract.