On paper, at least, Google’s Nexus 10 is a remarkable-sounding tablet that challenges the iPadon key hardware metrics.
Those metrics would include size, weight, and display. Not to mention price.
“What we’re seeing is the establishment of the new high end,” said Richard Shim, an analyst at DisplaySearch.
Google’s high-end 32GB Nexus 10 model is priced at $499 ($399 with 16GB). By comparison, Apple’s 32GB Wi-Fi iPad is $599.
And the lower-priced Nexus 10 includes impressive iPad-busting hardware specifications, making it harder for Apple to distinguish itself on hardware alone.
“Apple has always demanded a premium for their products and we’ll see during the holiday season how much [market share] they’re able to hold onto,” said Shim, who correctly anticipated the new tablet, telling CNET earlier in the month that Google would hook up with Samsung on a very-high-resolution 10-inch tablet .
The Nexus 10, announced today, boasts features such as Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), a 2560-by-1600 pixel density 10-inch display and a dual-core ARM Cortex A15 processor, the first tablet from a top-tier vendor to use ARM’s latest chip technology.
The iPad is still ahead on connectivity, though. Google is not currently offering a version of the Nexus 10 with 3G or 4G/LTE. And, needless to say, hardware alone does not define a device.
Nexus 10, Retina iPad key metrics: the Google tablet is thinner, lighter, and boasts a higher pixel density.
Thickness: Nexus 10: 8.9mm, iPad: 9.4mm
Weight: Nexus 10: 603g, iPad: 652g
Display: Nexus 10: 300 PPI*, iPad: 264 PPI
*PPI = pixels per inch
“Having winning hardware specs is important but only one piece of the total tablet experience. Android is narrowing the gap but iOS is still leading on the content and applications race, which is a big component of the end-user’s purchase decision,” said Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at IHS-iSuppli.
And Apple may not suffer as much as other Android players. “The biggest short term share damage is likely to be to other Android players, rather than Apple specifically,” she added.
Apple’s Retina display tech had been a key feature that set Apple apart from the pack.
After weeks of rumours and speculation, Google has finally unveiled two new variants of its Nexus 7 tablet. The Wi-Fi only 32GB Nexus 7 will be available in the Google Play store for $249 in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada. This version will also be available in-stores with the company’s retail partners like Gamestop, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, and Walmart in the US.
Google also launched the 32GB Nexus 7 3G version with HSPA+ connectivity, which will be sold in US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada starting November 13. The unlocked model of this version will be offered at $299 starting November 13.
Further, the search giant has now made the Wi-Fi only 16GB version of the 7-inch tablet as the entry-level device and as we reported earlier, it also received a price cut.
Despite cancelling the Android event scheduled for Monday, Google made the announcement via its blogpost.
Nexus 7 brings you the best of Google-YouTube, Chrome, Gmail, Maps-and all the great content from Google Play in a slim, portable package that fits perfectly in your hand. To give you more room for all that great content you can now get Nexus 7 with 16GB ($199) or 32GB ($249) of storage. But we also wanted to make this highly portable tablet even more mobile. So we added HSPA+ mobile data. Nexus 7 is now also available with 32GB and HSPA+ mobile ($299), which can operate on more than 200 GSM providers worldwide, including AT&T and T-Mobile in the US.
The only new change in both Nexus 7 variants is the additional memory and data options along with the Android 4.2 OS. Both new devices are the same as the original Nexus 7 models in terms of specs. They come with an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor with 1GB RAM, 1280×800 pixel resolution display and 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera.
Google also took the wraps off of its highly rumoured Nexus 4 smartphone. The Nexus 4 phone boasts a 4.7-inch screen with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution.
A 16GB model of the Nexus 4 will sell for $199 with a two-year contract to buy phone service and Internet access from T-Mobile. A contract-free version is available for $299 with 8GB and $349 for the 16GB model.
The 10-inch tablet from Samsung was also a part of the unveiling. The entry-level Nexus 10 will be sold at $399, or about $100 less than the least expensive iPad, starting November 13 in the US, Britain, Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Japan. The only other option is a 32GB Wi-Fi only Nexus 10 that costs $499.
It’s crunch time. In just over two weeks Microsoft is hosting a massive media event in New York to officially launch Windows 8. With the clock winding down, Microsoft is working diligently to improve some of its Windows 8 apps, but there are still some big question marks remaining for Windows 8 apps.
The most prominent and obvious change from Windows 7 is the Modern UI. The colorful, tiled interface is reminiscent of the Windows Phone interface, and Microsoft has designed it with touch-enabled devices like tablets in mind. It takes some getting used to, but once you master tapping and swiping to get what you need the Modern UI is actually pretty slick. Still, for traditional desktops and laptops that lack touchscreen capabilities, the Modern UI just seems like a cumbersome extra layer.
Whether you use Windows 8 on a touch-enabled device or not, the value of the Modern UI lies in the mobile-esque Windows 8 apps designed to work with it. There are some that stand out as examples that set the bar—like Microsoft’s own OneNote MX app—but there aren’t many app choices out there yet, and the Store needs work.
Microsoft isn’t resting just because Windows 8 is “officially” done. Microsoft has continued to monitor metrics, gather feedback, and make changes to both the Windows 8 operating system itself, and the default apps from Microsoft, and it has already issued updates before the operating system is even officially available.
Aside from performance enhancements and other tweaks to the core OS, the News, Photos, Weather, Finance, Mail, Calendar, People, Maps, Sports, Travel, Reader, and Bing apps have all been updated. I’m not suggesting the OS or the updated apps are now perfect—Microsoft will continue to improve them over time. But, the good news is that Microsoft is being vigilant in its search for areas to improve on, and expedient in cranking out the update rather than waiting nine months or more to roll it all out as a Service Pack.
The bad news for Microsoft is the anemic third-party support for Windows 8 apps. After searching for apps in the iOS or Mac OS X App Stores, or browsing through Google Play, shopping for apps in the Windows 8 Store leaves a bit to be desired. It reminds me of shopping at a store that is going out of business and has already clearance out most of it’s inventory, so all you have left are sparse items nobody really wants scattered about on mostly empty shelves.
It’s getting better everyday. The closer we get to the official launch, the more apps will continue springing up to populate the store. There’s an app for Box, Evernote, Kindle, and others, but there are still some key players missing from the mix.
Case in point—Facebook. Facebook and Microsoft are strong allies and partners, yet there is no Facebook app yet available for Windows 8. Perhaps it will be there by October 26, but Microsoft should have had Facebook on board before it rolled out the Consumer Preview.
The ugly is the Windows 8 Store itself. Right now it’s actually a good thing that there aren’t very many apps because navigating the store and browsing for apps is a challenging experience.
The Store displays the apps in categories like Photo, News & Weather, Lifestyle, etc., and each also offers up options to view the Top Free and New Releases within the category. If you click on a category, the apps are displayed along with the user rating and price—which is nice—but, it sorts based on “noteworthy” by default, which doesn’t seem to have any logic order to it. You can change how the apps are sorted with a drop-down, but alphabetical isn’t even an option.
What if you have an app in mind, but you aren’t sure what category to search? The Store doesn’t have an obvious or intuitive search option. There is nothing visible to suggest you can conduct a search at all. But, if you swipe from the right to open the Charms, you can use the Search charm to search for apps as well.
The bottom line is that Microsoft needs more quality Windows 8 apps when the operating system launches in a couple weeks, and the app store needs some work—especially if Microsoft builds a library of hundreds of thousands of apps.
While YouTube has always enjoyed support on Sony’s PlayStation 3 thanks to the console’s Flash-enabled browser and even offered a YouTube XL layout for connected devices, now it’s rolling out a new app to make the video experience even better (and, no doubt, compete with the experience unveiled late last year on the Xbox 360). The app has an improved search with suggestions and instant results while users type, the ability to pull in a user’s subscribed channels and it allows for remote control from the YouTube app on your smartphone after a simple pairing process (shown in a screenshot after the break.) According to the official blog it should be arriving in North America now, check under the My Channels section in the PS3 store to download the free app and give it a shot.
The Nexus 7 is selling like hotcakes at various brick-and-mortar retail outlets in its first weekend of general release, with some retailers already reporting that the 7-inch Android tablet built by Google and Asus is out of stock.
GameStop, Sam’s Club, and Staples were listing the device as out of stock as of Friday, while Office Depot appeared to still have a few Nexus 7 tablets on hand, according to a rundown of several Nexus 7 retailers compiled by Newsday. GameStop had “already run through its first two allocations of the tablet,” the site reported.
A third shipment of Nexus 7 tablets should arrive in August, according to GameStop.
The Nexus 7 was unveiled by Google on June 27 at the search giant’s Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco. Customers have been able to pre-order the tablets from Google and through a handful of its retail partners over the past two weeks and the devices began shipping to consumers Friday.
The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean-based tablet has sparked a considerable amount of interest, due in part to an attractive price tag, but also because of favorable ratings from a number of notable tech reviewers, including PCMag. The Nexus 7 starts at $199 for the 8GB version—putting it in direct competition with Amazon’s $199 Kindle Fire tablet—and a 16GB version is available for $249.
UPDATE: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that the 16GB Nexus 7 was priced at $299, not the correct price of $249.
The Nexus 7 isn’t seen as a direct rival to Apple’s best-selling iPad, a larger device at nearly 10 inches that has a higher resolution display and starts at $499. But like the Kindle Fire before it, Google’s tablet is potentially shaping up to be the among the first non-Apple tablets to succeed in a market where would-be iPad-killers like Hewlett-Packard’sdiscontinued TouchPad, Motorola’s Xoom, and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBookhave struggled mightily to simply get off the ground.