Nexus 10 has been steadily making its presence felt against the current tablet leader the iPad. The iPad on the hand is sneakily already in the fourth generation, with the recent launch of the iPad with Lightning Port, Apple also took the opportunity to refresh the specs on the iPad, to equip it with a faster processor.
Instead of Asus, Google has partnered with Samsung for the Nexus 10 and undoubtedly, there would be bound to be questions on how it compares versus the Apple iPad. First up, price – the Nexus 10 comes in at about 20% cheaper than the iPad (US$399 vs US$499 for the 16gb model).
The Nexus 10 has a beautiful, beautiful display. It actually bests the iPad’s Retina display, which shows 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. The Nexus 10 2,560 x 1,600 resolution actually means 30% additional pixels cramped in the same space. Do note however, that a more significant difference is the form factor, the 16:10 form factor is more suited for media, such as videos and games and for working in a landscape format whereas the 4:3 form factor of the iPad is the perfect size for fitting an A4 page. Of course, the increased resolution does help in increasing the readability and even with the black borders surrounding a full page on the Nexus 10, the images and text remained incredibly sharp and clear on the tablet’s display. Overall though, reading e-books may not be optimum on 10-inch sized tablets. For reading on the bus or in bed, I much prefer something smaller, like the iPad Mini or the Nexus 7.
In terms of processors, both are speedy tablets but the iPad wins here in terms of benchmarks.
The Nexus 10 has a built-in HDMI port which ensures it can output video to all HDMI-equipped TVs, projectors and monitors. That’s not always the case when MHL over USB is used for video output. Another benefit is that any mini-HDMI cable will work and a special adapter cable is not needed. For the iPad, a separate dongle is required.
Overall Build Quality
In terms of the physical built quality, the Nexus 10 is well-built. The back has a rubberized texture, for easy grip and overall feels very sturdy. This was a problem with the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 which some felt was a little too plasticky. The display even has an extra layer of protection to help prevent scratches. In comparison though, the iPad has not moved away from the overall aluminium single layer build which really fits the mantra of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. And why should Apple ? The iPad is aesthetically very pleasing.
The Apple Tablet Apps are still generally more polished than the Android alternatives which are pre-dominantly still focused on the smartphone arena. So for now, Apple is still in the lead but Android is aggressively catching up.
One area that Android has leapfrogged ahead is the ability to support more than one user. iPad is still missing the crucial feature to support multiple user accounts. The Nexus 10 comes with Android 4.2 with the new addition of support for multiple users, which is good if you plan to share the tablet with other family members. Now each person can choose a profile image from a selection of icons along the bottom of the lock screen to launch a personalized tablet experience, complete with just his or her own apps and a customized home screen and background.
Overall, I was happy with the Nexus 10’s performance. It handled most tasks well, including gaming and video streaming. Google and Samsung estimate battery life at up to nine hours of video playback, and up to seven hours of Web browsing. In battery tests thus far, it seemed that the Nexus 10 fared badly when playing video – it could be linked to the large and higher resolution screen. Tests online showed that the Nexus 10 playing a video constantly with 75 percent brightness and WiFi on showed a battery life of about 6 hours as compared to the iPad which last for approximately 10 hours. With more normal use, the Nexus 10 is able to last easily for more than a day.
Interesting enough, the iPad is more conservative in standby mode. While left alone and in standby, the iPad might lose a couple percentage points per day or even none at all when left standalone. In comparison, the Nexus 10 dropped around 20% charge per day even when not in use. Well, if you were to pinpoint the source, it seems that it is Google Maps (and maybe Google Now) at fault.