When you’ve got a success on your hands, it’s time to go big. That’s clearly the strategy Google has chosen to follow with its branded Android tablets. Hot on the heels of the immensely popular Google Nexus 7 by Asus, a team effort between Google and the electronics giant Asus, the tech giant has released another Nexus model, the bigger-screened Google Nexus 10.
We looked at the 32GB version of the Nexus 10, which lists for $499.99. (Google also hawks a 16GB version that goes for $399.99.) In this case, Google’s partner for the hardware was Samsung, the same folks it collaborated with on a few recent Chromebook laptops.
Our first impression of the Nexus 10, after taking it out of the box and giving it a once-over, was that—no matter what you name it—a tablet gets its design and physical characteristics from the hardware manufacturer. Because the Nexus 7 and this new Nexus came from different family trees, they don’t bear much of a family resemblance.
The Nexus 10 looks like a cross between Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1). (We’ll talk more about its design in the Design section on the next page.) However, both of those Samsung slates come with MicroSD card slots for expanding storage capacity, while the Nexus 10 does not—which we consider a serious drawback for an Android tablet. (One of Android tablets’ biggest advantages over Apple’s juggernaut iPads is that, in most models, you can upgrade the internal storage via a cheap flash card.)
Apart from lacking a way to expand its storage, the Nexus 10 otherwise has many design aspects and features to its credit, starting with the highest-resolution screen in the 10-inch-tablet marketplace. (See more on the screen in the Features section of this review.) Also, the Nexus 10 plays its audio loud, proud, and with respectable clarity, and it has both micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports, for connecting to USB peripherals and HD monitors.
As for its performance, the Nexus 10 kept up with or surpassed most of the Nvidia Tegra 3-based, quad-core slates we’ve reviewed—surprising, seeing as the Nexus 10 doesn’t run on a quad-core CPU itself. Instead, it’s built around Samsung’s new 1.7GHz Exynos 5250 dual-core ARM Cortex-A15. (We look more closely at this processor in the Performance section.) The only test it didn’t fare well on was our demanding battery-rundown trial, which is likely due, at least in part, to the exceptionally high-resolution screen.
Somewhat brief battery life and a lack of storage expansion: Those are the two biggest concerns we have about this slate, which is why it fell a bit shy of earning our Editors’ Choice award. Still, the Nexus 10’s strong points almost outweigh its stumbles, making it an attractive Android option for the money—especially at the 16GB capacity, if you don’t need lots of local storage. We really liked the gorgeous 2,560×1,600-resolution screen and connectivity options, too. It’s an all-around good tablet that’s just a few tweaks short of being a perfect 10—or close to it.
Read the full review at Computer Shopper.