28 Feb , 2013

Well we received our Nexus 10 today and this is a quick review of the flagship Android tablet.

I have to say we're pleasantly surprised by the build quality of the product. Even though it's industrial design apes the Samsung 10" tablets it's related to (after all it is just a Google badged Samsung tablet) it's still quite nice in comparison to it's Sammy siblings. The texturing on the back of the unit feels nice in your hands and the front facing speakers do work better for hand-held use than the mostly rear firing speakers on other tablets, however not so good for kiosk use as you don't wan't speaker openings in the face of your kiosk that direct spills into the inside of the kiosk. It's nice that they chose a micro usb power/charge port, makes cables less of a pain as there's likely to be one nearby for your phone or other peripheral. The micro HDMI out while intriguing probably won't be used by many people, I mean how many folks store movies on their tablets? However for kiosk use that HDMI out is really nifty for display mirroring.

It has a removable rear panel that is rumored to accept an iPad like smartcover but none are to be seen anywhere yet. Similarly while it has a nicely integrated pogo-pin docking port on the bottom of the unit there are no accessories available to take advantage of it.

What really made us sit up and say wow however was the screen quality. The pixel density is superb, marginally surpassing the iPad 4. The quality of the display on a tablet really is a big differentiator for hand-held use. Everything just looks better and considering most of a tablet's use is browsing/ media consumption it better have a great screen.

We were surprised by Google's attempt to include some haptic feedback in the unit. When certain onscreen buttons are pressed the unit rumbles a little, kind of like a physical confirmation that "yeah you just pressed that button". While it was a tad odd it didn't really add much to the experience. We have experienced true haptic displays that can almost mimic the feel of a physical button via vibrations emanating from behind the screen, this ain't the case here.

Regardless, it's nice seeing Google trying to step a little out of the box with their feature-set, even if it is a decidely Sammy-esque box.

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