Nexus 10 Review

The Nexus 10: Cutting-Edge Hardware for £319

The Nexus 10 is the latest member of Google’s family of Nexus devices. Sporting the latest cutting-edge hardware from Samsung, the Nexus 10 sits alongside the LG-made Nexus 4 smartphone and the Asus-made Nexus 7 tablet. It’s a 10.1-inch tablet which was designed to compete directly with Apple’s Retina ‘iPad 4’ and Microsoft’s Surface tablet.

In general, the Nexus 10 excels on the hardware front. It has arguably the best display of any tablet computer and is backed by an impressive amount of processing power in our Nexus 10 Review.

With an amazing 2560×1600 display, and Samsung’s fastest processor to date, the Google Nexus 10 screams “high-end”. Yet, Google will sell it at a mere £319, which is significantly lower than competing devices. It is a strategy that Google has rolled out with the Nexus 7, and so far, it seems to take hold, so Google is now extending it to three Nexus products: 4, 7 and 10.

Highest Resolution Display of any Tablet Computer

 

Over the past few years, Apple’s iPad has been seen as holding the gold standard for tablet computer displays. The iPad’s display is often described as ‘Retina’: this is because it packs pixels so closely together that the eye cannot distinguish between individual ones. The pixel density on the Retina iPad is 264 pixels per inch (264ppi) with 2048×1536 pixels spread across a 9.7-inch display.

To date, most tablet computer manufacturers have struggled to match the display on the iPad – even high-end tablets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 (1280×800 pixels, 149ppi) and the Microsoft Surface (1366×768 pixels, 148ppi) have struggled to come anywhere close to Apple’s 264ppi display.

With the Nexus 10, Google and Samsung have finally managed to produce a display that outclasses the one on the iPad. The Nexus 10 features a 10.1-inch display with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels. This measures up as 300 pixels per inch (330ppi). This means that all of your content should be crystal-clear on the display of the Nexus 10 whether it’s a book, a movie or a webpage. The Nexus 10 is able to play full high-definition video without sacrificing any detail. As full HD videos have a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels (1080p), most tablets will need to downscale HD video before playback. This is not the case on the Nexus 10.

 

Another notable feature of the 10.1-inch display is that it has an aspect ratio of 16:10. This is much more suitable for TV shows and movies than the 4:3 display of the iPad (TV shows and movies typically have an aspect ratio of 16:9). Due to its more appropriate aspect ratio, video content on the Nexus 10 can appear to be much larger than on the iPad and it ideal for apps such as Candy Crush.

Processing Power & Internals

To put it simply, the design of the Google Nexus 10 is beautiful. The front of the tablet is made of a pristine black glass surface from edge to edge. There is a 1.9 Megapixel camera at the top, and on there are big speaker grills on the left and right side of the screen. In theory, this is the best possible location for the speakers, because the sound is projected directly towards the user.

Every side has some connectors or controls. At the bottom, there is a 6-pin dock connector. On the right, you will find the HDMI port, at the top there are the Power and Volume controls on the upper-left edge. Everything is pretty clean, and the HDMI port will ensure that the tablet can output video to all HDMI-equipped TVs. That’s not the case for MHL over USB video output.

Another notable feature of the Nexus 10 is its use of a Cortex-A15 processor. Today, almost all major mobile devices use a Cortex-A9 processor (this includes the Galaxy S3, HTC One X, Nexus 4, Galaxy Note 10.1 and Microsoft Surface). According to ARM, the newer Cortex-A15 processors should be 40% faster than an equivalent Cortex-A9 processor. This means that the Nexus 10 should perform incredibly well. Indeed, its dual-core Cortex-A15 processor will outclass most quad-core Cortex-A9 processors.

The Nexus 10 is also backed with 2GB of RAM, 16GB (or 32GB) of internal memory, GPS and GLONASS geolocation capabilities and NFC support. Tablet photographers will also enjoy the 5 megapixel camera. There is a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera for video calling on Skype and for Google Hangouts.