Google Nexus 10 full review

Google Nexus 10 tablet

Google's Nexus 10 is a larger version of its impressive Nexus 7. Find out about this Android Jelly Bean tablet in our Nexus 10 review. Updated on 02/07/13.

Since the Nexus 7, there has been a raft of rival devices including the Apple iPad Mini, Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Barnes & Noble Nook HD.

The 10in side has been less so, with few stand-out exceptional devices to rival the full-sized iPad. Google's Nexus 10 is the first Android tablet of the year which looks like it has a package which can seriously take on the iPad. See Google Nexus 10 price in UK and specs.

Even with big name releases from the likes of Sony with its impressive Xperia Tablet Z, the Nexus 10 remains our top Android tablet offering fantastic hardware and software for a more than reasonable price tag.

The iPad 4 remains its biggest rival but Apple's tablet is still more expensive so it's not exactly a no brainer.

Google Nexus 10 review: Design

The design of the Nexus 10 isn’t too far removed from the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) but there are enough variances to easily tell the difference. It's not a surprise since the tablet is made by Samsung.

Like most 10in Android tablets, the Nexus 10 is designed in a landscape orientation.  It has a Gorilla Glass 2 front and plastic casing. The material has a soft and grippy feel to the touch, but doesn't match the quality of the iPad or some Android tablets like the Asus Transformer Prime.

The Nexus 10 is comfortable to hold in either landscape or portrait mode. It's both thinner and lighter than the most recent iPad at 9mm and 604g.

Phyical power and volume buttons are located on top of the tablet while ports are located on the sides. It's refreshing to find that the Nexus 10 uses a microUSB port to charge rather than a proprietary one. See also: Group test: what's the best Android tablet?

Google Nexus 10 review: Build Quality

As we've mentioned, the Nexus 10 doesn’t have an aluminium body like the iPad. Build quality is excellent but not quite up to the standards set by Apple.

There's a thin plastic section which surrounds the rear facing camera with a spotted pattern. This is removable but you won't need to take it off. The information which legally has to be printed on the tablet can be hidden behind it but there's a better reason for it. It also serves as a place to attach a 'book cover' similar to Apple's Smart Cover, available for £24 from the Google Play Store.

Google Nexus 10 review: Hardware

If you’re after a tablet with impressive specifications then the Nexus 10 will satisfy. Samsung has equipped it with its own 1.7GHz Exynos 5250, a dual-core processor based on the ARM Cortex-A15 architecture. Backing this up is an impressive 2GB of RAM.

In the GeekBench 2 test the Nexus 10 crushed its rivals with a score of 2505. A new tablet record proving this is one speedy tablet. Its nearest competition, the iPad 4, scored 1769.

The Nexus 10 couldn't beat the iPad in every benchmark, though. It scored an average of 1329ms in the SunSpider JavaScript test – a respectable result but the iPad 4 managed a swift 854ms.

In terms of graphics, the Nexus 10 is very competent. In the GLBenchmark test it managed a good 27fps thanks to its quad-core Mali-T604 GPU. The result is better than the iPad 3's 22fps but not as good as the iPad 4's 39fps.

Google Nexus 10 screen

Aside from the scientific numbers, performance is excellent. The Nexus 10 quickly responds to any input or command. Apps open quickly and pinch zooming in the Chrome browser is silky smooth.

There are two storage options to choose from with the Nexus 10 – 16GB of 32GB. Like Apple, Google has decided to not include a microSD card slot for additional storage. If 32GB isn't enough then you'll have to opt for a tablet with a memory card slot or a higher capacity of internal storage.

The last two iPads have had an impressive Retina quality screen as a great selling point. The Nexus 10 goes even further with a whopping 2560 x 1600 resolution – the same as the 13in MacBook Pro with Retina display. Google calls it the "world’s highest resolution tablet display".

A pixel density of 300ppi is nothing short of incredible. Everything displayed on the screen looks super sharp and detailed. We found the screen very responsive and viewing angles are astounding.

At 16:10 the aspect ratio is good for watching films, and there's also the bonus of front facing stereo speakers – much more appropriate than a lot of tablets which have rear facing mono speakers.

The Nexus 10 is well connected with Bluetooth and dual-band 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi with MIMO (multiple input multiple output) antennae and Wi-Fi Direct. There's also NFC (near-field communications) and GPS. If you want mobile data on-the-go you'll have to tether the Nexus 10 as there is no 3G or 4G model.

As we said earlier, the Nexus 10 has a microUSB port for charging and connecting to a PC. It also has, to our delight, a micro HDMI port so you can connect the tablet to an external display like a TV or a monitor. Sadly, a cable isn't provided in the box.

Lastly, there's a 'Magnetic Pogo pin charger' on the bottom edge of the tablet. However, at the time of writing, there's nothing in the box to use with this and we can't find a docking station to purchase anywhere. We assume accessories will arrive in due course.

Next page: cameras, software and battery life