The Nexus 7 has been an enormous success for Google, so it’s not a great surprise that Google has decided to go after the ten-inch tablet market too.
What is a surprise, though, is the specification: while the Nexus 10 tablet is significantly cheaper than an iPad 4, it beats Apple’s specification in several key areas – and we don’t mean obscure, under-the-hood stuff you’ll never notice, either.
Could the Nexus 10 be the tablet that finally does to Apple what so many other Android tablets tried and failed to do?
Google Nexus 10 tablet: US price and release date
In the US, the Nexus 10 is $399 for the 16GB version and $499 for the 32GB model, which works out as $100 less than the equivalent iPad. The US release date is 13th November.
Google Nexus 10 tablet: UK price and release date
The Nexus 10 starts at just £319 for the 16GB version and £389 for the 32GB, which means the basic model is a good £80 cheaper than the equivalent iPad 4 – although unlike the iPad 4, the Nexus isn’t also available in 3G or 4G LTE-enabled forms at the moment. The Nexus 10 will be available for purchase on the 13th of November.
Google Nexus 10 tablet: display
Apple fans have just lost their tablet’s big advantage: the iPad’s Retina display, as lovely as it is, is no longer the king of pixels.
Where the iPad’s display is 264 pixels per inch, the Nexus 10 is 300ppi: that’s a resolution of 2560 x 1600 compared to the iPad 4’s 2048 x 1539, with more than 4 million pixels for your eyes to enjoy. It’s wider, too, with a 16:9 aspect ratio compared to the iPad’s 4:3. That’s particularly good for movies, which won’t need to be letterboxed as they often are on the iPad.
It’ll be interesting to see whether the Nexus 10’s on-paper advantage translates to the real world: the whole point of the retina display, of course, is that you can’t see the individual pixels.
Google Nexus 10 tablet: processor and specifications
The Nexus 10 has a dual-core Samsung Exynos processor clocked at 1.7GHz, and it’s hooked up to a quad-core ARM T604 graphics processor. There’s 2GB of RAM, which should keep things shuffling along nicely, and you can choose between 16GB or 32GB of storage.
Unlike many other Android devices, however, that storage can’t be supplemented with flash media such as microSD cards.
Google Nexus 10 tablet: cameras, sensors and speakers
Google’s gone for the familiar twin-camera setup here, so there’s a 1.9MP camera on the front of the Nexus 10 and a 5MP, LED-flash camera on the rear. You get twin stereo speakers, a microphone and a headphone socket, microUSB and microHDMI for video output, and NFC for Android Beam.
The Nexus 10 has GPS, an accelerometer, a compass, an ambient light sensor and a gyroscope, and it also has a barometer. It isn’t there to predict the weather: it’s to identify your altitude for better GPS performance.
Google Nexus 10 tablet: operating system
No surprises here: the Nexus 10 runs Android 4.2, aka Jelly Bean, the latest version of the Android operating system.
Google Nexus 10 tablet: features
The Nexus 10 enables you to create different spaces for each person, which is a real boon if you share your tablet with family or friends, and it comes with the familiar Google Apps and the useful Google Now information service.
Google Nexus 10 tablet: networking
The Nexus 10 has Bluetooth 4.0 and dual-band 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi with MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output), but for the time being at least there’s no 3G or 4G version.
We’d expect that to change fairly soon, as the Nexus 7 has just gained a 3G version.
Google Nexus 10 tablet: music, movies and apps
For UK users at least, one of the weak points in Google’s Nexus was the Google Play store: while it had plenty of content, UK users couldn’t stream music from Google Play Music.
That’s changing as of the 13th of November, when Google Play Music goes live in the UK. That’s good news for all Google Play-enabled Android tablets, of course, but it also removes a significant disadvantage the Nexus tablets have compared to the iPad.
When it comes to apps Google Play isn’t far behind Apple, with both firms claiming libraries of 700,000 apps and games, although Apple does have a slight edge here as its platform as more tablet-specific apps. That may be a deal-breaker for some, although unlike certain Microsoft-y tablet platforms there aren’t any glaring omissions from the Android apps line-up.
Google Nexus 10 tablet: dimensions and weight
The Nexus 10 is 263.9 x 166.6 x 8.9mm and weighs 603g, making it a little bit lighter than an iPad and just under twice as heavy as the Nexus 7.