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Google Nexus 10 review

Audley Jarvis




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Google Nexus 10
  • Google Nexus 10
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Our Score:



  • Gorgeous, high-definition display
  • Slick operation and fast processing
  • Sits comfortably in the hand (in landscape mode)
  • Android OS offers lots of flexibility and customisation


  • Jelly Bean 4.2.1 prone to freezes/random reboots
  • Rubber finish might not be to all tastes
  • Connectivity could be better

Key Features

  • 10.55-inch, 2560 x 1600 PLS TFT display
  • 16/32GB internal memory (non-expandable)
  • 1.7GHz ARM Cortex A15 dual-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: £389.00

What is the Google Nexus 10

Tired of cheap and nasty tablets undermining the Android platform, Google has decided to take matters into its own hands and created two Android tablets, the Google Nexus 10 we'll be examining here, and the Nexus 7, that provide the same level of user experience and Apple owners have come to expect from the likes of the iPad 4.

The Nexus 10 may have Google's branding but it is actually manufactured by Samsung, a company with a strong pedigree in Android phone and tablet manufacturing. It is the flagship model in Google's Nexus range, and is designed to show off Android in the most stylish way possible. To take on the might of Apple, and to ensure other Androind tablet manufacturers up their game, it’s the biggest and best-equipped Android tablet we’ve yet seen. The Nexus 10 is even priced at around £100 less than its comparable iPad 4 model, that's around 20% cheaper.

Packing a better-than-HD display, a high performance CPU and the latest Android version - 4.2 Jelly Bean, can the Google Nexus 10 end the iPad’s dominance?

Google Nexus 10 - Design

First impressions of the Nexus 10 are quite positive. Overall build quality is very good, although some may find that the rubber finish on the back doesn’t quite lend it the design kudos as its metal bodied rivals. It still feels robust enough to be manhandled, prodded and poked on a daily basis, but overall build quality isn’t quite in the same class as the metal-bodied iPad 4 or Asus Transformer Pad Infinity. It’s not all bad though because the rubber finish is extremely tactile and offers excellent grip. On colder days, it’s also warmer to hold.

Likewise, while the Nexus 10 is rigid enough and doesn’t bend or flex should you exert a bit of pressure on it – not that any sane person would actually try and do this to their tablet. That said, prodding the back of the tablet with a finger does reveal a millimetre or so of give in the rubber, along with the odd audible creak. Again, this isn’t necessarily something you’ll notice unless you purposely go looking for it. Perhaps more of a concern for most users, assuming you haven’t bought a case to go with it, is that the rubberised back is prone to picking up dirty marks from greasy fingers, which can be slightly awkward to clean off. On the plus side the rubberised back of the Nexus 10 is much less likely to pick up scratches – something metal-backed tablets are much more prone to.

The front of the Nexus 10 is covered with a sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 2, thereby protecting the screen from accidental scratches. You’re free to buy a screen protector of course, but in our experience Corning Glass 2 is pretty tough stuff and renders this somewhat unnecessary. A protective case is still a good investment if you plan to be carrying your tablet inside a bag though. In use, not only does the screen feel especially silky to the touch, it also appears to have had some kind of oleophobic coating applied – even after a long session of typing and swiping the screen on our review unit still manages to look pretty clean. Not by any means spotless, but noticeably cleaner than the screen on our Transformer Prime does after a similar amount of use.

Thanks to its curved sides, rounded corners and front-facing speakers that bookmark both sides of the screen the Nexus 10 does a pretty neat job of distinguishing itself from the myriad of Android tablets already on the market. There’s also quite a bit of symmetry between the Nexus 10 and its 7-inch stable mate, the Nexus 7. Indeed, it appears that Google has a few design principles it’s keen to extend across its Nexus range – or at least it’s Nexus tablet range – the tactile rubber finish and bold ‘Nexus’ branding being two areas where the Nexus 10 follows the lead of the Nexus 7 (the Nexus 4 with its glass-covered back does admittedly tread a different path in this respect).

In terms of shape and size, the Nexus 10 is much more rectangular than the squarer iPad thanks to the 16:10 aspect ratio of its screen – something that’s common to all 10-inch Android tablets. Because of this the Nexus 10 is much more comfortable to hold and use in landscape orientation – held in portrait mode it feels a bit long and thin and isn’t nearly as comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. There's no right or wrong with respect to shape, but ultimately the 4:3 aspect of the iPad is better suited to reading websites and eBooks in portrait mode, while the 16:10 aspect of the Nexus 10 is better suited to watching video content and playing games in landscape mode.

With regards to its Android tablet rivals perhaps the most distinguishing feature of the Nexus 10 is the shape of the bezel that surrounds the screen. Whereas the vast majority of Android tablets come with straight edges and relatively sharp corners, the Nexus 10’s sides are noticeably convex while the corners are much more rounded. It’s all down to individual taste, of course, and while some might contend that the bulging sides and softly rounded corners give the Nexus 10 a bit of a 'toy tablet' appearance, we actually rather like the fact that Google has opted to tread a slightly different path.

In any case, it’s worth noting that the Nexus 10’s curves don’t actually look as pronounced when the tablet is in your hands as they do in photographs of the tablet. Besides which, there are actually some practical benefits to the accentuated curves; when holding the Nexus 10 two-handed in landscape mode – as most users probably will be 95% of the time – the rounded edges sit really nicely in the palm of the hand, making the Nexus 10 more comfortable to hold than say, any of the current Asus Transformer range or indeed the iPad 4. At just 603g, the Nexus 10 is also 50g lighter than the iPad 4. This might not sound like much on paper, but in your hands the difference is noticeable.


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".



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.


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.


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

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.


November 7, 2012, 5:58 pm

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

Charlie Moritz

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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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 !


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?


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.


April 22, 2013, 7:29 pm

Here is my review on Nexus 10 by Google.

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.

No so many apps to install.

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.


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).


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.


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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