John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Nexus 10 Review

In addition to the Nexus 4 Brett also gave me a chance to play with this Nexus 10. I’ve been curious about the 10″ form factor. The 7″ that I have is a whole lot more portable on the go. The 10″ is particularly clumsy. Of course compared to a laptop it’s much more portable.

Spec wise it’s got a Dual Core 1.7GHZ processor. The display is 10.055″ diagonal at 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution for 300 ppi. It’s got 16G or 32G and no uSD slot. At 603 grams and 8.9mm the physicals are excellent. The back has some nice rubber, making it easier to hold. It uses a standard micro USB charger as well as a standard micro HDMI connector, I like that! The only buttons are volume and power. The tablet contains an earth shattering 9000mAh battery. Wow.

There does seem to be a docking connector on the bottom of it, but I didn’t find one out there.

Being a Nexus this has the latest and greatest Android Jelly bean on it. And likely will continue to until it’s no longer supported. Also being a Nexus it is not skinned at all so you get bare Android. One of the new enhancements in Jelly Bean is the addition of users. That way you can all have your own desktops and configurations. I can definitely see a use for this in a tablet on a house full of people.

As with a couple recent devices the only music player that is included is the minimalistic Google Play music which I have to say I don’t like.

I see no WIFI direct or DLNA support built in. I don’t get this and miss it. This is a huge step in the wrong direction in interoperability. Just like the Nexus 4. In a world where more and more people have phones and tablets this makes no sense. And even less sense when the device does not even have a uSD slot. I don’t get it. Perhaps it’s the fact that these functions are not part of Android and added by the skinning.

USB OTG worked but only for mice. It ignored USB flash drives (or didn’t mount them).

Battery life on this device is stellar. A whole day of tough use is quite possible. Probably one of the best battery life of a tablet I’ve seen to date. Now once the battery is dead it does take quite a while to fully charge. But then I didn’t have the original charger so maybe it’s a high current one that would charge it faster?

Performance is good, albeit not as quick as the Quad core Nexus 4. I find it a little odd that the tablet has less processing power than the phone. Rumor has it they are working on a newer version to include a quad core. That would be worth waiting for.

Oddly there is no Mirrorcast. It is on the Nexus 4 phone. I’ve yet to explore Mirrorcast but it looks like a neat feature.

Bluetooth keyboard and mouse worked fine. As usual no right mouse button support.

When plugged into HDMI it does not change the auto screen timeout setting. An odd oversight. And dumb, because it has the back, home and settings buttons as onscreen soft buttons they work well on HDMI. This is a trend I hope continues. (I got around this using a Screen Timeout Ap). Samsung continues to insist on using buttons beneath the screen which is problematic when on an external monitor. I will admit first of all that few people likely use this feature and second it does consume screen real estate. If your trying to use your tablet like a notebook this is a great feature to have (onscreen home/back/options buttons).

Movie playback on this big screen is stunning. Smooth, bright beautiful!

Given this tablet has no radio in it you need to use tethering, either bluetooth or WIFI. I tethered it with a Nexus 4 on 4G over WIFI. Locally the Nexus 4 was getting 8 Mbps down and around 1 Mbps up. Tethered the tablet was only getting 2 Mbps down and 1 up. No idea where the bottleneck was coming from. Bluetooth tethering was even slower at 1Mbps down and about 1 Mbps up too. Oddly my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 which has slower processors actually tethers faster at 4 Mbps down and 1Mbps up.

At 2560×160 the resolution on this screen is excellent. BUT, and there’s always a but, this presents some challenges. A lot of programs are not written to handle these resolutions. So their graphics are much lower in resolution. I’ve seen this on a few games. What this leads to is grainy, jerky motion. There’s not much you can do about it, but you need to know about this issue.

Size wise the screen on this device is terrific. Carrying it to wherever you are going is less than convenient. Once you get where your going you will definitely appreciate the additional screen resolutions.

Would I buy it? Personally I would wait for a quad core version. But even without that, this is an excellent device at a reasonable price. I’d love to see an LTE version of it. That would be truly stunning. Once I got where I was going I would love the size but I suspect more often than not I would leave it behind as being too clumsy. Loved playing!




February 2, 2013 - Posted by | Android

1 Comment »

  1. The Nexus 10 does have Wifi Direct, click on the settings button in the Wifi section and it’s in the menu. Unfortunately, all indications are that it only works between two Android devices, not between a laptop that supports Wifi Direct and Android. I can’t confirm which end the problem is on, but I suspect it’s Android that’s at fault. I was just looking into this, hoping for an easy way to transfer large files wirelessly, but I guess it’s back to good old, clunky sftp through the wifi router if I want to do wireless. Or taking the time to plug in the USB cable, as I’ve been doing so far.

    Comment by Joakim | March 1, 2013 | Reply

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