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Google Nexus 10 - Multimedia, Connectivity, Battery Life and Verdict

Audley Jarvis

By Audley Jarvis

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Google Nexus 10

Summary

Our Score:

9

Google Nexus 10 - Multimedia

Of course, with such a gorgeous display at its disposal, the burning question for many potential Nexus 10 owners will be how well the tablet handles HD movie playback. The straightforward answer to this is that it’s about as good as it currently gets. Not only does the Nexus 10’s 16:10 screen lend itself particularly well to HD content, it also fizzes with detail, clarity and pop. Colours are bright and lifelike but without being overly saturated, while accurate white balance produces accurate skin tones and neutral whites. Tonality is good too, with the display delivering deep blacks and contrast.

Google Nexus 10

In addition to being super-sharp, the Nexus 10 produces excellent skin tones.

In terms of what file types it can handle, there’s definitely some room for improvement on the Nexus 10’s built-in video player, although this is hardly an issue given the number of free players available through Google Play. While the stock video player had no problems with any of the standard definition file types we threw at it (MP4, AVI, WMV, H.264) it struggled with high-definition .MKV files, stuttering horribly though footage encoded at 720p.

With this in mind, you’ll almost certainly want to experiment with some of the third-party media players available through the Google Play store. Testing playback of our 720p .MKV files we found that the free version of BSPlayer handled it absolutely fine (even at 720p, it looked stunning), while the free MXPlayer yielded yet more stuttering and chop.

Google Nexus 10

This 4K TimeScapes movie looks absolutely stunning when viewed in HD on YouTube.

Should you want to use the Nexus 10 to edit your own movies with then you’ll find the tablet offers a Movie Studio app that’s designed specifically for this. It’s fairly basic mind, so if you want to get more creative beyond sticking bits of footage together and adding transition effects you’ll need to dip your toe into Google Play for something a bit more advanced.

Audio playback is handled well, with the stock Play Music app able to deal with a wide range of audio file formats including MP3, Flac, WAV and WMV among others. Presentation isn’t bad either, with Play Music proving easy enough to use and navigate although options to shape your sound to your own preferences are a bit limited. With this in mind, if you plan on loading your Nexus 10 up with lots of music and using it to stream music around your home hi-fi via Bluetooth (as I personally do with my Transformer Prime) then the Poweramp app ($3.99) is by far the best tool for the job, with advanced tone controls, an eleven-band graphic equaliser and gorgeous presentation.

Google Nexus 10 11

The stock Play Music music player is ok, but the paid-for Poweramp app is still the one to beat.

Plugging a set of decent headphones into the 3.5mm jack that’s located on the left-hand side of the tablet) yields good results too, with very good clarity and no audible hiss in quieter passages of music. One further area where the Nexus 10 excels – at least in comparison to other tablets on the market – is with its built-in, front-facing speakers. While the sound generated by these is hardly likely to excite serious audio enthusiasts, it’s far better (i.e louder and clearer) than any other tablet, generating a good quality stereo sound that’s surprisingly effective when you’re holding the tablet at arm’s length.

Nexus 10 - Connectivity

Connectivity options on the Nexus 10 are limited to a micro USB on the left-hand side of the tablet just above the headphone jack, and a micro HDMI jack on the right hand-side. On the bottom of the tablet there’s a six-pin magnetic connector that’s expected to eventually offer docking and charging capabilities, although as yet nothing concrete has been released to fit it.

Unlike tablets in the Asus Transformer range, there’s no full-size USB, Micro SD or SD card connectivity, which is a bit of a disappointment. That said, with the Nexus 10 being an Android device, getting files on and off the tablet is actually a fairly straightforward process. Better still, you’re not forced to use iTunes either. Simply plug the Nexus 10 into your desktop computer using the supplied USB cable and once your desktop has recognised it you’ll be able to access it as you would a portable hard-drive to drag and drop whatever files you want to transfer. (Note: Mac users will need to install the free Android File Transfer app from Android.com on their desktop before they can do this.) Desktop transfer speeds via USB are actually quite nippy; we timed the transfer of a 400MB movie file at less than 30 seconds, while 1GB of music took less than a minute.

Google Nexus 10 5

Using a cheap micro USB to USB connector (inset) and the Nexus Media Importer app allows you connect to external USB devices and transfer files. You can even preview the contents.

Should you have files stored on a USB memory stick or SD card that you want to transfer directly to your Nexus 10 without the intervention of a desktop PC, the good news is that this is possible too. You’ll need two additional items to do it though, at a total cost of around £5. The first of these items is a ‘male micro USB to female USB’ connector – Amazon sells them for around a couple of quid. In addition, you’ll also need the Nexus Media Importer app ($2.99) from Google Play. Once you have both simply plug your USB memory stick/SD card reader into the female end of the connector and the male end into your Nexus 10. Then open up the NMI app and transfer away.

If you’d prefer to transfer files wirelessly then the Nexus 10 comes with built-in Bluetooth – you’ll find Bluetooth controls in the Quick Menu that can be pulled down from the top-right of the Nexus 10’s screen. In addition, Google has also seen fit to integrate Near Field Communication technology into the Nexus 10. In theory this allows you to share files between two NFC-enabled devices simply by tapping them together. In addition, the technology can also be used to make micro payments with. While NFC is certainly gathering pace, it’s still very much in its infancy in terms of take-up and we have to admit that we were unable to test its effectiveness during the course of this review.

Google Nexus 10

Battery life is really impressive. We managed to get over two days out of our review unit and still had a tiny bit of power to spare.

Nexus 10 - Battery Life

The Nexus 10 is powered by a non-removable 9000mAh Lithium polymer battery. During our time testing the tablet we found that it offers excellent performance. Indeed, in between testing various apps, capturing screen grabs, watching HD movie content, loading and re-loading dozens (if not hundreds) of websites, playing games, using the camera and all other manner of applications we were easily able to get a full day’s use of the tablet on a single charge. Given the power that’s required to light up all those pixels on the Nexus 10’s high-resolution screen this is really quite an achievement on Samsung/Google’s behalf. There are, of course, various ways and means to prolong battery life, such as switching the GPS off, however we’re confident that the majority of users will find that the Nexus 10 offers excellent battery life as is.

Google Nexus 10

The Google Nexus 10: every bit as good – if not better – than the Apple iPad 4.

Google Nexus 10 - Verdict

There’s no doubting that the Nexus 10 is currently one of the very best tablets on the market. Its gorgeous screen, super-smooth operation and wealth of features combine to produce a tablet that, at last, fully showcases what the Android platform is capable of when applied to tablets. With the improvements to Google Play and the growing number of high quality Android-specific apps finding great applications to run on the Nexus 10 is no longer the issue that it once was either.

And so to the burning question: is the Nexus 10 as good as the iPad 4? In our opinion it most certainly is. Indeed, in many ways, it’s even better. While the freezing/random reboot issue currently affecting some Jelly Bean 4.2.1 users does admittedly take a little bit of the gloss off what is otherwise a super-slick and richly featured operating system, we fully expect Google to sort the issue out with a forthcoming software update. In the meantime, the Nexus 10 remains a fantastic tablet to interact with and to consume digital media on. Indeed, it could even be argued that Apple has quite a bit of catching up to do.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 9
  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • Performance 9
  • Screen Quality 10
  • Value 10

PheasantPlucker

November 5, 2012, 6:23 pm

What's the point of this me-too "preview"?
You've just re-hashed a press release.

"Trusted Reviews" not "Trusted we read the press release too".

Lazy.

DrMaustus

November 5, 2012, 7:37 pm

"It won't cause Apple fans to abandon ship. . ."

I think this isn't quite true. I'm sure there are *some* Apple fans that might consider switching considering the higher resolution, lower price, and added flexibility provided by the Nexus 10. However, if you said something like "It won't cause those Apple fans that are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem to abandon ship", I think that'd be more accurate.

I used to own a first generation iPad. I sold it and switched to the Nexus 7. I'm never going back to an Apple tablet.

ElectricSheep

November 6, 2012, 4:45 pm

@PheasantPlucker Agreed. The recent gluttony of re-worked press releases aren't exactly bathing this reviews site in glory. How many frivolous Apple 'news' stories recently?! Especially when they have to them stick them in the 'Reviews' section. The 'back-end limitations' line is too long in the tooth now. As is the inability to log in with FF. Grrrrr TR, please sort these niggles out.

aeonturnip

November 6, 2012, 9:16 pm

@PheasantPlucker, @ElectricSheep. I may be in the minority with this opinion, but I'll share it anyway - I use sites like TrustedReviews to give me information on tech/gadget news, not just reviews, so I have no problem with previews. Okay, this isn't a review, it's a distillation of the press release with some opinion thrown in - but it does openly state it's a preview, so surely that's okay? IMHO, I still think TR is the best tech/gadget site out there, despite it's foibles.

Martin Daler

November 7, 2012, 3:32 pm

@aeonturnip
Maybe they should not call it a Preview, when it is, as you say, essentially a re-hashed press release. The 'News' section would be a better home for this kind of stuff - that is where I would expect to find press releases - assuming they are at least newsworthy. Like you, I like to be kept informed, therefore I look for a clear demarkation between value-added editorial and simple news reporting, or even PR/advertorial.

When you are called TrustedReviews it does you no good to dilute your reviews proper with this sort of nonsense.

As to logging in using Firefox, I can log in no problem, but it is very irritating that TR does not allow you to remain logged in beyond the browsing session, or even allow the browser to remember the login details. It's not like they are a bank.

hgil

November 7, 2012, 5:58 pm

Any news about a cellular 3G/4G version?
Next year ?

Actionable Steps

February 6, 2013, 1:07 am

I love how youre giving it a 'con' about connectivity. Are you joking? the iPad can only connect Apple hardware so by comparison this thing is a godsend!

Polly Ripley

February 6, 2013, 3:47 am

I'd guess it's a case of apples and oranges - they're comparing it to other Android devices rather than the iPad in this regard. Although I must say as much as a micro sd slot would have been welcome, the fact that for a small additioal cost you can access media from a USB stick makes this a huge step up from the very limited Nexus 7. So I was pleased to read that.

suhaib

February 6, 2013, 12:09 pm

You can access media from a usb stick from the Nexus 7 too using an app from the play store.

suhaib

February 6, 2013, 12:15 pm

sorry its actually the same app Nexus Media Importer - been using it for 6 months - Makes the N7 very un-limited in my view...

Polly Ripley

February 6, 2013, 11:21 pm

It's the first I've heard of it - no reviewer has mentioned it so far. Thanks for the heads up. Being able to access a larger song library from a USB stick is very helpful (although not as convenient as a micro SD slot). That still doesn't address the lack of HDMI output though. Is there any way to connect it to a TV that you know of?

Matt Green

February 7, 2013, 4:02 pm

Yes, it has a micro HDMI port

DarthDave

February 7, 2013, 5:49 pm

She's talking about the Nexus 7 in that instance - which doesn't have HDMI or MHL. That's something Google need to address the next time they refresh the N7. It's the only reason anyone would consider a Kindle over a Google 7 inch tablet.

wibbling

February 15, 2013, 9:25 am

This just doesn't look like £300-400 worth of product. It looks like a thick lump of inelegant plastic.Whatever others may say, Android really is a miss-mash of competing styles and layouts that don't seem to gel together well.

I'm sure, at a technical level this is the superior device to an iPad, but when you compare the two it's a no brainer. Most people are going to buy the iPad.

Michael Parkes

February 26, 2013, 6:26 pm

My only problem with this unit is it's made by Samsung. Besides myself I know 3 people who have purchased Samsung products only to have them die shorty after warranty deadline. My 30 inch monitor died 3 times, twice under warranty. If they had stuck with Asus it would be a no brainer, for me at least.

worlduno

March 12, 2013, 5:51 pm

I am one of those that has abandoned the Apple empire for the freedom of the Android world.

Nick Jones

March 16, 2013, 4:08 pm

My Nexus 10 is brilliant & there is no problem with the software after the latest automatic update. I'm an ABA fan, "Anything but Apple"!

id ,

March 22, 2013, 6:30 am

get out of here , you keep complaining . in fact , you're not the one who invented any of these . go get a life !

rashmimaharjan14

April 20, 2013, 5:37 am

It's the first I've heard of it - no reviewer has mentioned it so far.
Thanks for the heads up. Being able to access a larger song library from
a USB stick is very helpful (although not as convenient as a micro SD
slot). That still doesn't address the lack of HDMI output though. Is
there any way to connect it to a TV that you know of?

HE_OFFICER

April 21, 2013, 3:29 am

I'm browsing from an iPad 1 that is now constantly crashing and next to useless unless just casually browsing or checking email. It's a perfectly good piece of hardware that's been rendered obsolete so they can make more money. I'm switching to android and not looking back. GFYS apple.

Guest

April 22, 2013, 7:29 pm

Here is my review on Nexus 10 by Google.

Battery.
Poor battery life. Takes day to charge. If you use it and charge at the same time it won't. Or will do, but very, very slow.

Screen / Color.
This high PPI (300) doesn't make any difference you can see.
Totally agree with CNET pro reviewer: Where the iPad beats the Nexus 10 is in black level, contrast, and color accuracy. The Nexus 10's blacks just aren't as deep nor its whites as bright as they should be, and its colors aren't as full.
Colors are poor, not contrast.

Apps.
No so many apps to install.

Return.
You will be surprised but Google will charge 15%

Customer Service.
Awful experience. Tried to reach them for an half an hour, then lost another 30 min in transfers to hear Dean a poor informed, without any customer service skills Google representative. Then I spoke to his manager Matt K. who is more unprofessional than Dean. I guess this is how you get the carrier in Google Customer Service department.
Well this dude even could not tell me where it says in my receipt about 15% restocking fee. Before he said he's "pretty sure". I can say they pretty crooks.

The restocking fee is just another way to rob you on selling bad product to resell this product again!

Google do the good product and change your Customer Service bots to the new ones.

Bottom line: check it first, compare to other devices. Remember you won't be able to return it and get the full refund, if you just opened the box.

Guest

June 25, 2013, 9:08 pm

That seems awfully ignorant. You're going to swear off of Samsung (largest tech company in the world, mind you, and for good reason) because they eat different food than you?

There has to be more to the story. My family has owned a tremendous variety of Samsung products over the last 3-5 decades and I can't come up with any issues with any of them, from an early 80's TV that STILL WORKS to my Galaxy S4 to my sister's Refrigerator. The Koreans have learned from the Japanese in recent years and have started pumping out a lot of quality products (and cars).

Leland

July 19, 2013, 12:54 am

Nexus 10 has serious battery flaw. When the power is fully used, which can happen extremely fast on the huge screen, we average less than 4 hours, the tablet can crash internally and is unusable until ...... 14 hour charge and google support has instructed me to insert the power cord at the exact moment pressing the power button for 30 seconds. This caused my Nexuxs 10 to reboot, but without battery power it can still not start. Waiting now 14 hours of charging to try again. Meanwhile, Google is allowing me to buy another unit and pay for shipping back their defective device. I am Developer who has purchased 7 google devices, but I am treated like all other customers BADLY. This product is defective. The simple fact that you can not restart from a power cord makes it unusable in emergency situation. Other 10" tablets have the same flaw, but it is no excuse for BAD ENGINEERING - BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE - BAD DEVELOPER SUPPORT. Google does not have a telephone number for Developers and when emailing responds with a message "We are too busy to Answer" Google is become one the most arrogant companies in the computer Industry, after Microsoft, and Apple.

Paul Yew

July 21, 2013, 6:13 pm

The Google Nexus 10 has a micro HDMI port on its right side... you can definitely connect it to a monitor or TV screen.

samantha

August 9, 2013, 1:34 pm

Hey, I do have the similar issues and experiences I am little lucky than you victim of one Piece.

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