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Google Nexus 10 specs review: $400 to push 4 million pixels

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Google Nexus 10 specs review: $400 to push 4 million pixels
UPDATE: Two separate reports say Google itself has called the screen "True RGB Real Stripe PLS", and Samsung also lists PLS in one of its official specs listings, thus the display part has been altered to reflect those specs.

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.

One release stood out, though, and this is Google's Nexus 10 tablet. While we knew everything about the Nexus 4, the mythical Samsung tablet with record resolution was more of a mystery. Apparently a direct reply to what Apple and Microsoft came up with in the tablet space going into the new holiday shopping season, Google saved its best for last - a 10" tablet built by Samsung with class-beating resolution and processor at a 25% discount to the competitors. Let's take a tour of the specs to gauge what can we expect from this tiger.


Design

While nobody expected a metal-clad tablet warrior out of Samsung, the materials and chassis design are certainly not aiming to grab any Red Dot design awards. In fact, Google's Matias Duarte said the design was targeted towards ergonomics and light weight from the get-go. 

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.

Google Nexus 10 specs review: $400 to push 4 million pixels
Google Nexus 10 specs review: $400 to push 4 million pixels


One design decision users might not be so on board with, however, is the lack of microSD card slot. We know these new Nexus devices are supposed to rely more on Google's cloud solutions now, but a media-consumption darling like what the Nexus 10 is shaping up to be will hardly make do with 16 GB of internal storage, and the 32 GB one is a full $100 more, taking a page from Apple's book. Of course, you can always connect a flash drive to it, but it's a nuisance nonetheless, which prevents the Nexus 10 from being the perfect Android slate.


Display

When we talk about perfect, the mind inevitably focuses on the display of this new Nexus tablet. Samsung has been teasing us with those 10" 2560x1500 panels since last year, and finally we are seeing them in a finished product. The Koreans didn't give us any hints that the Exynos 5250 board connected to a WQXGA panel they demoed for us at CES this year will end up being the poster child of Google's Nexus tablet line. That's probably because even then they didn't know Google will be approaching them to make one. 

Google's chief of partner engineering mentioned in an interview that they look around what hardware partners can offer, find something they like, and go with it - in this case, they liked a 10" screen Samsung had that can surpass the new iPad's "Resolutionary" screen in terms of pixel density, and Sammy also had the hardware to push those pixels for a convenient combo deal.

Google Nexus 10 specs review: $400 to push 4 million pixels
Samsung showcased two 10" 2560x1600 panels at the FPD expo last year, one with the PLS-LCD technology plus the IGZO driver elements Apple got so fond of with its Sharp investment, and the other with an RGBW matrix arrangement, which is essentially a PenTile version for LCD screens.

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".

Thus we have a true 300ppi pixel density, with three subpixels per pixel, but there might be minor tradeoffs in the RGB matrix version compared to the PenTile 2560x1500 screen. First off, the specs for the stripe matrix Samsung display quoted at the FPD expo were 300 nits vs 400 nits of brightness, since the PenTile arrangement is RGBW, with one clear (white) pixel that lets more backlight through, thus lowering power consumption to what you normally get with 1280x800 screen. Besides this lower brightness, the RGB type was quoted to have 500:1 contrast, compared to 900:1 for the PenTile version.

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.


Processor

Exynos 5250 board to WQXGA screen

Exynos 5250 board to WQXGA screen

The Nexus 10 is the first tablet to appear with a 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?

Google Nexus 10 specs review: $400 to push 4 million pixels
For starters, the Exynos 5250 in the Nexus 10 is paired with the Mali-T604 graphics processor, which is 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?

45 Comments
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posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:37 3

1. paulyyd (Posts: 327; Member since: 08 Jan 2011)


Lol iPad 4 > nexus 10

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:43 23

4. wendygarett (unregistered)


Reason? ?????????

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:51 48

9. MeoCao (unregistered)


iPad 4 is heavier and more expensive and more eye strain obviously LOL.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 14:18 4

37. bayusuputra (Posts: 941; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


it means you LOL at the iPad more than the Nexus 10..

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:49 6

7. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Why is that?

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:54 6

12. Ohrules (Posts: 324; Member since: 11 Jun 2012)


"lol iPad 4"
just sayin'

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:57 4

15. Nimpuz (Posts: 8; Member since: 15 Mar 2012)


As much as I prefer any android phones over iphone or WPs, Android ecosystem for tablet is still not as neat as the iPad.

And IMO costumization is a lot more fun on smaller screens!

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 09:06 13

18. RaKithAPeiRiZ (Posts: 1371; Member since: 29 Dec 2011)


What if I told you , the RGB matrix in the Nexus 10 kills your iPad 3.5

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 09:07 17

19. SleepingOz (unregistered)


You mean Nexus 10 > iPad 4, right?

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 09:11 11

20. leftheodo (Posts: 66; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


ahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! I own an iPad 3 (or the old new iPad) and your comment is still hilarious.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 09:34 6

25. thunder18 (Posts: 116; Member since: 06 Aug 2009)


Trolling much?
"These design decisions made the Nexus 10 thinner and lighter than the aluminum 4th generation iPad, despite the slightly larger display."

"The Nexus 10 is the first tablet to appear with a 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."

"...10" screen Samsung had that can surpass the new iPad's "Resolutionary" screen in terms of pixel density..."

The only way the iPad4 wins is in terms of ecosystem, I will give it that.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 10:44 7

28. RushFan2112 (Posts: 16; Member since: 16 Jun 2011)


Who really cares about "ecosystem"? All of the apps I use on my Nexus 7 work very well.

And I would, ANY DAY, rather turn on my Android tablet and see a bunch of widgets giving me the information that I want rather than a bunch of do-nothing icons that I need to click on to get any info at all.

Widgets FTW!

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 13:08 2

32. abdane (Posts: 477; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


the only thing iPad have over Nexus 10 is apps for iPad and the battery, Screen is for nexus 10, speed and processor for nexus 10, OS of course android Nexus 10, EVERY THING NEXUS 10 !

posted on 03 Nov 2012, 22:49

46. Nadr1212 (Posts: 741; Member since: 22 Sep 2012)


Go f**k a brick, paulyyd!!!!

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:42 18

2. PhenomFaz (Posts: 1095; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


They delivered more than a compelling arguement, they delivered a punchline...with a lot of PUNCH!
And be it pentile or not, at 300 ppi its not goona even matter what sub pixel arrangement it uses as the screen is gonna be awesome...period!

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:54 13

13. MeoCao (unregistered)


You took the words from my mouth dude

The more I look at Nexus 10 the more I like it, stunning design. This this is for comfortable holding and warm and not cold aluminum as some other tablets.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 12:37

29. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)


9,000 mAH battery and no claims of battery life. Something fishy is going on here.
Rumor has it that Cortex A15s were built for servers and they are power-inefficient. That's why ARM pushed for big.LITTLE configurations. So, I suspect them. This would also explain why they are only clocked at 1.7 GHz as Cortex A15s are supposed to reach upto 2.5 GHz.

Another power-inefficient component could be the Super AMOLED screen. But considering the Tab 7.7's battery life, I assume the screen is not an issue.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 13:56 4

35. AWiseGuy (Posts: 68; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)


"Another power-inefficient component could be the Super AMOLED screen."

Well, I'd say that depends on how you use it. As I understand, AMOLED is as efficient as you could ask for when it's displaying lots of colors or blacks. However, turn on white and it becomes a power hog, right? I guess that people who browse a lot will notice a hit to the battery life, considering most websites have white backgrounds, but those who use this tablet for media consumption (movies, games, etc) will not see such drains because those tend towards darker and more colorful displays.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 14:31 1

39. Twisted247 (Posts: 253; Member since: 12 Oct 2012)


Another reason they are probably clocking it at 1.7Ghz when it's capable of 2.5Ghz(from what you said) is so they can use the same cpu for the next 3-5 releases and slowly turn it up and maybe add some RAM in the future. None of these companies will spill out 100% of what they are capable with right out of the gate. Then if a competitor happens to release something better they will be rushing in R&D and pushing a early release with a host of issues. They always have to keep s**t on the back burner that is tried true and tested. So at any moment they can drop a bomb on the competition. Not to mention the whole other reason for money, they can slowly upgrade it over time and make 10x the cash on the same cpu + gpu combo slowly bumping it up rather then jump dumping it on full bore.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 12:52 1

31. Dr.Phil (Posts: 923; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


I don't believe PA is right on the Pentile screen. Both Engadget and TheVerge reported it having the PLS-LCD display.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:43 8

3. Fayeznoor (Posts: 65; Member since: 15 Nov 2011)


Google in video for theverge.com said it is True RGB Real Stripe PLS Display. Not sure what it is :p

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:45 1

5. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


the 4.2 really looks like the mobile version of android or webOS in behind! which is good!!!

finally google make something to make it very unified!!

but this just remind me of iOS on iPad and iPhone with same UI on both of them!!!

anyways looking good... but wish nexus 10 isnt plastic!!! i dont care about being lighter but as longas i cold get a premium looking device, i'll go for it!

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:46

6. noim1 (Posts: 297; Member since: 15 May 2012)


Every body will kneel in front of the Microsoft Surface with windows 8 Pro.....

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:53 1

11. protozeloz (Posts: 5379; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


...Why?

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 10:04 2

27. medicci37 (Posts: 688; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


@ noim1 & you will kneel in front of Tim cook. But lets get back to talking about the Nexus 10.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:49 1

8. Kronic (banned) (Posts: 321; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)


Lol there goes your ultra hi res display, pentile lol and we have superior RGB display which have better detail. What else can you expect from a Samsun display?

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 09:14 7

22. leftheodo (Posts: 66; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


Samsung? You mean the best display manufacturer in the world?

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 09:33 6

24. andro. (Posts: 1970; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


Kronic you do realise that the new ipad display is also made by Samsung,right?

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 13:38

34. Kronic (banned) (Posts: 321; Member since: 11 Sep 2012)


No sharp made it, idiotandro

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 14:08

36. Obie-Wan (Posts: 36; Member since: 24 May 2012)


If i'm not mistaken, The New iPad indeed use PLS display which made by Samsung.

The iPad Mini, use Sharp's IGZO display.

Correct me if i'm wrong.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 14:47 2

40. PequeñoConfucio (Posts: 9; Member since: 28 Oct 2012)


Wrong!
Nexus 10 has a PLS screen, or how Google likes to call it "True RGB Real Stripe PLS"!
It is RGB!

http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/29/3568784/nexus-10-preview-price-release-date

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 18:34

44. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4102; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


The article said it *MIGHT* be Pentile. Plus, it's already been confirmed to have a PLS display which uses RGB.

And even if it was Pentile, it still has 36 more ppi than the iPad. Pentile doesn't really matter when it's at a much higher resolution than the competition's RGB display. Nobody would've complained about Pentile on the Galaxy S3 if it was at 348 ppi because it wouldn't have been noticeable from the One X's 312 ppi, it would've actually been better.

Nice try to bash Samsung/Google, but you weren't even close to succeeding.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:52 4

10. ddeath (Posts: 163; Member since: 14 Apr 2012)


The Nexus 10 looks very nice physically in the youtube video. The pictures definitely did not do it justice.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 08:55 2

14. iicpaii (Posts: 9; Member since: 21 Aug 2010)


Well I know what Santa is bringing for me this year

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 09:02 1

16. thunder18 (Posts: 116; Member since: 06 Aug 2009)


Trolling much?
"These design decisions made the Nexus 10 thinner and lighter than the aluminum 4th generation iPad, despite the slightly larger display."

"The Nexus 10 is the first tablet to appear with a 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."

"...10" screen Samsung had that can surpass the new iPad's "Resolutionary" screen in terms of pixel density..."

The only way the iPad4 wins is in terms of ecosystem, I will give it that.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 09:05 3

17. bloodline (Posts: 693; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


I will be purchasing the 10 and 4. Love google, love the nexus range and love not being mugged off

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 09:12

21. josephnero (Posts: 325; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


Phone arena:so we'd assume that's what we have in the Nexus 10
they arent sure its pentile.they are just guessing for now.
PS:i have no information its pentile or not.just pointing it out

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 09:28

23. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Hello?!?
So freaking what If this "enters" the lower end of iPad 4 price!!
It is overwhelmingly superior in every single thing aside for the number of tablet optimized apps.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 09:44

26. xVk900 (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Oct 2012)


I apologize on behalf of paulyyd
Actually , it was typo
He meant Nexus 10>Ipad4
:P :P
No need for thanks paulyyd

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 12:41

30. takay0 (Posts: 144; Member since: 25 Mar 2012)


Tavor weapon - better than all that jadgets! ;)

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 14:30 1

38. smartphonelover (Posts: 36; Member since: 26 Nov 2009)


I think the screen type is "True RGB Real Stripe PLS." Engadget in a hands on article about the Nexus 10 quoted the screen type.http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/29/nexus-10-hands-on-video/

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 15:37 2

41. The_Innovation (Posts: 567; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


So I'm just going to sell my iPad 3 and buy this bad boy.

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 16:13

42. deuel_18 (Posts: 54; Member since: 25 Sep 2012)


Nexus 7 or 10 is better than any other tablets don't get me wrong
BUT Nexus 7/10 + microSD will be the best and the beast tablet..
i guess google is just giving some space for other tablets thats why the microSd slot is not in their devices or else - end of the world for other tablets

posted on 30 Oct 2012, 17:44

43. droiddomination (Posts: 203; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


phone arena sux. always pro apple even if the facts clearly show they are behind the 8 ball. oh well, we will see REAL facts in the sale data after this holiday season won't we! lol. i predict, increase in android market share, marginal growth in windows 8, and chrapple having a continued slow down in the tablet market. price dictates over everything else and chrapple needs to realize that.

posted on 02 Nov 2012, 08:49

45. TalkingTechy (Posts: 97; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


"...Google saved its best for last - a 10" tablet built by Samsung with class-beating resolution and processor at a 25% discount to the competitors."

Last I checked, $400 is a 20% discount from $500, not 25%.

100 / 500 = 1/5 = 0.20 = 20%

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