Google has unveiled the latest entry in its Nexus range of tablets, yet rather than sticking with Asus for its first 10in model, the company has instead chosen to team up with long time smartphone partner Samsung.
By doing so Google has made the Nexus 10 something entirely different from the older Nexus 7, carrying a radically improved screen, but potentially at the cost of its processing prowess.
The Nexus 10's screen is one area we're guessing is going to be a massive selling point. The device comes loaded with a larger 10in 2,560x1,600 resolution 300 ppi display.
Considering Samsung's strong track record of loading its devices with beautifully crisp and bright displays, we're guessing the Nexus 10's screen will prove to be a massive improvement on the older Nexus 7's 7in 1,280x800 216ppi component, which at times could look slightly dull.
That said, we're still not sure if the Nexus 10's display will look as stunning as the Apple iPad's 9.7in 2,048x1,536 264 ppi Retina Display, which thus far has blown all the competition away in our head to head reviews.
The Nexus 10's design is another key area separating it from the smaller Nexus 7. Measuring in at 264x178x8.9mm and weighing 603g, the Nexus 10 visually looks like a Samsung product, featuring a much rounder design than the more angular Nexus 7.
One concern we have regarding the tablet's design, is that its light weight indicates the Nexus 10, like Samsung's own Galaxy range of tablets, will feature an entirely plastic chassis. If so then the Nexus 10 could potentially suffer the same build quality issues as Samsung's other recent tablets, which are prone to picking up marks and scratches.
Another change made for the Nexus 10 is that instead of running on the 1.2GHZ quad-core Tegra 3 processor used in the Nexus 7, the new 10in tablet will feature Samsung's own dual-core A15 component.
While Google hasn't released the processor's exact specifications, we're thinking it will run at a minimum 1.7GHz. This means that while not being quad core, the tablet should still be very fast, especially when paired with Jelly Bean's Project Butter coding - which in our experience removes all the chug and speed glitch issues that plagued older Android versions and led to the call for quad-core technology in the first place.
Debatably the biggest addition made by Samsung for the Nexus 10 is the inclusion of a 5MP rear-facing camera. The original Nexus didn't feature a rear-facing camera. According to Asus this was an intentional move designed to keep the Nexus 7's cost down.
While on paper this sounds like a great addition, we're not convinced it will prove that useful in the long run. Taking photos on any tablet is a fairly trying experience and considering the quality issues we've had with previous Samsung tablets' cameras, we're thinking the Nexus 10's 5MP unit may prove a disappointment.
The Nexus 10 will be released running Google's latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system. The update features a slew of upgrades to the OS including an improved keyboard, new actionable notifications, refreshes for Google Now and access to the music section of the Play store.
The Google Play updates promise to expand the service to offer UK users the ability to purchase as well as rent movies and bring the company's Music service to Europe.
Pricing and prospects
One key area we're thinking the Nexus 10 could win on is its price. Google has confirmed the Nexus 10 will be available in 16GB and 32GB versions and will launch in Europe on 13 November. Google has confirmed the smaller 16GB version will cost £319 and the larger 32GB version will be £389.
Considering the fact that this is close to half the cost of other top end Android tablets, like the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, we're thinking the new Nexus could pull the same trick as its predecessor, snapping up users looking for a premium tablet experience on a budget.
However, Google could face a challenge winning business from Apple fans, as the 10in Nexus will only offer a £10 saving over the £329 Wi-Fi only iPad 2, and is only £80 cheaper than the latest 16GB 10in iPad.
Check back with V3 later for a full review of the Nexus 10 by Samsung.
29 Oct 2012