While the pixelicious new Nexus 7 was the only tablet to be featured during Google's Chromecastic breakfast on Wednesday, the company still has at least one more slate hidden up its sleeve, and it's even bigger than Google's budget stunner--at least if you're talking literally.
According to Amir Efrati of the Wall Street Journal, Sundar Pichai--the Google exec in charge of both Android and Chrome--confirmed that a refreshed Nexus 10 tablet is on the horizon, and it will once again be made by Samsung.
Pichai didn't say anything else, but given how superb the original Nexus 10 is, it's hard to imagine a new version being a complete overhaul. Expect the refresh to ship with Android 4.3 installed, complete with multiple user profiles and a bunch of other boring changes.
Also look for the internal hardware to receive a perfunctory upgrade. A year after the original's launch, the dual-core, Cortex-A15-based Samsung Exynos 5 chip at the heart of the tablet is begging for replacement. Samsung could swap it out for the just-refreshed Exynos 5 Octa processor, which boasts four beefy 1.8GHz Cortex-A15 cores and four energy-efficient 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 cores that dynamically switch on and off to offer an optimal blend of power and performance tuned to the task at hand. That cornucopia of CPU cores is joined by a six-core Mali-T628 GPU.
We should note that the Exynos 5 dual chip was announced two months before the original Nexus 10, so it stands to reason that the just-unveiled Exynos 5 Octa would also herald the coming of a fresher, souped-up 10.
Beyond those basic tweaks, it's difficult to find fixable flaws in the hardware. The Nexus 10's 2GB of RAM remains competitive, as does its drool-worthy 2560-by-1600-pixel display, though the screen could use some slight color balancing. It would be swell if the new Nexus 10 weighed in less than the 1.33 lb. original and felt a little more svelte all-around, and Samsung might consider shifting the awkwardly placed headphone jack and MicroUSB port on the left side of the tablet. Other than that, the only notable issue is how slowly the slate charges.
But even if a new Nexus 10 remains largely the same as what's already available, simply upgrading the OS and the processor can breathe new life into a tablet. Just look at how wonderful the new Nexus 7 turned out.