Google Nexus 10 review: Perfect ten

GSMArena team, 12 December 2012.
Pages: 123456789101112

Introduction

Android took the smartphone market by a storm, going from a nobody to the one to beat in just a couple of years, but tablets proved a tougher nut to crack. Google and partners have only recently started finding their pace and giving the dominating iPad a real challenge.

It took nearly two years since the first iPad was released, for Android to have its first real shot at victory. The properly powered and aggressively priced Nexus 7 shook Apple out of their complacency and forced them to bring the game into the Android half.

Google Nexus 10 Google Nexus 10
Google Nexus 10 official photos

Now, that was an invitation for Google to launch a counterattack on the big iPad, which has always been its main target. Emerging in recent years as the MVP in the Android team, Samsung is the partner of choice in what looks like a match Google is hell-bent on winning.

Enter the Google Nexus 10 - the Android tablet to rule them all. A brand new chipset and a Retina-killer of a screen are a great start, while the most feature-rich operating system on the market should help seal the deal. Not to mention that the Nexus 10 helps you save a pretty penny, undercutting the main rival by a good 20%.

Key features

  • 10.1" 16M-color Super PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen of WQXGA resolution (2560 x 1600 pixels), 300ppi density
  • Scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 2
  • Exynos 5250 chipset: dual-core 1.7 GHz ARM Cortex-A15 processor, Mali-T604 GPU, 2GB of RAM
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 16/32 GB of built-in memory
  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash
  • 1.9 MP front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Front-mounted stereo speakers
  • Standard USB port
  • microHDMI port
  • Bluetooth
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • GPS with A-GPS support; GLONASS support; digital compass
  • NFC and Android Beam support
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor, gyroscope sensor, barometer
  • 9000 mAh Li-Po battery
  • Multi-user access
  • Attractively priced

Main disadvantages

  • Non-expandable memory
  • No USB host (can be enabled with an app though)
  • No mobile data-enabled version
  • Poor video-codec support out of the box

Apple would go on and on about all those Retina-optimized tablet-friendly apps, but numbers can be deceptive. It looks nearly impossible for any slate on the market to match the functionality the Nexus 10 is offering right out of the box.

When it gets to that, the Nexus 10 should have a far easier time winning its own Android league than the Nexus 4. Custom launchers make quite a bit of difference on phones, where stock Android falls somewhat short in terms of small but useful add-ons.

Samsung Google Nexus 10 P8110 Samsung Google Nexus 10 P8110 Samsung Google Nexus 10 P8110
The Google Nexus 10 at ours

On tablets, the differences are not as meaningful. And by the way, some neat features of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean are exclusive to tablets, which is clearly a point in the Nexus 10's favor. Lock screen widgets and multi-user access make lots of sense on a tablet and it was about time they were implemented.

Sounds like we can get busy reviewing the big Google tablet then. We start with the unboxing as usual, and that Retina-beating screen is coming up.

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