Google Nexus vs. Apple (AAPL) iPad: Apple was once the king of tablets, but Google is making moves

Apple was once the king of tablet computers. Heck, for a while, the iPad was the only option on the market that mattered. That has changed.

There are a ton of competitors and a ton of companies out trying steal the tablet crown from Apple. None have succeeded in overtaking the throne ... yet. Google is making a splash with its latest 10" tablet, the Google Nexus 10.

Hardware

Built by Samsung, but sold by Google, the Nexus 10 is a 16:9 tablet with a 300dpi screen. With a resolution of 2560x1600 the screen is crisp, clear and technically better than the latest iPad retina display. It's covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 2 with a 5 Megapixel camera on the back and a 1.9 Megapixel camera on the front. Inside is a dual core processor along with a quad core graphics processor. These two "brains" keep the Nexus 10 zipping along without nary a hiccup. It's easily the snappiest Android tablet I have laid my geeky little hands on. No waiting, no stuttering. If it was a sub sandwich being delivered, they would say it was "freaky fast."

The Nexus 10 is actually thinner than the latest generation iPad. With that said, it's wider because of the 16:9 screen versus the 4:3 screen on the iPad. In my testing, when holding the tablet, the Nexus 10 felt a bit larger than the iPad. I prefer the widescreen aspect ratio for watching movies, but it does add to the overall footprint. The back of the Nexus 10 is made of a nice soft-touch plastic. It feels very solid. Some people might prefer the aluminum of the iPad. I'm on the fence. Both are slick. I love the front-facing stereo speakers on each side of the screen. Perfect for watching videos especially compared to the speakers placed on the side of most tablets. The sound is directed at the viewer, not out of the side of the tablet.

In my testing over the course of a few weeks, battery life on the Nexus 10 has been impressive. Left for days without using it, the Nexus 10 barely sipped any juice. It's easily on par with the iPad's battery life which is saying A LOT! Expect to go days without having to plug the Nexus 10 into an outlet.

Software

On the software side of things, the Nexus 10 runs Google's latest version of Android, Jelly Bean. It's a Nexus device which means it has no added extra software. It's Google Android exactly as the Google engineers designed it.

Android is growing into a great tablet operating system. It doesn't have the simplicity of iOS, but you may actually love the flexibility that comes along with it. There are now widgets available on your unlock screen so you can get a quick glance at your e-mails or calendar events without even unlocking your phone. The Google Now voice search is better than ever and in many cases better than Siri. The photosphere option in the camera app that lets you take 360 degree immersive photos. It's super cool! Android on the Nexus 10 is slick, smooth and finally feels like a grown-up operating system.

Conclusion

The Nexus 10 is the best tablet for the price. Not only is it $100 less than the new iPad but some might argue that it's technically a better tablet. The screen is great, the processor flies and the Android software is ready to take on iOS. The plastic build may turn some people off but I really like the feel of the soft plastic that Samsung used on the Nexus 10. It's a solid tablet with powerful specs at a good price.

Android fanatics, this is the tablet to have. Everyone else, it's a tablet you should spend 10 minutes with if you're thinking about buying an iPad. If the Nexus 10 doesn't sway you away from buying an iPad, nothing will.

The Google Nexus 10 tablet is available right now directly from Google. The 16GB Wi-Fi version sells for $399.

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