We covered the Nexus 4, the 7, and now it's time to go ahead and talk about the Nexus 10. In our traditional fashion, we staggered the review to catch any type of updates that might have come out. Bleeding edge tech definitely has its share of bugs, we have to admit -- we've been dying to cover the Nexus 10. Google has really outdone themselves with this tablet, but we figured that we'd give you a full review. Catching technology after it's had a chance to "age" also gives you a break on the price, but you're still going to find that full retail value exists for the Nexus 10 in most cases.
Let's go ahead and start with the obvious: this is a 10.1-inch panel with a stunning 2560x1600 resolution. You might remember that resolution first with the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display. The tablet itself is manufactured by Samsung, which isn't a bad partnership.
You'll fight a 5MP camera that can handle 1080p recording, along with an LED flash. Sorry tech fans, we know you're tired of LED flashes but it looks like they are definitely here to stay. Nothing we can really do about all of that. There's two physical controls -- the volume rocker and a power/lock button. However on the left of the tablet edge you're going to find micro-USB and a headphone jack (3.5mm). There's a pogo pin connector and micro-HDMI along the bottom. We really find ourselves excited about micro-HDMI, which means that we can beam our stuff to a bigger display -- like that 60" flat screen you picked up on Black Friday or as a totally sweet Christmas present.
The speakers really carry this tablet, and there's also another camera -- this time 1.9MP that's capable of 720p video recording.
As far as connectivity goes, it's only Wi-Fi. There's some talk about expanding this to actual cellular tech, but it's not coming anytime soon. There's support for b/g/n, but no 'a'. I guess it's time for the 802.11a people to upgrade already.
You have some power under here -- a 1.7GHz chip, which has dual-core configuration even though it could easily go quad-core in the future. There's a dedicated GPU along with 2GB of RAM. You can go with either 16GB or 32GB storage. It's not expandable, so if you really get worried about space -- go with the 32GB.
GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC also fill in for you, which isn't a bad thing either.
We had to really jump back to the display. It really is a thing of beauty. There are a lot of pixels involved in a small 10.1-inch LCD panel. Certainly more than HDTV would have, and that's at 1080p. The display is incredibly sharp -- graphics pop, and text is very sharp. The user interface practically begs you to navigate it.
The brightness of the display doesn't go as high as other devices, but it's definitely good enough. The Nexus 10 is protected by Gorilla Glass 2, which makes it very durable.
You have two cameras on this tablet, but that isn't really news. You'll use the front facing camera quite often for self portrait taking, but you will otherwise just enjoy being able to get a good camera snap on the go. Camera technology is not the star of the show on this tablet, so you will find that you really are better off not getting too comfy with the camera. The quality isn't that great, even at 5MP. Still, it will take pictures, and they'll be modest ones.
Video recording is also modest at best, but that is almost a given. This isn’t the focus of the tablet, and it's better not to get too invested in camera or video.
You'll get Android 4.2 with the Nexus 10, which is still Jelly Bean. Some new hacks and additions that are definitely worth checking out. Android really just gets better and better from here.
The keyboard rocks -- you can swipe your way from one letter to the next to spell out words quickly. If you're used to Swype, you'll still want to stick to that. Sorry, physical keyboard fans -- it's all touchscreen on this beauty.
So, how does the Nexus 10 compare to other tablets? It's a sub-$400 tablet that should get plenty of attention. Yet the trouble here is that there's stiff competition here. You have the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, which is $349 for 16GB except that the G-Tab lets you expand that with microSD cards.
The newest iPad also gives this a run for the money, but it's a bit more expensive.
Right now, you need to look at what you're going to use a tablet for. If you're in the market for a tablet anyway, then you wouldn’t go wrong getting a Nexus 10. On the other hand, if you're on the fence and you’re just not sure, then you really are better off making sure that you check out competition before really going with this.
For students, we thought this would be a great tablet. It's a little spend, but if you're looking for a "just because" gift for a student that's really giving their all; this isn't a bad one at all. Good luck!