This is a rather unusual comparison because it involves two Nexus devices made by different companies and in different years, but that is how it is with Nexus tablets…the sizes seem to change all of the time. Today, we are looking at the Nexus 10 tablet manufactured by Samsung that actually came out in late 2012, in fact, Google has finally removed it from the Play Store, going up against the newest Nexus 9 tablet from HTC. Why then are we comparing these two, you might ask…well, for one thing, the Nexus 10 is still quite a competent tablet that can still be purchased if you look around for one and secondly, the Nexus 10 will receive Android's latest 5.0 Lollipop when it becomes available, giving it new life. The prices have fallen considerably since it launched, making it quite a value and one way to experience 5.0 Lollipop without spending a lot of money for a quality tablet.
There are not many things in common with these two devices other than the Nexus name, although they both share 2GB of RAM and offer up a 16GB model – Nexus 9 also has a 32GB model) and neither one has room for expansion. They do both have the usual Wi-Fi, NFC, DLNA, Bluetooth (Nexus 9 uses 4.1 and the Nexus 10 uses 3.0) and they both have a microUSB 2.0 port for charging the battery and data transfer. Both devices have dual stereo speakers, although the Nexus 9 places them on the front edges facing forward and the Nexus 10's speakers are located on its upper right and left edge facing out to the side.
Please take a look at the detailed specifications below and see how the Nexus 9 and Nexus 10 differ from one another and then we will look at each tablet individually to determine its pros and cons so we can pick a winner of this comparison.
Google Nexus 9
The newest tablet from Google is the HTC made Nexus 9 – still undeniably a Nexus product with its rubbery outside grip and rather large bezels…none of the HTC all-metal here. HTC did bring over its dual front-facing stereo speakers with BoomSound to delight us with their sound. It is certainly well built and feels every bit the part of its high-end tablet status and it can always flaunt its 5.0 Lollipop at everybody else. Just as it did with its Nexus 6 smartphone, Google chose to stay bigger this time around, forgoing the popular 7-inch tablet, and replace its aging Nexus 10 tablet from late 2012 with the 9-inch Nexus 9.
The new Nexus 9 tablet sports an 8.9-inch QXGA IPS LCD display with a 4:3 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels and 281 pixels-per-inch (PPI)…actually slightly less than the 299 PPI on in the older Nexus 10. HTC went with the new Nvidia Tegra K1 dual-core processor clocked at 2.3GHz. They also included the 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GBs of internal storage with no expansion room available…the Nexus 10 offered only the 16GB in the Play Store. The main camera is a nice 8MP with auto-focus and an LED Flash and it too takes great pictures for a tablet camera. The front-facing camera (FFC) is only 1.6MP, but suitable for the occasional social media selfie and a so-so video chatting experience. The 6700mAh battery only gives about average life – nothing to get too excited about according to our full review.
The Nexus 9 comes in three colors – Indigo Black, Lunar White and a new Sand color that is really sharp looking. It will come in Wi-Fi only models with 16GB for $399 and 32GB for $479. The Wi-Fi / LTE model comes in only 32GB and will cost $599 and only comes in the Indigo Black…all models are listed as 'coming soon.'
Google Nexus 10
The Samsung made Nexus 10 is showing its age and is certainly dated by its outward appearance when compared to more modern tablets, but it is still a very competent tablet and will soon be getting its Android 5.0 Lollipop to possibly give this old baby a new breath of life. You will have to shop around to find one since Google has quietly dropped it from the Play Store, but there are some bargains out there and you may even want to pick up a used one just to play around with 5.0 Lollipop.
I do not mean to have you feel sorry for this old warhorse of a tablet – on the contrary, the Nexus 10 was the first real Android tablet that could stand up to the likes of Apple's iPad. The display is still a beauty to behold even if the outer casing is made from a grippy rubber coated plastic with WIDE bezels…but it makes it comfortable to hold and it still has a solid build quality. It isn't short on features, either…you get a Micro HDMI slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack and a MicroUSB port for charging and data transfer.
The 10.1-inch display is of the IPS technology with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, giving it 299 PPI and that still beats out the Nexus 9's 281 PPI. It uses Samsung's Exynos 5250 dual-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz coupled to 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage with no room for expansion. The main camera is a 5MP auto-focus affair with an LED Flash that actually takes decent photos for a tablet. The FFC is 1.9MP for selfies or video chatting…the Nexus 9 uses a 1.6MP FFC. The 9000mAh battery is a nice size for the Nexus 10, but the display really zaps the battery life – the battery life and the fact that there is no 3G or 4G versions available are its only real drawbacks.
With it's fantastic display, good build quality, 5.0 Lollipop coming and the fact that you can one a great price, you could do a lot worse than the Nexus 10. The tablet was very fluid with its original Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but subsequent upgrades have made it a bit sluggish – it will be interesting to see just what Android 5.0 does to this classic Nexus 10.
…And The Winner Is…
Okay, I had to go with the new Nexus 9 as the winner of this comparison – the only place the Nexus 10 can beat it is in the display area, but once past the screen, the Nexus 9 just has all of the parts and pieces to make it the winner. The Nexus 9 does come with a higher price tag, as well it should, but you get upgraded technology and processing power, along with Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box with all of its bells and whistles. I do not mean to sound disappointed in the Nexus 9, but it just does not have that WOW factor of some tablets – the wider bezels and austere black rubber like coating are very functional, just not exciting.
If you want a good bargain and are dying to try out Android 5.0 Lollipop, you can do a lot worse than the Nexus 10. Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know which device you like any WHY – are there any Nexus 10 owners out there to let us know what they think of their tablet and those out there ready to pickup the new Nexus 9, tell us what you like about it…as always, we would love to hear from you.