Books & Review | Cole Garner Hill
Updated: Oct 31, 2012 02:28 PM EDT

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Google Executive Chairman Schmidt speaks at a promotional event for the Nexus 7 tablet in Seoul. (Photo : Reuters)

Hurricane Sandy blew away Google's planned launch of its new Apple iPad 4 competing tablet, the Nexus 10, this week, but the delayed formal product debut hasn't stopped the company from getting the tablet into reviewers' hands prior to its Nov. 13 release date. If these early reviews are any indication, Apple better batten the hatches.

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This holiday shopping season is proving to be showdown between Google, Apple, and Microsoft with its Surface RT tablet. And the competition could prove even tighter soon. Google and Samsung are rumored to be releasing a 64 GB version of its new Nexus 10 tablet, as well, according to MobileMag.com.

A Korean press release on Samsung's website mentioned a 64GB version of the new Samsung Nexus 10. Since then, the image showing the 64GB model has been edited to remove its mention.

As Mobile Mag notes, "This means one of two things. The first possibility is that this was totally a mistake and no 64GB version exists. The second option is that a 64GB model does in fact exist but for whatever reason Google is holding off its announcement and Samsung accidentally let the cat out of the bag."

There's no way to know for sure whether or not this was an accidental leak of forthcoming information or just a mistake. Like most tech companies, Google almost never comments on such matters. Regardless, though, a 64GB version of the Nexus 10 stacks the deck even more in Google's favor in the approaching retail battle with Apple's iPad 4, and Microsoft's Surface RT tablet.

Google Nexus 10 specs

Perhaps the most hyped device in Google's new lineup, many view the Nexus 10 as the first device with legitimate potential to become an "iPad killer."

"Nexus 10 is the ultimate tablet for watching movies or reading magazines. We wanted to build a premium entertainment device, so we partnered with Samsung to do just that," Google said in its recent product announcement on the company's blog.

"Nexus 10 is the highest resolution tablet on the planet with a 10.055-inch display at 2560-by-1600 (300ppi), that's over 4 million pixels right in your hands. It comes with a powerful battery that will get you up to nine hours of video playback and more than 500 hours of standby time. With a set of front-facing stereo speakers, you can watch movies right from your Nexus 10 and they simply sound awesome. But what makes Nexus 10 unique is that it's the first truly shareable tablet. With Android 4.2, you can add multiple users and switch between them instantly right from the lockscreen.

"We believe that everyone should have quick and easy access to their own stuff -- email, apps, bookmarks, and more. That way, everyone can have their own home screens, their own music, and even their own high scores."

Price/models

6GB for $399; 32GB for $499; available on 11/13 in the Google Play Store in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan. You'll also be able to purchase the 32GB version in more than 2,000 Walmart stores in the U.S.

Specs broken down

Dimensions and Weight

10.4 x 6.9 x 0.35 inches, 1.33 lbs

Screen Size

10.06 inches (larger than the Apple iPad's 9.7-inches, smaller than the Microsoft Surface RT's 10.6)

Screen Resolution

2560 x 1600 pixel, 300 ppi (Best available)

Speakers

Dual, Stereo (same as Microsoft Surface RT)

Average Battery Life

10 hours (same as Apple iPad, Microsoft Surface RT)

Processor

1.7 Ghz Samsung

RAM

2GB (larger than the iPad's 1GB, same as Microsoft Surface RT)

Expandable Storage

None (same as iPad, Surface has microSDXC card slot)

Cameras

Back: 5MP photo/1080p video, with LED flash; Front: 1.9MP photo/720p video (back camera and video quality is same as Apple iPad, but has LED flash, front camera is better than iPad's 1.2 MP. Surface hasn't released camera specs, but video quality is the same as Nexus 10)

"It's going to be a high-end device," said Richard Shim, an analyst at NPD DisplaySearch. A stark contrast to Google's other rumored, lower-end tablet, the $199 16GB Nexus 7, and upcoming $99 tablet.

While the Nexus 10's features certainly impress, perhaps the most intriguing part of all of this is Google's partnership with South Korean tech giant Samsung. Google will partner with Samsung for the tablet, and co-brand the Nexus 10 with the company, as well, according to Shim.

Google is also partnered right now with Asus for its hugely popular Nexus 7 tablet.

The Google ad Samsung Nexus 10, will have the highest pixel density of any tablet on the market, and will be released in the first half of 2013, according to CNET.

Google's Nexus 10 tablet will have a 2,560x1,600 pixel density, which CNET says will "push the display manufacturing tech envelope." That high of a pixel density would place the Nexus 10 at the top of the heap with a higher count than Amazon's 8.9-inch display Kindle Fire HD and Apple's 9.7-inch display iPad 3. It's also higher than the rumored screen specs we've been seeing for Microsoft's 10.1-inch Surface tablets.

"By stuffing that density into a 10-inch screen, the PPI jumps to just shy of 300," says CNET.

As numerous sources note, the biggest drawback of Google and Samsung's 10-inch tablet is that Google lags well behind Apple in building strong collection of tablet-oriented apps. "An app built for a 4-5" phone screen might look OK on a 7" tablet, but not on a 10" tablet. Google is currently making a push to increase the number of tablet-optimized apps," says Seeking Alpha.

The Google, Samsung Nexus 10 also features micro USB and micro HDMI ports, a clear advantage over Apple's iPad 4, which has neither.

Slash Gear

Slash Gear found a lot to love about the tablet in its first impression review — especially the display. "Of course it's going to be all up to the end user deciding which unit has a 'better' display," says the tech website. "But the facts are these: 10.055 inches at 2560 × 1600 pixel resolution for 300 ppi PLS ... 9.7 inches at 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution for 264 ppi IPS LED"

According to Slash Gear, "PLS stands for Plane-to-Line Switching, and was created by Samsung to be the next generation after IPS. It's also known as "Super PLS" and is supposed to cost less to produce while providing better image quality, viewing angles, and brightness than previous generations - of course we'll just have to see about that when the device hits our review bench."

"Apple brands their display as 'Retina-quality' while Google says they've got the 'highest resolution on the planet.' Apple's "Retina" qualification was created by Apple, of course, while Google's claim goes this far: if you're considering every display on the planet, there certainly are a handful of units (smartphones, each of them) that have a higher number of pixels per inch : but when you consider the fact that this tablet has more pixels overall at 300 PPI, it does indeed have the most."

The features, the display, the specs - Slash Gear liked it all, but concedes that "Given the prices, the displays, the wireless technology, and of course the operating systems, it'll have more to do with your preference than anything else. With these manufacturers creating the devices, it's certainly not a question of hardware build quality - and with the software on both devices being evolved to the point they're both at, it's also not about which system is more mature."

Android Community early review

"We've got our hands on this lovely device today and are getting our first impressions on right out of the box before it goes on sale to the general public - and spoiler alert: it's pretty great. The Google Nexus 10 has a 10.0555-inch display with 2560 × 1600 pixel resolution using PLS technology - it's bright as heck and just a tiny bit sharper than the iPad 3rd and 4th generation."

The processor is apparently identical the one being used in the new third generation Samsung Chromebook, the Samsung Exynos 5250 with dual-core A15 Eagle CPU and Quad-core ARM Mali-T604 GPU.

"Thus far its feeling like one of the most powerful beasts we've ever experienced... it's going to be up near the top, if not topping the whole android device universe."

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