Google Nexus 10 hands-on (video)

The Samsung-made Nexus 10 just landed in our hands, and we had a little time to take it for a spin. It's no secret that this particular tablet is ready for some serious hand-to-hand combat against the iPad, possessing a rather stunning set of components and solid build quality. First, let's go over the laundry list of specs. The Nexus 10 has a 1.7GHz dual-core Exynos 5250 under the hood -- these are Cortex-A15 processors -- as well as a Mali T604 GPU and 2GB RAM. There's little doubt in our minds that this is more than sufficient to please power users, especially now that we've had some time to see how incredibly speedy everything is. We were even more impressed than we had anticipated, as the tablet features some of the most detailed and smoothest graphics we've seen.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that the Nexus 10 offers a 2,560 x 1,600 display, which equates to just over 300ppi. For comparison, the new iPad packs a 2,048 x 1,536 panel for a pixel density of 264. Numbers are just numbers, of course, but the "True RGB Real Stripe PLS" screen is definitely one of the nicest we've gazed upon. Pixelation was nearly non-existent, viewing angles were great and colors were amazingly vibrant. It's also supported with Gorilla Glass 2.

There's plenty to say and see, so check out our gallery below and head past the break for a video and more impressions.


Rounding out the hardware specs, the Nexus 10 has plenty to keep us intrigued: stereo speakers (both front-facing), dual NFC (yes, two), a five-megapixel rear camera capable of 1080p video recording and 1.9MP front-facing cam with 720p, Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band WiFi b/g/n (MIMO + HT40), a full 9,000mAh lithium-polymer battery that Google promises will deliver nine hours of video playback and 500 hours of standby. It's thinner and lighter than an iPad, registering at 8.9mm thick and 21.2 ounces (603g), but it doesn't seem to be cheaply built -- in fact, its soft-touch finish felt quite sturdy and solid to us. We also liked its rounded corners and slight curves. On the flipside, however, it's a huge fingerprint magnet, and we had a difficult time lasting more than a few seconds before cluttering both sides of the tablet with our fingerprints.

Looking at software, the Nexus 10 runs the newly announced Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, which provides plenty of new features like quick settings, more Google Now features, Photo Sphere, widgets on the lock screen, the ability for devs to add maps into their tablet-optimized apps, a screen saver-style photo viewer called Daydream and a music explorer that quickly finds artists similar to the ones you're listening to. The stock keyboard also offers Swype-style typing and even throws in an extra bullet point for good measure: as you drag your finger from letter to letter, a box pops up showing you the word you're currently typing.

The button layout is also different, as it uses the standard three capacitive buttons for navigation instead of the special tablet-specific menus found in Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich. Quick settings can also be accessed by pulling it down from the top right portion of the screen, whereas the notifications menu is hidden in the top left.

Multi-user support is another new feature for Android 4.2, and while it's restricted to tablet use for now, it's one of our favorite additions to the new firmware. A toggle switch is easily accessible in the quick settings menu, and when pressed, you're taken to a lock screen similar to a login screen similar to what you'd see on a PC or Mac. Choose the user, swipe to unlock and you're in. Just as you'd expect, apps can be downloaded to specific users, keeping each account completely unique -- but if another user wants the same app, it's easy enough to just install it, since it's technically already on the tablet. Even when multiple users share an app, however, you are still able to keep your settings individualized.

Lastly, the Nexus 10 is quite reasonable when it comes to pricing, considering what you're getting. Available starting November 13th, the 16GB version will be offered on the Play Store for $399, while the 32GB model will be $499.

Myriam Joire contributed to this hands-on.