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Apple iPad vs Microsoft Surface RT vs Google Nexus 10 head to head review

Apple iPad vs Microsoft Surface RT vs Google Nexus 10 three-quarter view

This has been a big year for tablets, with both Google and Microsoft looking to take a slice of Apple's pie releasing their first ever own-brand devices.

However, not resting on its laurels, Apple's come out swinging, releasing what we think is its best iPad to date.

Looking to answer the question of which tablet is best, we've pitted the new iPad, Google Nexus 10 and Microsoft Surface RT against one another, breaking down their key strengths and weaknesses.

Design and build
Answering which of the three tablets looks the nicest is pretty difficult and fairly subjective. The iPad, Nexus 10 and Surface are visually about as different as you can get, reflecting the varied design philosophies of their makers.

This means that the new iPad looks fairly similar to its predecessors, featuring the same metal back and slightly rounded edges. Microsoft's Surface by comparison has a much more industrial look, being entirely made of metal and featuring much harder edges.

Similarly, the Nexus 10 boasts a design that marks it as unmistakably Samsung built, featuring rounded corners and a slightly curved back that make it look similar to the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.

Despite their visual differences the three tablets all feature fairly similar dimensions, with the iPad measuring in at 241x186x9.4 mm, the Surface at 245x172x9.3mm and the Nexus 10 at 264x177x8.9mm.Apple iPad vs Microsoft Surface RT vs Google Nexus 10 back

It's only when you come to the three tablets' weight that you see a significant difference, with the Nexus being far lighter than the 662g iPad and 676g Surface. This is because the 603g Nexus is made of plastic not metal.

This means that even though the Nexus 10 is more comfortable in hand, it is the least durable of the three, feeling slightly less solidly built than the iPad and Surface RT.

Between the Surface and the iPad we found it more difficult to judge. The only factor we found to distinguish between the two, is that the iPad's chassis is slightly more scratch proof than the Surface.

We discovered this when carrying all three of the tablets home in a bag, with the black Surface managing to pick up a scratch along its rear side. With prolonged use we found this was systematic of a wider problem with the Surface's paint finish, which is fairly prone to chipping.

Winner: The Apple iPad

Next: Screen and software

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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