How do the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 Compare to the Competition?
Everyone loves a good spec table right? Well here at Android Australia we aim to please our readers and give them their spec table fill. Today we’re pitting the just-released Nexus 7 3G and Nexus 10 tablets against their opposition in both the 10 inch and 7 inch markets.
Lets start with the big boys in the 10 inch category. The brand new Nexus 10, built by Samsung, certainly has some lovely specifications, not the least of which is that new screen, but just how does it compare the competition? We’ve compared it to the ASUS Transformer Infinity 700, arguably the finest Anrdoid tablet around, as well as the new iPad, undoubtedly the device to beat in this segment. Finally, we’ve also included another new-comer, the to-be delivered Microsoft Surface. Take a look below for the full specification smackdown:
|Nexus 10||iPad 4th Generation||ASUS Transformer Infinity 700||Microsoft Surface RT|
|Operating System||Jelly Bean 4.2||iOS 6||Upgradeable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean||Windows 8 RT|
|Processor||Dual-core Exynos 5250||A6X dual-core||1.6 GHz Quad-core Tegra 3||Quad-core Tegra 3|
|Screen||10.55″ (2560 x 1600 pixels @ 300ppo)||9.7″ (2048 x 1536 pixels @264 ppi)||10.1″ (1920 x 1200 pixels)||10.6″ (1366 x 768 pixles)|
|Camera||5 MP rear, 1.9 MP front||5 MP Rear / 1.2 MP Facetime camera||8 MP rear, 2 MP front-facing|
|Storage||16/32GB||16/32/64GB||32/64GB + microSD||32/64GB + microSD|
|Battery||9000 mAh||’10 hours’||Li-Po (25Wh)||Li-Ion (31.5 Wh)|
|Price||$469-569||$539-899||$900-1000 w/ keyboard||$559+|
First eyes must go to that screen. At 300 ppi the Nexus 10 solidly beats all-comers in that department, even more impressive considering that the screen is 0.8 inches bigger than that on the new iPad. 300 ppi was the pixel density originally proposed by Apple as what was required to be considered “Retina”, but argued that since a tablet is held further away from your face, a lower pixels-per-inch count suffices on the larger device. The Transformer Infinity holds the middle of the pack with a solid showing, whilst the Microsoft Surface lags substantially behind. Now there’s certainly more to a screen that pixels, but thankfully (for the Nexus 10) hands on reports also say that the screen is beautiful, with excellent brightness and colour reproduction.
The rest of the specifications are a bit harder to quantify. Whilst we know the Tegra 3 chip in the Infinity is no slouch, particularly when it comes to gaming, Samsung’s recent Exynos chips (which we assume power the Nexus 10) have also impressed. The fact that it’s dual-core could be concerning, but experience shows there’s much more to a chip than just counting the cores and the clock, and hand-on reports say it’s very smooth. The Apple-made A6X is also a high-performer, whilst the Surface is a bit more of an unknown at this early stage. The 2GB of RAM in the Nexus 10 should give it a performance boost over previous Android tablets which generally only have 1 GB, but time will tell if that’s enough to power all those extra pixels.
Both Androids have superior cameras for video conferencing when compared to the iPad, and important factor for some. If you truly must take photos with a 10 inch tablet (don’t) then the Infinity has the most pixels for you.
Storage does not fall in the Nexus 10′s favor. Following the Nexus tradition of not packing micro-SD card slots and maxing out at 32 GB means that all it’s competitors can beat it in that respect. Battery life is also hard to judge at this time, but I think it’s safe to say it won’t compare to the Infinity with it’s keyboard dock.
One thing the Nexus 10 does clearly win out on though is price, handsomely undercutting all the competition. Of course it should be mentioned that the Infinity is substantially cheaper if you forgo the keyboard dock, but still doesn’t come close to the value for money represented by the Nexus 10.
|Nexus 7||iPad mini||Kindle Fire HD|
|Operating System||Jelly Bean 4.1||iOS 6||Based on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich|
|Processor||Quad-core 1.3 GHz Tegra 3||A5 dual-core||Dual-core,
|Screen||7.0″ (1280 x 800 pixels)||7.9″ (1024 x 768 pixels)||7″ HD LCD (1280 x 800)|
|Camera||1.2MP||5 MP iSight camer / 1.2 MP Facetime camera||Front-facing HD|
|Battery||4325 mAh||’10 hours’||’11 hours’|
Going back to the screens, and it’s not so clear cut. The resolution of the iPad mini lags behind the competition, compounded by having a larger screen. However the screen of the Nexus 7 has not received the glowing reports of colour reproduction that have already been given to the Nexus 10. This is a tough call without seeing them side by side.
Performance of the Tegra 3 sitting inside the Nexus 7 is excellent, and handily outperforms the Kindle Fire HD. How this stacks up against the iPad Mini is yet to be seen, but we’d expect the iPad to perform well. Once again the Nexus 7 is beaten by the iPad in the storage capacity, albeit at a substantially higher price. The iPad is also the only tablet in this category with a rear-facing camera, although all of them have comparable cameras for video conferencing.
Another differentiator between the Kindle and Nexus is that of ecosystem. Do you choose Amazon’s own Android market, and access to their excellent selection of books, movies and TV Shows, or do you choose Google’s larger app market, and supplement your book, movie and TV choices with other apps? Both companies are clearly hoping that you think theirs is the best choice.
Finally we end on price, and this is perhaps the true differentiator in the 7 inch segment. The Nexus 7 undercuts the iPad Mini by well over $100 for the base model, though is in turn undercut by the Kindle Fire HD (though not if you want it in Australia). Given the superior performance of the Nexus 7 over the Fire, however, this becomes a tight contest over which one is the value for money option. The iPad Mini on the other hand is almost in a separate segment, and Apple is clearly hoping that their superior selection of tablet-optimized apps is sufficient to convince people to part with a lot more money.
This larger selection of apps carries over to the 10 inch category as well, and is even more critical for the Microsoft Surface than the Androids if it hopes to succeed, or even in fact if Windows 8 itself is going to succeed. Both Google and Microsoft are doing their best to attract developers to their tablets and their new operating system respectively, with a big chunk of the tablet market up for grabs if they can.