If Google aimed to disturb Microsoft's big Windows Phone 8 launch event yesterday, the hurricane Sandy-induced cancellation of its own Nexus fiesta didn't prevent it from indeed doing so. It dumped the revelations about Android 4.2, Nexus 4, 7 and 10 minutes before the WP8 launch, making us all ADD kids go nuts for a good while where to focus first.
He touted the goofy rounded shape that is now a Nexus hallmark, and the plastic construction with brushed metal finish, as the culprits for an extremely comfortable grip regardless of your wrist position, and the 603 grams of weight, which is truly something for a tablet with such monstrous spec sheet. These design decisions made the Nexus 10 thinner and lighter than the aluminum 4th generation iPad, despite the slightly larger display.
The IGZO screen was still in development then, and Samsung said it didn't have any plans yet what to do with it, whereas the PenTile one was ready to go into mass production this year, but it actually seems that Google wanted the RGB stripe type, as two reports quote its reps calling the Nexus 10 screen "True RGB Real Stripe PLS".
Power consumption was quoted only as 26mW without the backlight on, while the PenTile one was listed as 3.4W at its peak, but with backlight on, yet judging from the huge 9,000 mAh battery Samsung has put in the tablet to push all those pixels, versus the about average for an Android tablet 9 hours of video playback listed, we'd assume the PenTile panel has lower power draw as well.
The RGB stripe display 2560x1600 display of Samsung covered 70% or higher of the standard NTSC color gamut when it was first shown at FPD last year, and we will have to wait for some professional measurements when the Nexus 10 hits to see if this has moved closer to the ideal 100% mark. In short, in terms of resolution and pixel density, this is indeed the most advanced tablet display to date.
Cortex-A15 processor, which is the next generation of the ARM-based architecture that we have in current phones and tablets. Apple's A6 and Snapdragon's Krait cores might use some instruction sets from Cortex-A15, but the Samsung Exynos 5250 is the real deal, and its leaked benchmarks come to prove it.
We were pretty excited when Samsung wanted to show us its development board with the processor hooked up to a screen like the Nexus 10 one at CES, and now we have it in a retail device that sells for $399, not bad at all. It is still made with the 32nm production process like the Cortex-A9 Exynos 4412 in the Galaxy S III and Note II, so we can't expect it to be much more frugal than it, but what performance can we expect?
up to 4x faster than Mali-400 we have in current Samsung flagships, and renders 2.1 gigapixels per second with 12.8 GBps memory bandwidth, which you can imagine means flawless 3D games rendering and then some.
The Cortex-A15 cores themselves are at 2 GHz up to 2x faster than comparable Cortex-A9 ones. The Nexus 10 processor is clocked at 1.7 GHz, so the difference might not be that big, but this will affect positively the battery life available from the huge 9,000 mAh unit in the tablet. Thus you can imagine that processor-intensive tasks like accelerated browsing with Chrome, or photo and video editing, might surpass anything we've seen so far on a mobile device.
When we add the other niceties, like 2 GB of RAM and the fast MIMO Wi-Fi, we might be willing to forget about the lack of memory card slot. Both Google and Samsung needed a fighter in the 10-inch tablet arena that is dominated by Apple's iPad, and where all the Windows 8/RT slates are primed to make inroads. Do you think they delivered a compelling argument now with the Nexus 10?