Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet VS Microsoft Surface RT 2: Tablet Battle

Posted by B. Johnson
January 27, 2015 | 0 comments
Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet VS Microsoft Surface RT 2: Tablet BattleHi guys, welcome back to this site!

Many tech reviewers across the net were really impressed when Sony came up with the second-gen Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet.

Not only does this tablet bring some huge improvements over the predecessor, but it’s also equipped with a more advanced ‘water and dust resistant’ certification (IP58) that ensures its superiority especially inside the water.

And this is something that still cannot be found on most of flagship tablets out there, even the iPads.

Okay, Samsung GALAXY Tab S may already have the same certification, but the IP58 of Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is still better than IP67 of Samsung’s slate, especially in terms of water resistant.

And this is the main reason why I’m still interested to bring up this Sony’s tablet in my other next comparison review.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet VS Microsoft Surface RT 2 benchmarks and gaming performance

And just like what I did earlier in my previous comparison review of this tablet, today I also want to compare this Sony’s device with another productivity-related tablet.

And this one is coming from Microsoft, powered by Windows RT platform. You probably already know it.

Yes – you’re right, the Microsoft’s tablet I’m going to put inside the ring with Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is no other than Microsoft Surface RT 2 tablet.

Well, if you’re interested to find out more about the comparison between these 2 tablets and see how they fare against each other in this review, then check this one out, my comparison review between Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet and Microsoft Surface RT 2 Tablet.

Hope you like what I'm sharing through this post. :)

Introduction

Compared to other productivity tablets on the market, Microsoft Surface RT 2 Tablet is actually more focused than its counterparts especially in terms of software and productivity-related features.

And that’s not surprising because this tablet comes with Microsoft’s homemade Windows RT platform – which can be considered as the light-weight version of Windows 8 Pro OS.

So basically, there are still some standard features and pre-loaded apps that Microsoft still puts on Surface RT 2 Tablet.

And the fact that this device also ships with keyboard case - just like the “Pro” sibling – really makes it a more suitable choice for productive users out there.

When compared to other productivity tablets from Android camp – like say, Asus Transformer series or Google Nexus 9 -, Surface RT 2 Tablet is also more superior because Microsoft is an expert of making productivity devices and especially on the software.

On the other hand with Microsoft Surface 2 RT Tablet, Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is running on the other side of the road.

Even though this device can also be used a productivity tablet with 3rd party keyboard, the main reason why Sony wants to release this tablet is really clear.

Sony wants to provide users a pure media-consumption device but in Sony’s own experience. And by “experience”, it means its entire UI and features that are tailored in Sony’s customized Android UI, which of course looks entirely different with many other tablets on the market today.

As far as the performance goes, I think both tablets really excel perfectly for that matter. Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is powered by the latest-gen Snapdragon 801 processor from Qualcomm, accompanied with Adreno 330 GPU and huge 3GB of RAM.

Meanwhile, Surface RT 2 Tablet is equipped with NVIDIA’s latest and greatest in 2013 – Tegra 4 processor – along with its staggering 72-core GeForce ULP GPU and 2GB of RAM.

By looking at the entire specs of both devices, I think both Surface RT 2 Tablet and Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet are really powerful equally.

But the questions remain. Between Surface RT 2 Tablet and Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, which one that deserves to be the best gaming tablet in this comparison review?

Which one between them that is a better tablet in the whole aspect?

Is it worth it to buy any of these devices, especially for playing games?

Well, you'll find out more about the answers of these questions at the end of this review. So be sure to read the rest of this review!

Design

Compared to predecessor, Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is actually not a huge departure from the previous-gen Sony Xperia Z Tablet. It still inherits the same sharp looking design and dark black color scheme all over the place.

However, there are still some noticeable differences between the 2, like the metal trim that now looks much darker on Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet and not to mention, the rounded corners that now look much sharper than on the predecessor.

Sony Xperia Z2
Sony Xperia Z2
Microsoft Surface RT 2
Microsoft Surface RT 2
Microsoft Surface RT 2 (2)
Microsoft Surface RT 2

Meanwhile, Surface RT 2 Tablet also doesn’t bring such massive changes to its design compared to the previous-gen model. It still has the same sharp looking design and dark gray finish all over the place.

And with the same looking Windows RT UI and also Windows logo on home button, these actually really make this device look quite similar with the predecessor.

So you can barely notice the difference between these 2 models especially at the glance.

However, there are still some significant 'tweaks' that Microsoft made on this latest-gen model. One of them is the kick stand that now can be further opened much wider than on the predecessor, allowing users to set the screen in more relaxing position, which is great for doing some productivity stuff.

On the software side, Microsoft has also brought some new additions of features and pre-loaded apps to this tablet, elevating the productivity experience on this tablet.

Between these 2 tablets, I think both Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet and Surface RT 2 Tablet are equally great in terms of design. In fact, they are good in build quality as well.

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet may have its IP58 certification that allows it to swim inside the water in the depth of 1 meter for 30 minutes, but Surface RT 2 Tablet also has a strong build quality on its materials, as shown on some extreme drop test videos on YouTube.

Back to Top

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet LTEMicrosoft Surface 2 RT
4G LTE
Micro-SIM
Weight 439 g (15.49 oz)
Released March 2014
10.1 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen, 1200 x 1920 pixels, (~224 ppi pixel density). 16M colors
Triluminos display
X-Reality Engine
3 GB RAM
Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 Qualcomm MSM8974AB Snapdragon 801 Chipset
Adreno 330 GPU
Android OS 4.4.2 KitKat
microSD of Memory Card slot for up to 64 GB
16 GB of Internal storage
8.1 MP rear-facing camera with autofocus
2.2 MP front-facing camera
NFC
Java MIDP emulator
GPS
HTML5 Browser
IP58 certified: dust proof and water resistant over 1 meter and 30 minutes
Non-removable Li-Po 6000 mAh battery
Talk time (multimedia): for up to 13 hours
Music play: for up to 188 hours of
    No SIM
    Released October 2013
    675.9 g (Weight)
    * Built-in 2-stage kickstand
    10.6 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen, 1920 x 1080 pixels (~208 ppi pixel density), 16M colors
    ClearType technology
    Microsoft Windows 8.1 RT
    Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A15 Nvidia Tegra 4 T40 Chipset
    72 core ULP GeForce GPU
    2 GB RAM
    microSD card slot for up to 64 GB
    Internal 32/64 GB
    No GPRS, No EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11
    USB v3.0. Bluetooth v4.0
    5 MP rear-facing camera LED flash
    3.5 MP front-camera (1080p @30fps video recording)
    No Radio, No GPS, No Java
    Dark Titanium
    Microsoft Office 2013 RT
    SkyDrive 200GB free storage for 2-years
    Skype 1 year free international calls and Wi-Fi
    Non-removable Li-Ion battery

    Both Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet and Microsoft Surface 2 RT are powered by 2 different processors and GPUs – Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet gets Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 801 processor and Adreno 330 GPU, while Microsoft Surface 2 RT receives NVIDIA’s beast processor in 2013 – a quad-core Tegra 4 processor along with its 72-core GPU.

    So in terms of performance, it’s just no-brainer that both devices are really powerful for that matter.

    However, if compared in the whole area, I think Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet looks much shinier than Microsoft Surface 2 RT in terms of spec sheet.

    It comes with a 10.1-inch display sporting the full HD 1920x1200 pixel resolution, a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, Adreno 330, 8.1MP and 2.2MP cameras back and front, Android 4.4.2 KitKat, microSD card slot for up to 64GB, 6000mAh battery, LTE connectivity (WiFi-only is also available), NFC and IP58 certification.

    Meanwhile, Microsoft Surface 2 RT is equipped with a 10.1-inch screen adopting the 1920x1080 pixel resolution, a quad-core Tegra 4 processor, 2GB of RAM, 72-core GeForce ULP GPU, 5MP and 3.5MP cameras back and front, Microsoft Windows RT 8.1 OS, microSD card slot for up to 64GB and a non-removable battery.

    Not to mention, Microsoft Office 2013 also comes pre-installed along with free Skype service for 1 year and 200GB of free cloud storage from SkyDrive for 2 years.

    Screen

    Both of these tablets are actually sporting slightly similar screen resolution on their 10.1-inch screen. Microsoft Surface 2 RT’s display comes with 1920x1080 pixel resolution, while Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet looks more superior with its 1920x1200 pixel resolution on its display.

    But in terms of sharpness, both Microsoft Surface 2 RT and Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet are actually quite great on that department. And it’s probably pretty hard to distinguish which one has the sharpest display against each other.

    However, when it comes to overall quality and experience, I think it’s pretty obvious that Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet has the edge here compared to Microsoft Surface 2 RT.

    And that’s because this Sony’s tablet is equipped with advanced screen technology (like Triluminos and X-Reality Engine) that makes it look much even gorgeous and more vibrant than the display of Surface RT 2.

    And that shows perfectly especially when both devices are compared side-by-side. But even so, both of these tablets are still great equally especially in terms of sharpness.

    User Interface

    Through Windows RT 8.1, Microsoft is trying to provide users a simpler and lighter version of its full-fledged Windows 8.1 Pro.

    This platform may not allow users to install some legacy software from PC/laptop, but it actually still inherits some of the key productivity features on the “Pro” version, as well as its customizations.

    So if you’re looking for a decent productivity-focused tablet, then Microsoft Surface 2 RT can still be a good choice for you.

    However, given that Microsoft has already allowed some tablet manufacturers to use its full-fledged Windows 8.1 Pro OS on their affordable tablets, I think this could really make it harder to recommend this device for you when other cheaper tablets on the market are already equipped with the full version Windows 8.1 Pro OS, along with all of its features and software compatibility.

    And not to mention, the fact that Windows RT has some limited app catalog than Android or iOS, also makes it even less attractive for tablet shoppers out there.

    This really contradicts with Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet that comes pre-installed Android OS out of the box.

    Besides having some design overhaul compared to the standard stock Android UI, not to mention added features and much cooler visual presentations, the app and game catalog for this tablet is also way bigger than the Windows RT of Microsoft Surface 2 RT.

    So on the software side, I think Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet really wins big time compared to Microsoft Surface 2 RT.

    Back to Top
    As a Tegra 4 tablets, there’s no single doubt that Microsoft Surface 2 RT is really powerful for gaming.

    Any games that you see on the market to date, even the most graphically demanding titles like Modern Combat 5 or GTA San Andreas can be executed perfectly and in full highest graphics on this device. It goes the same with Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet.

    Thanks to Qualcomm’s latest-gen Snapdragon 801 processor and Adreno 330 GPU, plus 3GB of RAM, this tablet is of course more than adequate to handle almost all Android games on the Play Store – even the heaviest ones like Modern Combat 5, Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas and other next-gen titles that are about to arrive in 2015.

    So basically, both tablets are on the same level in terms of gaming performance. However, there is one thing that makes Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet a far better gaming tablet than Microsoft Surface 2 RT. And that is its game catalog.

    As you know already, Surface RT 2 comes pre-installed with Windows RT 8.1 OS, as opposed to the Android 4.4.2 KitKat found on Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet.

    You also probably know that Windows RT is way behind other platforms like Android and iOS, especially in terms of market share, popularity and the most importantly, app/game catalog.

    So as a result, there is a lot of games – even your favorite ones – that just cannot be found on the Windows RT 8.1 platform on Microsoft Surface 2 RT.

    And this will force you to find the alternatives for them, which obviously are mostly not that good compared to the original versions.

    So if you decide to buy this Surface tablet, you must also accept the fact that most of your favorite games and apps that you’ve come to love on Android OS or iOS, will not be available on Microsoft Surface 2 RT. And this can be quite annoying in the long run.

    The story would be different if you get Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet. This device is running on Android OS on its platform. This means, all Android games that you see today on the market, all can be played on this device.

    And thanks to its powerful hardware specs, Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is also more than capable to handle even the next-gen titles that are about to arrive this year.

    However, there is also one thing that probably makes Microsoft Surface 2 RT a slightly better gaming tablet than Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet. And that is its compatibility to work seamlessly with your Xbox360 controller.

    So according to some video reviews I’ve seen on YouTube, this tablet impressively can ‘get along’ really well with Xbox 360 controller without any ‘hacking’ or ‘rooting' process, which means you can just plug in the controller to this device and VOILA… this tablet has turned from a boring productivity tablet into a solid gaming device.

    I’m not sure if Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet can also work with Sony PlayStation 3 or PS 4 controller. But once I found out about that, I’ll let you know in the near future.

    Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet VS Microsoft Surface RT 2, including what games that will run on these tablets, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)


    Cameras

    Sony has been known for its expertise on the camera department on its devices – especially the flagship ones.

    In fact, Sony actually is one of the main camera sensor suppliers for most of manufacturers out there, including Apple. Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is no exception.

    Thanks to its 8.1MP camera on the back plus 2.2MP camera on the front, this tablet is of course more than ideal as a tablet for taking photos or recording videos.

    So if you’re really into photography, then you are in great hands with Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet.

    Not only do the photos and videos taken with its cameras look great and sharp on this tablet, but they will also look awesome on your large HDTV in your house.

    The camera is actually the one that makes this Sony’s tablet stand out compared to Microsoft Surface 2 RT. And it’s not just on paper, but in terms of quality as well.

    Microsoft Surface 2 RT is equipped with 5MP camera on the back and 3.5MP shooter on the front. The photos and videos taken with its cameras may not look as great as Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, but I think it’s great to see how this tablet is well prepared on the sector of camera.

    Most of productive users may not use it very often on this tablet, but it’s still a good thing to have this complete package of cameras on productivity tablet like Microsoft Surface 2 RT.

    Battery Life

    Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is powered by a 6000mAh battery inside, ensuring around 13 hours of battery life in talk time (multimedia) and 188 hours for music play – according to GSMarena.

    For a tablet with full HD display, I think the use of 6000mAh battery is more than enough for this device.

    It’s still capable to last all day in moderate use, and some long hours for heavy intense use without resting the screen at all - like for watching HD movies in marathon or playing games in the row.

    Unfortunately, as for Microsoft's tablet, there’s no information given about the exact battery information of Surface 2 RT.

    But I believe it could survive much longer than the Surface Pro model because Windows RT OS is lighter compared to the full-fledged version.

    However, Tegra 4 quad-core processor can be power hungry especially when deployed with some heavy intense tasks like gaming for example. So it could probably last around 4 to 6 hours in ‘hardcore’ mode.

    My Personal Opinions

    So in my final conclusion of this comparison review, I think Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is on the same level with Microsoft Surface 2 RT, especially in terms of display and performance.

    Snapdragon 801 processor inside this Sony’s tablet is actually on par with Tegra 4 quad-core processor inside Microsoft Surface 2 RT.

    They are really powerful for doing some basic daily stuff and they are also really superior for playing games.

    However, in the whole aspect, I think it’s quite obvious that Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet looks more superior than Microsoft Surface 2 RT. It has a slightly higher-resolution screen, a newer-gen processor, bigger RAM, better quality display, much sharper cameras, more advanced UI and features and much bigger app/game catalog compared to Windows RT platform of Microsoft Surface 2 RT.

    Not to mention, Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet also comes with IP58 certification.

    So basically, Sony’s tablet wins on many sectors against Surface RT 2 in this comparison review. They may have the same ‘on par’ gaming performance.

    However, in entire aspect, Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is definitely the clear winner here against Microsoft Surface 2 RT.

    But even so, both are still great equally. And I think the final decision of buying any of these devices will come down to your personal preference.

    I mean, if you’re looking for a productivity tablet, then Microsoft Surface 2 RT is a great choice here.

    Meanwhile, if you’re in the search for a decent and pure media-consumption and gaming tablet, then Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet is probably one of the best choices out there on the market right now.

    Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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