Google Nexus 10 review

A great value full size tablet with only a few minor shortcomings

Google Nexus 10 review
The definitive Google Nexus 10 review

TechRadar Verdict

The Nexus 10 may be getting on a bit, but if you want a full size tablet that doesn't cost the earth you'll get a full HD display and powerful processor - there's no expandable storage or SIM option though.


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    Powerful processor

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    High-res screen

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    Android 4.4


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    No 3G/4G option

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    No expandable storage

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    Muted colours for media

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The Google Nexus 10 was an entirely expected model that rocked up on the shelves in late 2012, taking on the iPad in the 10-inch segment and joining the Google Nexus 7 on the virtual Play Store shelves.

With a stunning screen, fun rubber body and a lower price, is this the tablet you should be craving?

It wasn't going to be an easy fight for Google; the iPad has always been in a league of its own and had a serious head start, but Google wasn't entering the fray unprepared.

At £319 for the 16GB model the Google Nexus 10 is £80 cheaper than the equivalent iPad Air. In fact even the 32GB model, with its price tag of £389 comes in at slightly under a 16GB iPad Air and it's far cheaper than a 32GB one.

Don't think that just because it's relatively cheap it's not a premium, powerhouse device though. With a retina-searing 10.05-inch 2560 x 1600 Super PLS display, it's even higher resolution than the latest iPad, with 300ppi against the iPad Air's 264ppi.

With a display that beautiful it's reassuring to know that it uses Corning Gorilla Glass 2 to keep it in pristine condition.

Google Nexus 10 review

It's no slouch under the hood either. With a dual-core 1.7GHz Samsung Exynos processor and 2GB of RAM, it should just about be able to keep up with the latest Android devices, though it's starting to look a bit long in the tooth compared to the likes of the quad-core Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet.

Initially launched running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, the 'pure Google' tab has since seen three OS updates spanning Android 4.2.2 right through to Android 4.4 KitKat, which made its way to the device in the early part of this year.

While the minor update to Android 4.2.2 didn't bring that much to the table (since it's mostly just bug fixes and stability enhancements).

Google Nexus 10 review

The introduction of Jelly Bean saw all manner of improvements manifesting themselves on the Nexus 10, most notably the option to tweak settings at user level. The option to lock individual apps through 'personal spaces' was one of the most well-received bits of functionality brought along version 4.3.

More noticeable upgrades came in the form of camera improvements and Open GL ES 3.0, which allowed VOD streaming at 1080p over a cellular data connection.

'So far, so good' was the general sentiment and it's even more pleasing (if not hugely surprising) to see Google shovelling its latest platform out to the Nexus 10. Yes, it may be getting on a bit these days but the Nexus range was, after all, created to show off the latest and greatest Android iterations...

Google Nexus 10 review

It's a similar tactic to the one used for the Google Nexus 7 - produce top-end hardware at the lowest price possible to get people buying. It's even learned a few lessons from the Nexus 7, since this time Google isn't bothering with a cripplingly small 8GB model and is making a 32GB version available from day one.

But opting for a dual-core processor rather than a quad-core one was a little surprising, and while it's a lot less money than the latest iPad, the Google Nexus 10 could hardly be called cheap. So perhaps in this case it's high-end hardware at a not unreasonable price, which somehow doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

Early sales of the Google Nexus 10 were extremely promising. Despite the slightly higher price tag compared to some other Android tablets on the market, the Nexus 10 has sold out on Google's Play Store on multiple occasions, with buyers clearly entranced by the super high resolution screen and larger dimensions.

Google Nexus 10 review

Unfortunately for those who like to lug massive tablets around on the go or stream content until their heart's content, the much-talked about 3G or 4G variant never actually materialised.

In the months that have passed since this review was first published however, speculation has mounted over when the next Nexus 10 will appear and what it'll have under its sizeable hood, with the latest rumours suggesting all manner of improvements are on the way.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.