A jaw-dropping 2560-by-1600-pixel ultra-high-resolution display paired with a powerful new Samsung Exynos processor makes the Google Nexus 10 (Est. $450) the most compelling Android alternative to the fourth-generation Apple iPad . The lightweight slate is well built, but the lack of tablet-optimized Android apps hurts. The Google Nexus 10 includes the newest version of the Android operating system.
Powerful and pretty. The Samsung Exynos 5 Dual processor powering the Nexus 10 and its display provides punchy and responsive performance, although the ultra-high resolution can cause the most cutting-edge of 3D games to hiccup a bit as they struggle to fill all those pixels. Everyday performance screams along just fine, and reviewers say the audio is loud and excellent. On the downside, battery life is just average and the micro-USB charger fills the battery slowly.
Android's latest software. Aside from the stunning display, the Nexus 10's biggest claim to fame is the inclusion of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the latest build of Google's operating system. This upgrade adds a 360-degree panoramic photo mode with the 5-megapixel rear camera, multi-user login capabilities, enhanced security features, a much-improved virtual keyboard and support for the Miracast streaming wireless display standard. As a flagship Nexus device, the 10 should also receive timely operating system updates.
Reviewers' two biggest criticisms are a complete lack of expandable storage or cellular data capabilities and the poor state of the Google Play Store from a tablet perspective. Simply put, developers simply haven't created many tablet-optimized Android apps, much less any capable of admirably taking advantage of the Nexus 10's plentiful pixels. The Nexus 10's high-quality overall package makes it an enticing proposition at $450, which is less than the fourth-generation iPad. But just be sure you're happy with the Android app selection before spurning Apple's tablet.
A mote in the high-resolution eye. Navigation is simple most of the time, but the Retina-beating display has one weakness: poor viewing at off-center angles. Experts say the Nexus 10's lightweight and thin build makes it easy to hold for hours on end, but if you're looking for something a bit more portable, they point to the 7-inch, quad-core processor-powered Google Nexus 7 (Est. $230 and up) as an alternative. It's also available in a cellular data-equipped version (Est. $310).
The Nexus 10's stunning display, solid design and speedy performance make it the most viable 10-inch contender to the fourth-generation iPad with Retina Display, Franklin reports. He says it's definitely the flagship Android device, but the iPad's robust app ecosystem makes it a better pick overall, even for $100 more.
Review: Google Nexus 10 Review: Android's Most Promising iPad Alternative, Eric Franklin, Updated March 14, 2013
Sascha Segan gives the Google Nexus 10 a ho-hum rating of 3 out of 5 stars, calling it nearly perfect on paper, but "buggy" in real life. The super-sharp screen and powerful processor don't make up for the lack of good apps and software that feels like it's in beta-testing.
Review: Google Nexus 10, Sascha Segan, Nov. 13, 2012
3. Laptop Magazine
David Eitelbach says that some games struggle to output enough polygons to fill all the pixels in the Nexus 10's incredibly high-resolution display, but the strong performance and overall package make the tablet a winner. "The Nexus 10 has vaulted to the head of the pack among 10-inch Android slates," he writes.
Review: Google Nexus 10 Review, David Eitelbach, Nov. 2, 2012
4. The Verge
Pierce says the Nexus 10 is every inch the flagship Android tablet, stacked to the brim with an impressive design, a stunning display and a price tag that's $50 lower than Apple's alternative. "But you take it out of the box, say it's beautiful and fast ... then what?" he asks. "Apple's tablet has 375,000 other apps that look and work great on a huge, high-res screen, and Android's ecosystem is leagues behind."
Review: Google Nexus 10 Review, David Pierce, Nov. 2, 2012
Engadget.com's Tim Stevens isn't quite as taken with the Nexus 10 as some other reviewers, although he says it's definitely among the top Android tablets available. However, the average battery life reduces its appeal.
Review: Nexus 10 Review, Tim Stevens, Nov. 2, 2012
In addition to the powerful and elegant hardware found in the Nexus 10, the new features found in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean help the slate stand out from the crowd, Olivarez-Giles says in this lengthy critique. "It's clearly the best 10-inch Android tablet you can buy right now. If only we had some apps to spice it up," he writes.
Review: Google Nexus 10, Nathan Olivarez -Giles, Nov. 2, 2012
James Rogerson asks whether you should be craving the Google Nexus 10 with its "stunning screen, fun rubber body and a lower price." His verdict is that while the Nexus 10 puts up a good fight against other Android tablets, it still falls short of the Apple iPad.
Review: Google Nexus 10 Review, James Rogerson, June 14, 2013
Drew Olanoff's review of the Nexus 10 isn't nearly as detailed as others, but it does touch on all the high and low points, and conveys a good snapshot of the tablet's appeal. "If you are a Google account holder and Google product user, then you really should think about picking this device up," he says before begging Google to start developing its own hardware rather than working with partners like Samsung.
Review: Review: Google's Android OS Might Be Better Suited for Tablets, and the Nexus 10 Is a Shining Example, Drew Olanoff, Nov. 2, 2012