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Google Nexus 10 review
The definitive Google Nexus 10 review

The Google Nexus 10 feels quite weighty, particularly if your last tablet experience was the Nexus 7, but at 21 ounces (603g) it's pretty average for a tablet of this size, and comes in lighter than the iPad 4.

With dimensions of 203.9 x 177.6 x 8.9mm it's slightly longer and thinner than a new iPad, giving it more of a wide screen experience for watching movies.

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The slightly curved edges make it comfortable to hold in two hands for long periods (one handed holding is pretty much a no-go), though if you're planning to watch movies on it you might find that your hands start to ache before the credits roll, so it would be worth getting a stand of some kind for it or just finding something to rest it on.

Google Nexus 10 review

It's also not quite as comfortable to hold as the Nexus 7, not just because of their relative weights, but also because the back of the Nexus 7 is slightly soft and warm, while the Nexus 10 is cold, hard plastic through and through. Though on the plus side it's rubbery, which provides grip.

The Google Nexus 10's 2GB of RAM is double that of the iPad 4, Asus Transformer Pad Infinity, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 or the Nexus 7. While it's only a dual core device, each core is clocked at 1.7GHz, which is just about the fastest we've come across on a tablet, trampling all over the poor Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 with its mere 1GHz dual core processor.

Google Nexus 10 review

It also comes with Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC support, although the former spec isn't the low-power sensor technology we expect to come on most devices these days.

The Nexus 10 comes with an enormous 9,000 mAh Lithium polymer battery, promising 9 hours of video, 7 hours of web browsing or 90 hours of music.

Google Nexus 10 review

In theory that gives it slightly more juice than a Nexus 7 but possibly slightly less than the iPad 4 with its monstrous 11,666 mAh battery.

Unfortunately, much like the iPad 4, the battery in the Google Nexus 10 can't be removed. Therefore you don't have the option to swap in a spare when it runs down, and if it ever fails you're out of luck.

Google Nexus 10 review

Following suit from the Nexus 7, the front of the device is a single sheet of glass, with no buttons to spoil the lines. We've already mentioned how jaw dropping the display resolution is, but it's worth noting that it has superb viewing angles too. We tried looking at it in every conceivable position and from different distances and the display was always clear and sharp.

It even fares well in bright sunlight; well, the brightest we can find in gloomy winter anyway. It became harder to see but never totally washed out. Plus you can turn the brightness up pretty high, which helps burn through the glare.

Google Nexus 10 review

It's not a total victory though, as while the resolution is un-paralleled the contrast between colors is a bit muted - they're never as bright or deep as they could be - especially if you've seen the amazing Super AMOLED HD screen on the Samsung Galaxy S3.

There's a black border around the display that you can rest your thumbs on and a narrow speaker running the length of each of the shorter sides.

Google Nexus 10 review

The 1.9 megapixel front camera lens can be found in the middle of one of the longer sides, which suggests that unlike its little brother, the Google Nexus 10 is intended to be used primarily as a landscape device. Next to it you'll notice an ambient light sensor, which will automatically dim the screen in low light.

At the opposite side there's a little indicator light that flashes whenever you get a notification, be it an email, a reminder or whatever else. When it's not flashing it's all but invisible.

Google Nexus 10 review

The top edge of the Google Nexus 10 houses the power button, which is also used to sleep and wake the device. Just to the right of that there's a volume rocker. It's a great position as they're easy to reach whether you hold the tablet in portrait or landscape. Our only minor complaint is that the volume rocker is only slightly bigger than the power button, making it easy to mistake one for the other.

On the left edge there's a micro USB port, used for charging the tablet or to connect it to a PC or other USB device. Next to that there's a 3.5mm headphone port.

Google Nexus 10 review

On the right edge there's a micro HDMI port, which was sorely lacking from the Google Nexus 7.

On the bottom edge there's a magnetic pogo pin charging port, which is used to connect it to a dock.

Turn the Google Nexus 10 over and you'll find a big speaker at the top, along with the main 5 megapixel camera lens, which is also capable of shooting 1080p video at 30fps. Below that the casing is a hard, rubbery plastic shell with the words 'Nexus' and 'Samsung' stencilled into it.

Google Nexus 10 review

The Google Nexus 10 feels sturdy and well made and it doesn't look cheap, but it also doesn't look particularly premium. That's a bit of a problem, particularly when it's been positioned as an iPad 4 competitor.

It's not just the plastic shell that lets it down, as the rounded shape makes it look a bit childish - like a 'my first tablet'. And while we're on the subject of the plastic shell, the Nexus 7 was plasticky as well, but the mottled, slightly soft back on that was far more aesthetically pleasing and felt nicer to hold as well.

Google Nexus 10 review

That's not the Google Nexus 10's only problem either, as with no micro SD card slot there's no option for expandable storage. Sure the iPad 4 doesn't have that either, but micro SD support has always been one of the key differentiators between Android and iOS - although Google has always been against it on the Nexus brand, so we weren't hopeful it would pop up here.

It's arguably a bigger problem here than on a phone too, because tablets are all about media consumption, so it's expected that you'll be loading it up with films, music and games.

32GB will still probably be enough for most people, but the 16GB version may quickly start to feel limiting. In any case, it's a not unexpected omission, but with such a wallet-pleasing price tag it's far from a deal breaker.