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Tale of the tape: Google's Nexus 10 versus Apple's 9.7-inch iPad

October 30, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • The Nexus 10's high-resolution screen and low price make it a good option if you're looking for a high-end tablet.
The Nexus 10's high-resolution screen and low price make it a good… (Nexus 10 )

Apple's 9.7-inch iPad has been the unquestioned king of tablets since launching two years ago, but this holiday season, Google will launch a tablet of its own that might be able to challenge the champ.

Google today announced the Nexus 10, a larger version of its successful Nexus 7 tablet that launched this summer. Here's how the Nexus 10 and the iPad compare.


On paper, the Nexus 10's display puts the iPad's to shame. The new Google device may have the best screen we have ever seen on a tablet. The Nexus 10's display is a little bit bigger than 10 inches, has a resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels and a 300-pixels-per-inch density.

The fourth generation iPad, which launches this Friday, has a 9.7-inch display with a 2,048 by 1,536 pixel display and a 264 PPI.

To put in context just how good the Nexus 10's display might be, it has the same resolution as Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina technology but with a higher PPI. That means the same amount of pixels are spread over less space, which should result in a higher-quality image.

Operating system

The Nexus 10 will run on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the latest version of Google's mobile operating system, while the iPad uses iOS 6.

One of the drawbacks to Jelly Bean is there simply aren't as many apps built specifically for high-end tablets as there are for the iPad. But on the plus side it does have Google Maps.


When it comes to weight, the Nexus 10 once again beats the iPad. It weighs 603 grams, or 1.33 pounds, while the iPad weighs 652 grams, or 1.44 pounds. The cellular version of the iPad weighs more, at 662 grams, or 1.46 pounds.


The Nexus 10 is also slightly thinner than the iPad. It is 8.9 mm, or .35 of an inch, thick. The iPad is 9.4 mm, or .37 of an inch, thick.


Google's tablet also slightly edges out the iPad on cameras. Both have 5-megapixel rear cameras, but the Nexus 10's 1.9-megapixel front camera might be better than the iPad's 1.2-megapixel camera.


The iPad, however, can be used longer. You get 10 hours of continuous use from the iPad, while Google says Nexus 10 will last nine hours.


If you're looking for a tablet that can connect to cellular networks, you can't consider the Nexus 10. It will only be available in Wi-Fi options. The iPad, though, can connect to AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.


The iPad uses a dual-core A6X processor, while the Nexus 10 runs on a dual-core A15 processor. Both of these tablets are the first to use either chip, so we have no idea which is more powerful.

Variations and price

As we mentioned before, only Apple offers cellular connected versions of its tablet, but Google's Nexus 10 is available at a lower base price. Here are the different models.

Nexus 10

    16 GB - $399
    32 GB - $499 

Fourth-generation iPad

    16 GB - $499
    32 GB - $599
    64 GB - $699
    16 GB with 4G LTE - $629
    32 GB with 4G LTE - $729
    64 GB with 4G LTE - $829


The Nexus 10 appears to pack the bigger punch and it does so at a lower price, but we've yet to actually use it and a lack of 10-inch screen optimized apps could hold it back.


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