Apple iPad 2 full review

Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2

With just £10 being the difference between the Google Nexus 10 and Apple iPad 2's price, and the iPad 2 still being sold by Apple, we thought we'd put the two popular tablets next to each other to see how they measured up to one another. Here's our Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2 comparison review.

The Apple iPad 2 was the only tablet worth its salt when it launched in March 2011. Nearly two years old now, it’s positively geriatric compared to the Google-Samsung flagship 10in tablet that launched only two months ago.  Apple is still making and selling its venerable tablet as a cheaper entry point for full-size tablets for people who can’t stretch the extra £70 for the current leading iPad, the Apple iPad 4. See also Nexus 10 vs Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet comparison review.

Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2: Screen

The Google Nexus 10 has a 2560 x 1600-pixel display that’s 10.055in across, while the Apple iPad 2 has a 1024 x 768-pixel display that’s 9.7in across. The Nexus has a 16:10 aspect ratio and the iPad is 4:3.

Google gives size and weight specifications of 263.9 x 177.6 x 8.9 mm and 603g, while Apple’s are 241.2 x 185.7 x 8.8 mm and 601g.

iPad 2 vs Nexus 10: Performance

This section by Matt Egan

In the GeekBench 2 performance benchmark test the Nexus 10 crushed its rivals with a record score of 2505. As might be expected for a device two iterations old, the iPad 2 scores 770. It's nowhere near as fast, but it is plenty fast enough in use.

(For context, the nearest challenger to the Nexus 10 is the iPad 4, which scored 1769.)

The Nexus 10 scored an average of 1329ms in the SunSpider JavaScript test – a respectable result. The iPad 2 isn't too far behind, here, with a decent score of 1519ms (lower is better in this test).

In terms of graphics, the gap is again small. The Nexus 10 is a competent performer with a GLBenchmark Egypt HD test score of 27fps. The iPad 2 got an also respectable score of 24fps - interestingly better than the iPad 3's 22fps. The iPad 4's 39fps is the best we've seen in this test.

Leaing aside the scientific numbers, however, performance on both devices 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. The iPad 2 is marginally slower in terms of responsiveness, but it's unlikely you'll be disappointed in its performance.

Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2: Processor

The Google Nexus 10 has a dual-core ARM processor made by Samsung called an Exynos 5 Dual. It is based on the ARM Cortex-A15 architecture, but the Apple iPad 2 has a dual-core ARM processor made by Samsung called an Apple A5 based on the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture. Google does not cite the clock speed of the processor in the Google Nexus 10 while Apple does not either.

Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2: Graphics

Good graphics performance is essential to maintain a slick interface. The Apple iPad 2 has a PowerVR SGX543MP2 but the Google Nexus 10 has a Mali-T604.

Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2

Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2: Storage

In the Google Nexus 10 there is 2GB of memory and 16GB of flash storage. For the iPad 2 Apple does not specify memory although in this writer’s review we noted it has 512MB. When the Apple iPad 2 launched it was available in 16GB and 32GB capacities but is now only available as a 16GB model.

Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2: Camera

The iPad 2 has two video cameras, front and back, that capture frames of 0.3-megapixel and 0.9-megapixel size. The Nexus 10’s camera specifications are 5Mp and 1.9Mp respectively.

Google Nexus 10 vs iPad 2

Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2: Connectivity

Both tablets have 802.11 Wi-Fi capability, the Apple iPad 2 with dual-band 802.11b/g/n while the Google Nexus 10 has dual-band 802.11b/g/n. Both tablets have Bluetooth – v2.1 + enhanced data rate (EDR) for the Apple while Google does not announce the version for the Nexus 10.

The Google Nexus 10 has near-field communications (NFC) capability but the Apple iPad 2 does not.

Besides Wi-Fi for indoor wireless data connections, the Apple iPad 2 is offered with a 3G cellular data modem, used in conjunction with a micro-SIM card from a mobile broadband network provider. The Google Nexus 10 does not have an option for cellular data.

You can connect to the Apple iPad 2 by its Apple dock connector and using the headset jack, while you can connect to the Google Nexus 10 by a Micro-USB port or a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Google table also has a Magnetic Pogo pin charger. Nobody knows what to do with this.

Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2: Battery

Google specifies the Nexus 10 as having a 9000mAh lithium battery. This tells us little or nothing about the energy capacity of the tablet, but many manufacturers do insist on printing this near-useless information. The Apple iPad 2 has a 25Wh lithium battery, which it says is good for 10 hours of wireless web surfing.

Continuing the theme of Google/Samsung cloning the essential form of the Apple iPad, the Google Nexus 10 has a microphone, accelerometer, compass, gyroscope and GPS. Additionally, it has a barometer and ‘ambient light’.

Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2: Operating systems

The Apple iPad 2 is currently running Apple iOS 6.0.1 while the Google Nexus 10 is running a Google Android 4.2 operating system.

Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad 2: Price

The Apple iPad 2 costs £329 or £429 with added 3G capability. The Google Nexus 10 costs £328.99 in 16GB capacity or £398.99 in 32GB capacity.

You can buy the Google tablet in black finish only while the Apple iPad is available in black or white.

Nexus 10 vs iPad 2: The verdict

This section by Matt Egan

That the Nexus 10 is only £10 more than the iPad 2 is, on the face of it, outrageously good value. The Nexus is brand new, has an unsurpassed display, and offers the best all-round performance of any tablet around. The iPad 2 remains on sale to give Apple fans a lower-priced alternative to the full-specced iPad. But there are reasons for this situation.

The Nexus 10 is heavily subsidised by Google as a means of getting people to use Android and - critically - buy apps and media from Google Play. Were Samsung to make and sell it on its own terms its likely the price would be nearer that of the Galaxy Note 10.1 - nearly twice as much. That doesn't stop it being a good deal of course.

That said the iPad 2 remains a good deal. The combination of Nexus 10 and Android 4.2 alone offer a similarly high quality experience as Apple's iPad. So for those who just have to have Apple tech, but cannot afford the iPad 4, the iPad 2 is a decent point of entry.


Apple iPad 2: Specs

  • 1GHz dual-core Apple A5 processor (ARM Cortex-A9)
  • 9.7in (1024 x 768) LED-backlit glass IPS screen, capacitive multi-touch, 132ppi, oleophobic coating
  • 16GB, 32GB or 64GB NAND flash storage
  • rear camera: HD video 960 x 720, 30fps, still shots with 5x digital zoom
  • front camera: 640 x 480, 30fps
  • Wi-Fi + 3G model: GPS receiver, UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100MHz)
  • GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz)
  • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • built-in 25Wh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery
  • 30-pin dock connector port, 3.5mm stereo headphone mini-jack
  • built-in speaker, mic
  • three-axis gyro
  • digital compass
  • 241.2x185.7x8.8mm
  • 601g (Wi-Fi only), 613g (Wi-Fi & 3G)