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Google Nexus 10 Review

/ Nov 19th, 2012 7 Comments

Google Nexus 10
Google Nexus 10

Google Nexus 10

Android tablets have advanced in leaps and bounds since their early years, and with the release of Google’s Nexus 7 earlier this year, we were able to see that Android tablets are more than capable of outshining the tablets that are released by Apple. The Google Nexus 10 is Google’s latest tablet, and whereas the Nexus 7 was issued by Google but made by Asus, the new Google Nexus 10 is made by the all-conquering Samsung. If you missed it, be sure to check out our official Google Nexus 7 review.

As the name suggests, the Google Nexus 10 is a 10-inch tablet, and this tablet will be in direct competition with the recently announced iPad 4. Google will need a tablet very special to take on a monster like the new iPad 4, and thankfully that is exactly what we get with this device: a mighty impressive Android Tablet that is ready to take on the world.

Build Quality

The first thing you’ll notice about the Google Nexus 10 is the build quality is very impressive for a tablet that is quite a bit cheaper than the iPad 4. Its slight convex edges make it look slightly larger than it is and the screen looks big. The plastic finish feels quite solid in the hand, and its rubbery back means that it sits well in the hands, even when held with just one hand.

Weighing in at just 603g with a thickness of just 8.9mm, the tablet feels perfect for extended viewing and holding. It’s lighter and thinner than an iPad 4, and because of this it somehow makes the Nexus 10 feel better for it. Those who have used an iPad 2 know how heavy it can get after prolonged use, so the weight really is a factor with a new tablet, and thankfully it seems that Google and Samsung have got the weight perfect.

The Nexus 10 has a few ports on the device, and you will also find a 5MP camera with LED flash. Ports include the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, a MicroUSB and a Micro HDMI slot; there are also Pogo pins which will be used for docking the device.

The Screen

There has been a lot of fuss made about Apple’s Retina Display; well, once you’ve viewed the Google Nexus 10 you’ll realize that retina display is so old now! Boasting an impressive resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels which equates to 300ppi, this screen resolution is higher than a 1080p monitor or a HDTV! What’s more, because it’s Samsung you know it’s going to be quality, and the colors and saturation are simply mindblowing. Pictures look realistic and really stand out, while video is similarly impressive.

Thankfully Google and Samsung have stuck with the 16:9 screen ratio, so reading websites and watching films is a far more enjoyable experience on this device than it is on Apple’s 4:3 screen ratio. Put on a 1080p movie and you’ll be blown away at the realism of the colors and the pure clarity of the screen. Technically, most people’s eyes can’t tell much of a difference between the iPad 4 screen resolution and this Nexus 10, however side by side the Nexus 10 clearly outshines the iPad.

Because of the resolution some websites and applications can look a little bit fuzzy on screen. This is no fault of the device; it is just that some sites and applications are not optimized for such a large screen resolution. Without doubt though, Samsung will release software to take advantage of this resolution. Until then though it’s not too much of a deal breaker and will not affect everyday use in any way.

Sound

There are a pair of stereo speakers built into the Google Nexus 10. They don’t look as though they can deliver much sound, but when playing a selection of music and watching a film they really did deliver. Sound quality is very good, with a nice amount of bass and treble, along with a nice warmth that really did belie the look of the speakers. Sound can also be played via the 3.5mm jack, and of course streamed to Bluetooth speakers, so there are plenty of options when listening to music or watching movies.

Operating System

The Google Nexus 10 comes complete with the very latest version of Android, version 4.2. Even better, it’s a totally unaltered and raw version of the operating system, so there are no changes made by Samsung. Jelly Bean was already the best available mobile operating system, being stable, fast and very efficient, but version 4.2 tweaks that experience even more and gives an even better end user experience.

This time there are multiple user accounts available, making the tablet even more user friendly. This time the user can have their own account with their own applications, and they can have accounts for other family members, each with its own applications and system set-up. This may sound like a simple idea, but the simplest ideas are the best and it makes the Google Nexus 10 the ideal family tablet.

There are many other feature updates with 4.2, but it’s the new Miracast that many will be looking forward to. This will allow the user to interact seamlessly with a compatible HDTV and share pictures, videos, music etc. simply and quickly. Improvements have also been made to the camera and various other aspects, and these will be looked at further in an upcoming review.

The Android experience has  advanced in leaps and bounds, and no one can now say it is second to iOS. In many ways it is far superior and a fully fledged operating system that is simple enough to use for the beginner, yet complicated enough for those who want to squeeze every last bit of juice out of the machine.

Google Nexus 10's Amazing Screen Quality

Google Nexus 10′s Amazing Screen Quality

Performance

This tablet is made by Samsung, and supports a super-powerful Exynos processor. This time it’s a dual-core 5250 processor with quad-core Mail T604 graphics clocked at 1.7GHz, and comes with a huge 2GB of system RAM. All this high tech, combined with the already fast and fluid Android 4.2 make it the best tablet experience you will ever experience, bar-none.

Everything that happens with the tablet is super-fast and responsive, with no lag, no stutter, no waiting for apps to open. It’s the tablet that everyone has been waiting for, a true powerhouse that is more powerful than its little brother the Nexus 7. Games run silky smooth, even the new Halloween Levels on Dead Trigger which are super-high detailed, while watching 1080p video is a joy without even the slightest blip.

Thankfully the mobile market is changing and applications are getting more and more graphically intense with more and more games becoming console quality. The Google Nexus 10 is the tablet to have for these games, as its combination of screen size and power mean you’ll have the best gaming experience on a mobile device. The same really goes for all other applications; they just work better with more power, and with the added pixel density, more power is very welcome.

Battery Life

The biggest downfall for most Android tablets is the battery life when compared to the iPad. Over the last 12 months or so though the tables have been starting to turn, and with the Nexus 10 the battery life is truly brilliant. With its large battery, the life of it will last between 7 and 10 hours, depending on its use. For the majority of the time most people will be using the Nexus 10 for web browsing, and just web browsing will give you over 7 hours of continuous use.

Applications

Google Play Store has a huge wealth of applications to download, and the quality of these applications is getting better every day. Top class titles that have been recommended many times all look stunning on this device; however because of the high resolution, screen applications which are text based can have really small text. One such app is Twitter, the text of which is almost microscopic; hopefully these issues will be addressed in future application updates.

Storage and communication

The Google Nexus 10 comes in two different sizes, one being the 16GB model and one the 32GB model. As with other Nexus devices, there is no addition of an SD slot of any kind, and Google is hoping people will jump onto cloud based services. For the money, the 32GB version is the better option of the two, and the one I would recommend to anyone even faintly interested in using the tablet for media use.

Wifi is catered for, as is NFC and Bluetooth 4, all features that help make this device more useful. There is a 5MP camera on the back and a 1.9MP camera on the front. Using these you can easily use Skype or use your favourite video software, and of course with the 5MP camera you can take snapshots wherever you are. The 5MP camera is adequate, but by no means as good as the cameras found on the latest mobile phones.

Overall

The Google Nexus 10 will divide opinions. It’s a nice looking tablet, but not one that reaches out and grabs you at first sight. It has a build quality that pretty standard, and Samsung have made far better looking devices such as the Samsung Tab 10.2. It’s definitely a tablet that is meant to be a powerhouse that allows the user to use it and abuse it wherever and whenever they want.

Why Google insists on having no upgradable storage on their devices is a mystery (actually, Google wants to keep things “simple” and claims adding storage will complicate things), as this could really be the deal breaker for a lot of potential buyers. People like to store their media on their tablets these days, whether it be films, music, photographs or whatever, and no amount of relying on cloud backup can make up for lack of a Micro-SD slot.

The Google Nexus 10 is sure to follow on where the Nexus 7 left off. There will be people who want a high-powered tablet that can almost replace a PC, and the Nexus 10 is the tablet to do this. Overall impressions are very good, and now it’s just time for the software to catch up with the impressive hardware and operating system.

Mark Adams
Mark Adams been gaming since 1977 and owned almost every console since the original Pong machine. Gaming has always been part of his life and he enjoys a variety of games and his mind is always open to new experiences in the gaming world. Over the years he has written gaming articles for blogs and local newspapers, and he always tries and add something a little bit different from your usual review. He works in IT for a small local company in Wales, and when he's not working, he's gaming!
Mark Adams
Mark Adams
Mark Adams

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  • Nicholas Bodley

    Mark,

    Enjoyed your review.
    A bit of copy editing could have helped.

    Surely, in discussing the processor, you meant
    GHz, not MHz! Would also love to know whether it’s
    ARM-based.

    Best regards,

    [nb]

    Sent from my Nexus 7, which I love,
    using FITALY for text input

    • http://gamingillustrated.com/ Sean Gibson

      It slipped by me (the editor), I’ll slap my wrists accordingly haha. It’s fixed now.

  • Patrick Pitoniak

    I was initially skeptical of the Nexus 10 but after reading several very positive reviews, I really want to test drive this intriguing device. In my opinion, the thick all-around boarders were a turn-off when I first saw pictures online, but now I absolutely have to try this out and I think the rubber back is a smart move. It eliminates a lot of the scratching issues of other devices. If I didn’t have an iPad 3 already, I would seriously consider this device, although I worry there are not enough optimized applications on Google Play for the screen.

  • Lee

    Any problems with the Nexxus 10. Two Nexxus 7′s died on me the second day I had them.

  • Benjamin

    The display is 16:10, matching the Nexus 7(good thing), not 16:9.

  • Gerald Monyok

    YOU ARE CORRECT, NO MICRO USB IS A DEAL BREAKER. ,GOOGLE AND AMAZON following in Apples footsteps with no removable storage. THAT WAS THE MAIN REASON I NEVER WENT APPLE AND NOW MORE OF THE SAME FROM GOOGLE AND AMAZON TRYING TO DECIDE WHATS GOOD FOR ME. I WILL PROBABLE GO WITH THE NOOK HD JUST TO GET REMOVABLE STORAGE.

    • http://gamingillustrated.com/ Sean Gibson

      Nice way to test out that your CAPS LOCK button works.

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