Channel 5

Google Nexus 10

Friday 07 December 2012


Rating of 4

The basics

The Google Nexus 10 is a successor of sorts to Motorola’s Xoom slate: it’s the Google-endorsed new 10-inch tablet running the latest version of Android and designed to lure would-be iPad owners over to its own eco-system. Made by Samsung, it’s a dual-core bad boy running the very latest version of Android, 4.2 “Jelly Bean”, but the screen is the star of the show here: with an absurd, more-than-full-HD 2560x1600 panel, it’s the sharpest Android tablet ever. But better than an iPad?

The good

Let’s just say it: the screen on the Google Nexus 10 is phenomenal. It’s every bit as stunning as the Retina Display on the third and fourth generation iPads. It really has to be seen to believed: it’s like a printed sticker on of the glass, and makes reading a delight. After using it for a while, you’ll never want to go back.

Android 4.2 meanwhile is fantastic, particularly on a tablet of this size. It’s come along away from the early days of 3.0 “Honeycomb”. It’s fast, stunningly easy to use and beautiful: Chrome absolutely flies on the dual-core Exynos processor. Voice search and dictation is faster than Siri on iOS, and really comes into its own on a device you’re likely to be using on the sofa in your lap.

And the new additions in 4.2 work really well here. There’s a new keyboard, which lets you type by dragging your finger across the keyboard, is perfect for writing emails on a big screen which you need to hold with one hand. You can add widgets to the lock screen, so you can see your emails at a glance. And at long last, you can now have multiple accounts so different family members can all use the same device: they can even add their own Google account. It’s incredibly useful, and something we suspect Apple won’t be far behind in bringing to iOS.

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The bad

We could complain about the Google Nexus 10’s build quality: its plastic back is a little creaky, and lacks the cool, beautiful look of a metal-backed iPad. But starting at a very tempting £319, it’s also £80 cheaper than the entry level Retina iPad, so we suppose it goes with the territory - it's not chunky, anyway, at a pleasant 8.9mm deep, and easy to grip.

More of a problem is one that Google needs to address with Android tablets as whole: the screen ratio. The wide 16:9 display is great for movies, but is so long, that it all but forces you to use the Google Nexus 10 in landscape mode. It’s less of an issue on the smaller Nexus 7, but on a big slate, it makes browsing the web in portrait mode almost impossible, as it’s so narrow and top heavy.

Apple’s right on this one: the iPad’s more squat 4:3 aspect ratio is much better suited to everyday use, not least because it’s easier to type. We’d really like to see the next Nexus slate follow suit.

There’s also the issue of apps: as fantastic as Android is on mobiles, it still doesn’t have all the apps and games designed specifically for a larger resolution display. That’s changing, but if you want to do things like edit movies on the go with iMovie, or compose tracks with GarageBand, good luck with that.

Lastly, you also might struggle to pick one of these up in time for Christmas: it’s sold out right now on the Google Play store, and you won’t find it in the high street.

The bottom line

The Google Nexus 10 is by far the best “big” Android tablet we’ve ever seen. The screen alone puts it ahead of the competition, but it still lacks the superior build quality of the Asus Eee Pad Transformer series and the fourth-generation iPad. It also lacks the latter’s made-for-tablet apps, and Apple’s eco-system of wireless streaming, accessories and covers. But if you’re tied to Google, and if you can find one, you won’t be disappointed.

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User comments (17)

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So does this mean no more Tablets from Motorola either? Pity - I liked the feel of the Xoom. The rubber edges made it more comfortable and grippy than alternatives.

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It's used in landscape, hence the position of the speakers. And why the hell would Google want to 'follow suit' anyway ? Apple have been 'followers' in many of their devices for 2 years now. God, your website reviews are as imbecilic and risible as the TV show has become.

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I can't believe you guys think it needs a 4:3 screen? Are you serious? Get with it guys, I you lot seem to be so clueless its own embarrassing! 4:3 - how 1980`s lol.

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there is nothing bad about the nexus 10, its not to long, you never said anything on this when said the samsung galaxy tab 10.1 and S pen, its the same ratio! infact you diss alot of great things, because you like apple so much, well sorry, but after 3 years it has been beaten. again. which is why apple are bringing out another new ipad in march! you should redo your review, with facts, not your opinion. oh and guess why there sold out everywhere? come on, guess.

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Funny how the lack of a SD card slot is a downside only on an android tablet and not a problem for an ipad. The latest android tablets are so far ahead its crimina, oh wait the ipad looks nice so the sheep flock. In my experience the best looking computers, laptops and tablets are usually the crappest. Sensible people buy for whats inside.

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Have to agree with the review when it comes to the screen ratio. Definitely prefer 4:3 ratio like the ipad has. I wish google would listen to its customers. It's one reason the ipad 4 still outsells the nexus 10.

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This tablet is designed to be used in landscape mode. As are the majority of other Android Tablets. If any normal user browses the internet on these devices, they do it in landscape mode. You wouldn't turn a widescreen TV on its' side, so why would you this?

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I've just re-read this review, and there seems to be a lot bias toward the iPad, especially as you are reviewing an Android tablet, which has nothing to do with Apple. When you mention the screen is 'the sharpest Android tablet ever', you then say 'But better than the iPad?'. You tell us! You're reviewing the thing. Is it better than the iPad screen? You almost sound so hurt at the thought that it could be, that you don't even want to find out! NEXT!

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I am using my sisters iPad 4right now to write this reply and I'm typing in landscape because it feels more natural I'm swinging to portrait, now no landscape is better so I'm not so sure what the reviewer had in mind and is the iPad screen better? We don't know because he or she is not sure he likes jellybean and the keyboard and the chrome browsing experience talked about is it better or equal. I'm not sure ......I need a new tablet and reviews are a suppose to help a guide thru the muddy waters .......this doesn't minutes I will never recover

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This device is superb. I agree with virtually every comment above, and no doubt those that appear below. I have actually stopped watching the show on TV due to the obvious bias towards Apple. Let's all hope that Samsung and the like sting Apple via the courts for patent infringment when the Apple TV is finally released!

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I have had this tablet for a few months now. It is everthing I hoped for. Just astonishing!

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Andrew Molloy

Someone's not been doing their sums, the Nexus 10 doesn't have a 16:9 ratio. It has a 16:10 ratio. You can see that just from the resolution of 2560x1600. So the width to height is not as pronounced as a "normal" widescreen of 16:9. If it was 16:9 it'd be 2560x1440.

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had one for a month, memory no problem with o t go lead and 64 gb stick,holds tv series and hd films,so no hardship .

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Crap review, Ipad has no SD card either, i'm guessing since you said you prefer the 4:3 you'd also have a 4:3 tv? no?? didnt think so. fact is... this tablet is far superior to that of the ipad, simply because ipad has stuck to its original design and at that time it was awesome, but now, move over because its android thats on top and as for the apps.. well i'm guessing you didn't check the 'tablet' option on the apps store!! crap review, comments from users are better to read. ps.. the program on the tv has also gone down the drain, as if i'd buy a recordable digital camera because it was the winner on a camel.. get a grip guys.

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Andrew Scott

I'm an iMac user, have been for years but I don't think I can stand the iPad as it's functionality is so similar to my iPod touch... and there is the rub; you can have too much. Basically I'm investigating Nexus because I'm board with the apple model. I'm looking to discover something different. Unlike some of the reviewers I think products should be compared however landscape is how films are shown and therefor speakers are left and right so Nexus wins. Film screen ratio; Nexus wins. I'm a photographer and want to see my photo's at the highest resolution; Nexus wins. Everybody loves the grippy back instead of slippery aluminium; Nexus wins. I think I've now convinced myself... Sorry Apple I'm ordering my Nexus tonight :0)

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I got the Asus Me301t (Memo Pad Smart 10) and I am very impressed with it, although the camera is pretty bad and it doesn't feel the most sturdy the rest of the features are good, and at only £229 it's a bargain, so check it out!

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I fully agree with the idea of an Android tablet with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Tablets are multi purpose devices after all.

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