Google Nexus 10 Android Tablet Review

Google Nexus 10 Review

With the release of the Nexus 7 not only did Google show that Android can be competitive on a small tablet, but they also beat the iPad mini to sale by several months, giving time for the Nexus 7 to gain a foothold in the market. Fast forward to today and Google's set their sights even higher: right into the 10" tablet fray where the iPad dominates. On paper the Nexus 10 is impressive with a Retina Display beating 10" 2560x1600 display, brand new Exynos 5 dual core processor, Android 4.2 Jellybean and a very competitive price of only $400. Taken as a whole with the Nexus branding which practically guarantees future updates, the Samsung built and Google branded Nexus 10 checks a lot of the right boxes.

The hardware has a lot in common with the Nexus 7. The front is dominated by the display with on-screen Back, Home and Multitasking keys, with the addition of a pair of front facing speakers running along the edges which do a significantly better job than ordinary tablet speakers. The back is coated in a single piece of soft-touch plastic which does help you get a good grip on the tablet at the expense of being a fingerprint magnet and having a slight amount of give when pressed on.

Even though the Nexus 10 is a fair bit wider than the iPad 4 thanks to the 16:10 aspect ratio, it manages to shave a bit off the weight (603g vs 652g) and thickness (8.9mm vs 9.4mm) which doesn't make a huge difference but it's a welcome improvement nonetheless. You'll find a fairly standard selection of ports including a 3.5mm headphone jack, MicroUSB and Micro HDMI along with a volume rocker and lock button. These are located at the top left of the tablet which is a slightly awkward position but it's something you get used to.

You'll also find a pair of cameras, a 1.9 megapixel shooter up front and a 5 megapixel camera out back paired with an LED flash, capable of capturing 1080p video. The front facing camera is perfectly acceptable for video chatting and the rear camera rivals some smartphone cameras, but is significantly less useful on a 10" tablet.

Here's a full video review of the Nexus 10 in action.

Easily one of the best features of the Nexus 10 is the screen. With a resolution of 2560x1600 sharpness and saturation are on par with the excellent Retina Display on the 3rd and 4th Generations of the iPad. Paired with Android 4.2 Jellybean you can expect very smooth and solid performance even with the 4 million+ pixels the tablet has to push. Overall Android 4.2 is a minor upgrade over the previous version with a few nice additions including a Quick Settings menu for changing system settings on the fly, new gesture based input with a keyboard similar to Swype and multi-user support for sharing the tablet.

Unfortunately app support remains severely lacking on the Nexus, just like all ~10" Android tablets. This is less of a problem on the Nexus 7 as many apps designed for phones work fine but when you see something designed for a 480x800 screen stretched to fit a 10" 2560x1600 display it becomes a real issue, especially when compared to the excellent overall quality of apps on the iPad. Granted the Twitter app is one of the worst examples, but you'll run into poorly scaled apps fairly often.

Powering the Nexus 10 is the new Samsung Exynos 5 dual core processor clocked at 1.7GHz paired with 2GB of RAM. As one of the first new Cortex A15 based devices to hit the market the Exynos delivers stellar performance which we'll get into in a minute. You have the option of picking up the Nexus with either 16GB or 32GB of storage and the tablet sports a massive 9000mAh battery.

In Linpack the Exynos 5 is really able to show off, notching a score well ahead of the rest of the tablets that we've run through this benchmark.

SunSpider tells a similar story: the Nexus 10 does very well, delivering performance well ahead of the pack. It's clear that the Cortex A15 architecture delivers significant performance gains over current generation designs.

Here in AnTuTu the Nexus falls off a bit, however, many of the other tablets here have quad core processors which give them an advantage in this benchmark, and they're not pushing nearly as many pixels as the Nexus 10 either.

In our standard HotHardware battery test which simulates casual web browsing the Nexus 10 lasted just under eight hours putting it right in the middle of the pack. It would be nice to have a bit more longevity but in the real world this is good enough to last a couple days of normal use.

The Google Nexus 10 offers an excellent screen, top notch specs and a competitive price. Android 4.2 is a legitimate tablet OS, however, app support remains the biggest issue. Still though, if you're in the market for a 10" tablet the Nexus 10 is absolutely worth a look.

  • Excellent Screen
  • Android 4.2
  • Top Notch Specs
  • $400 Price
  • Poor App Selection
  • Lots of Plastic

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