First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
Google Nexus 10 Android tablet (preview)
- — 31 October, 2012 11:50
Google has unveiled its first 10in Nexus tablet, simply called the Nexus 10. Manufactured by Samsung, the key feature of the Nexus 10 is an impressive PLS screen with a resolution of 2560x1600.
The Nexus line of products has traditionally focussed on software innovation and while that's still true in the case of the Nexus 10, its hardware is very impressive. The highlight is obviously the display. Google calls the 10in screen a "true RGB real stripe PLS" panel, which is a fancy name for a super PLS screen. PLS is a Samsung display technology that claims to offer higher brightness and better viewing angles compared to IPS screens.
Forgetting the technical terms, all you really need to know is that the Nexus 10's screen has a resolution of 2560x1600. Google claims it is the "highest resolution tablet on the planet". Both the resolution and the pixel density of 300dpi are higher than Apple's latest fourth generation iPad, so you can expect the Nexus 10 to display super crisp text and impressive colours.
The design of the Nexus 10 is also interesting. Google describes the single piece of plastic construction as a "soft-to-the-touch frame" but says a lot of work went into making the device as thin and light as possible. The Nexus 10 is just 8.9mm thick and weighs only 603 grams, so it's both thinner and lighter than the iPad. Google also says that the physical shape of the Nexus 10 is specifically curved to fit your hands.
The Google Nexus 10 has impressive specifications. The tablet is powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core Exynos 5250 processor, has 2GB of RAM and will come in 16GB or 32GB variants. There's a quad-core Mali T604 GPU, too, so the device has been designed with games and other graphically intense apps in mind. There's no memory card slot, however, which means you won't be able to add to the internal memory that's on-board. There's also no 3G or 4G connectivity, so this is a Wi-Fi only device.
The Google Nexus 10 comes with a 9000mAh battery, which Google says will last up to nine hours of video playback or 500 hours of standby time before needing a recharge. We'll be keen to put this figure to the test as a high resolution screen at this size traditionally affects battery life.
The Google Nexus 10 has a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera for photos and video capture. There's also two NFC chips (one on the front, one on the back), front-facing speakers that are built into the bezel, and a micro-HDMI port for connecting the tablet to a television or projector. A magnetic pogo pin charger is included on the bottom of the Nexus 10, but it's not yet known what accessories it will be compatible with.
New Android software is always a highlight of any Nexus product release and the Nexus 10 is no different. Google has added a number of new features to the latest version of Android, 4.2. The most notable is the ability to create specific user accounts with personalised home screens and apps. There's also a new gesture typing feature on the keyboard that replicates Swype, enhancements to the Google Now personal assistant and support for HD magazines in the Google Play Store.
The Google Nexus 10 will be available for purchase online from Google's Play Store from Tuesday 13 November. The 16GB model is priced at $469 while the 32GB model will retail for $569.
Google hasn't announced if or when the Nexus 10 will be sold through traditional Australian retail stores.