- Solid, injection-molded plastic makes for a tablet that is both sturdy and light
- High-resolution screen is nice and crisp
- Samsung’s Exynos 5 delivers excellent performance
- Delivers high-end hardware starting at $399, $100 less than the Retina iPads
- Decent front-facing stereo speakers
- Good (if not exceptional) battery life for general use
- Screen’s viewing angles and color are slightly inferior to that of the iPad
- We prefer the lightly textured back of the Nexus 7 to the Nexus 10’s rubbery back
- No cellular option at present
- No storage expansion
- Poor battery life while gaming
- At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Android’s tablet app ecosystem is as weak as ever
The Nexus 7 impressed us on nearly every front. What few flaws there were we more than forgave thanks to its bargain-basement price. At $400 to $500, the Nexus 10 is actually on par with many other 10-inch Android competitors — even a little more expensive than some — and, with average performance in most areas and sub-par battery life, it’s relying on that incredibly high resolution and fresh Android build to set it apart. Sadly, neither is enough to distance this tablet from the competition.
The resolution is indeed quite nice but in many ways, the Super IPS+ panel on the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 is even nicer, and other than that new keyboard there’s nothing much in Android 4.2 to get excited about right now. Of course, the true beauty of the Nexus line is that when 4.3 rolls around this slate will be the first to get it, and that is certainly worth something. But is it worth enough to make up for this tablet’s other shortcomings?
- Incredibly high-res display
- Front-facing stereo speakers
- Latest and greatest Android build
- Great gaming performance
- Middling overall speed and battery life
- Display lacks contrast
Google’s latest reference tablet packs an amazing resolution but ultimately fails to distance itself from the competition.
The Nexus 10 feels like Google’s open letter to developers. “Look how great Android tablets can be,” the company seems to be saying, “if only you’d make great apps!” The Nexus 10’s display is every bit the Retina’s equal, the build quality is excellent, and it even has a half-decent set of speakers. Android 4.2 is more stable than ever, and Android does a lot of great things iOS simply doesn’t. But you take it out of the box, say it’s beautiful and fast… then what? Apple’s tablet has 250,000-plus other apps that look and work great on a huge, high-res screen, and Android’s ecosystem is leagues behind. The Nexus 10 is a great way to watch movies, but there’s absolutely no way it’s going to replace your laptop the way the iPad could.
Yes, the Nexus 10 wins on price — $399 for this incredible display is a nice deal. But consider the extra $100 you’ll spend to get the iPad an entry fee to the App Store, and its many apps and accessories that just aren’t available to the Nexus 10.
Google’s now proven conclusively that it can design great Android hardware, but until developers prove they can design great Android software it’s still hard to recommend the Nexus 10 over an iPad.
The Nexus isn’t an iPad-killer. At least not in its current state. There are still a few performance issues that Google needs to iron out, and until we get more information on the Pogo charger’s pricing and availability, the slow charging issue will remain a particular sticking point. I’m also eagerly awaiting how the apps situation pans out leading up to release. There are a few apps that look great on the tablet, but I want to see more than a handful.
You’ll still want to make the iPad your first choice thanks to its years of refined performance, apps selection, and content ecosystem. If you’re going for Android, right now it’ll depend on what you’re looking for. The Transformer Infinity has a brighter screen, better camera, and a built-in storage expansion option. However, the Nexus 10 has superior design and performance, and the features available in Android 4.2 may be worth price of admission alone. However, thanks to the prerelease issues mentioned above, I can’t give it an unqualified recommendation in its current state.
So here you have a tablet that looks like every other tablet — yet another black rectangle. And yet, the pure Android 4.2 software (which is the best all-around Android experience out there) combined with the stellar internals and the awesome screen make it vastly better than any other big Android tablet before it. It’s clearly the best 10-inch Android tablet you can buy right now. If only we had some apps to spice it up.
WIRED Gorgeous display is among the best on any tablet. Samsung’s Exynos processor and 2GB of RAM kick out beastly levels of performance. The 5-megapixel rear camera is good, and features like Photo Sphere make it better. Android shows up as Google intended, with no alterations. Timely software updates, straight from Mountain View. Grippy coating and a thin, light profile make it easy to hold with one hand.
TIRED The same big problem that every Android tablet has — there still aren’t enough tablet-tailored apps available in Google Play. No microSD card slot. Safe, reserved styling doesn’t feel as unique as other Nexus products.