Apple iPad 4 vs.Google Nexus 10, a high-end fight

ipad 4 vs nexus 10 300x115 Apple iPad 4 vs.Google Nexus 10, a high end fight

More than two weeks ago, Google revealed the Nexus 10 – the bigger version of the Nexus 7. With its new tablet, Google is trying to capture the tablet market which until recently was dominated by Apple’s iPad. In this article we will compare the Nexus 10 to Apple’s iPad 4 which is an already established product. That said, can Google’s new tablet shift the market in its favor with its newest iteration? Let’s find out with a step by step analysis of both devices.

The Design

Following in its predecessors’ footsteps, the latest tablet from Apple sports a similar design to older iPad models, with an aluminum case that gives it that elegant aspect we are all used to when it comes to Apple devices.

Design wise, Nexus 10 is a thin (with only 8.9 millimeters thickness, it’s 0.1 millimeters thinner than the iPad 4) and lightweight tablet (only 603 grams; by comparison the iPad weighs 652 grams). While these numbers seem impressive in a side by side comparison, in reality they are too small to make an evident difference.

Both tablets have stylish designs and given the fact that Samsung is behind Google’s new tablet, there is no surprise that it resembles the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. That in itself may disappoint some people. Another thing worth mentioning is shape: we would rather choose iPad 4′s square shape to the Nexus 10′s rectangular one, the reason being that iPad 4 fits better in one’s hand and makes it very user friendly when viewing horizontally or vertically, whereas Nexus 10′s rectangular shape makes it a bit uncomfortable to hold vertically and is more suited for horizontal usage. One last note is that Google Nexus 10 has a plastic case, which is a bit of a letdown, especially by comparison with iPad 4′s slick aluminum case. That said, the winner of this round is iPad 4 with its familiar and stylish design.

The Screens

The Nexus 10 sports a bigger and higher res screen than the iPad 4′s retina display. Its 10 inch display has a 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution with 300 pixels per inch. iPad 4′s 9.7 inch Retina display on the other hand, has a resolution of  2048 x1536 with 264 pixels per inch and is protected by a special surface that makes fingerprints a non-issue.

However, despite its increased resolution, we didn’t find Google’s new tablet’s display to be crisper than iPad 4′s display. Purely from a tech viewpoint, the Nexus 10 has the upper hand, but you can’t go wrong with either of the screens as both are great for gaming, reading or watching videos.

The performance of the two tablets

Apple’s newest tablet comes with 1 GB of RAM and a 1.4 GHz A6X dual-core CPU under the hood which, according to Apple, has double the performance of the A5X chip that can be found inside the iPad 3.

The Nexus 10 on the other hand is a beast when it comes to performance, upping the ante with a fast 1.7 GHz Cortex A15 dual-core CPU (based on the ARM architecture), with 2 GB of RAM and a quadcore GPU (Mali T604) that make Google’s latest tablet perfect for multitasking.

Performance wise, boasting a faster CPU and more RAM, we can safely say the Nexus 10 takes the cake, though it’s worth mentioning Apple’s iPad 4 is no snail either.

 The Operating Systems

Google Nexus 10 runs on Android 4.2 while the Apple tablet is powered by the new iOS 6.  What is Android 4.2 you may ask. It’s the newest Jelly Bean version. Some people do believe Android is behind iOS in terms of smoothness and optimization. However Android 4.2 takes a few steps in the right direction, being at least the most optimized and smooth Android version so far. Moreover, the ability to take 360 degree panoramic photos, Gesture Typing and the ability to have multiple users amongst others, make for useful new features. Oh and let’s not forget Google Maps, after all that is one area in which Android surpasses iOS, Apple’s in house maps app being significantly worse.

Having multiple users is actually a very welcomed Android 4.2 feature that will allow you to use the tablet together with relatives or friends, being able to keep your personal information private. This feature has a lot of potential, because with the exception of some global settings (e.g. WiFi), users get to customize the most important personal settings. Unfortunately, this feature was not available yet so it couldn’t be tested for you, but it sure sounds nice and has the potential to make sharing the Nexus 10 amongst family members as easy as sharing your personal computer.

On the other hand, iOS is a robust operating system and its sixth iteration brings a lot of new features, improvements but also  some downsides, one being the now infamous Apple Maps which made part of iOS users to protest vehemently. Even so, iOS  remains one of the top operating systems for mobiles and some of its new features (like Siri improvements, the App Stores getting a facelift and FaceTime over cellular just to name a few) strengthens its position as a leader of mobile operating systems.

As stated earlier, we strongly feel the newest Android version has taken several steps in the right direction, but overall Apple’s mobile operating systems takes the edge so iPad 4 wins this round.

The App Stores

Apple users can choose from a very wide range of quality apps while Android users have less options in this category (though it’s worth mentioning that they are cheaper than their equivalents from the App Store). Apps designed for Android phones can be run on the Nexus 10 tablet, but at the cost of a deformed aspect ratio.

Even though both tablets have an increasing number of first party customized apps (and a lot of third party ones), due to the impressive numbers of customized apps from which iPad 4 users can choose, Apple’s tablet wins this round.

The cameras

Both tablets can record videos at HD quality with their rear cameras. The Nexus 10′s rear facing camera (which, as i’m sure some of you know, was absent from Nexus 7) is a 5 mega pixel, HD capable camera. The iPad 4 also sports a 5 mega pixel, HD capable rear facing iSight camera with very useful features such as autofocus, ƒ/2.4 aperture and face detection to name a few.

Nexus’ front facing 1.9 mega pixel camera will provide a good HD quality for your video calls. Apple’s new tablet sports a new front facing FaceTime HD camera capable of 720p videos and 1.2 mega pixel photos. Since both tablets have very similar rear and front cameras, this round ends with a draw.

Storage space and battery life

In terms of storage space, Apple’s tablet offers 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB versions while Google Nexus 10 doesn’t offer a 64 GB version. It’s also worth mentioning that both tablets lack a memory card slot for space extension purposes.

Having a 11,666 mAh battery incorporated in its fourth generation iPad, Apple promises up to 10 hours of watching your favorite videos, browsing he internet or listening to the most popular tunes, using Wi-Fi or up to 9 hours of the aforementioned activities using cellular data network (3G/4G). Which is quite amazing, given the amount of high tech that comes with the iPad 4.

Nexus 10′s 9,000 mAh battery offers up to 9 hours of video playback, up to 90 hours of music playback and 7 hours of internet browsing over Wi-Fi. As you may notice, Nexus 10 is at a slight disadvantage when it comes to battery life: for every time you charge your Google tablet you get to use it 1 to 3 hours less than the iPad 4. That said, the winner of this round is the iPad 4.

Connectivity

Google Nexus 10′s lack of support for 3G/4G will probably disappoint a few people. Its dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (based on the Kindle Fire HD data transfer tech) will assure a smooth web experience whether you’re streaming videos or music, a step up from existing Android based tablets. It also comes with a 3.5 mm headphone jack, Bluetooth 4.0 and supports Micro HDMI and Micro USB but not SD cards. Micro USB is what almost all other Android based phones and tablets use so you can use a single cable for all your Android devices.

The iPad 4 dual-band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi means you will see an improvement in performance (doubled according to Apple) over older iPads. Unlike the Nexus 10, the iPad 4 offers 3G/4G support. It also has the latest version of Bluetooth under the hood and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Last bot not least, there is Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector.  This new 8-pin connector was first used in the iPhone 5 so it is a relatively new standard for Apple devices.

While Apple’s tablet has the advantage of being able to connect to 3G/4G networks, the Nexus 10 has the advantage of Micro USB. Thus, this round we have a draw.

Price

The Nexus 10 was released at the beginning of this week and the 16 GB version is affordably priced at $399, $100 less than the similar iPad 4 model.  The 32 GB version of Google’s tablet is $499, which is exactly the same price as Apple’s cheapest version of the iPad 4. Considering the Nexus 10′s better hardware (more RAM and faster CPU) and improved features over the Nexus 7, there is no surprise it is now sold out in the UK. Being cheaper than Apple’s same model tablet, the Nexus 10 wins this round.

Conclusion

When you draw the line and do the math, Apple’s fourth generation iPad is the winner, but not by much. Google Nexus 10 shows it has potential to take on the iPad, having more power and a cheaper price. If we also factor some other things like operating system and ecosystem we have an interesting battle between two good tablets. Which one will get the biggest market share, only time will tell.