Nexus 10

A review.
A portrait photograph of Gareth Latty.

I recently decided that I will be selling my laptop and moving back to a desktop. My 15” Retina Macbook Pro has served me well for the last 6 months or so - it was perfect for the environment I was in, and I wish that it could have come out when I started University, not so close to me finishing it. This said, with me moving into the world of work, I wanted to move back to a desktop PC. OS X was starting to grate on me a little, and a nice little mini-ITX rig is my future main computer.

That said, I did feel I would miss the ability to move my platform anywhere in the house - for casual media consumption. With the laptop gone, I finally saw a use for a tablet, and it was clear to me where I should go. The Google Nexus devices are the best solution due to the stock Android environment that offers style and the fastest upgrades (as an aside, isn’t it incredible that being stock is a feature we want?) The Nexus 7 may just have been updated, but the 10 seemed to suit me better - I intend to use it around the house, so portability isn’t a huge issue - likewise with the mobile connectivity. The 10’s screen is also high-res - good for me coming off my Retina MBP. It is a large device - my Samsung Galaxy Note felt very small when I went back to it momentarily, despite being very large for a phone.

The fact that mobile apps are designed with dealing with different display densities in mind also tells - on the retina MBP there was always a noticeable disparity between different applications.

Google do have the process down at this point - as I ordered it from the Play store, it came pre-attached to my account, only needing me to enter the password before it automatically pulled down the apps I have on my phone and synced up my accounts. It was incredibly smooth. The whole thing just fell into place very quickly with minimal effort, while still letting me adjust the fine details - some applications that make sense on my phone, I don’t want on my tablet - for example, the pebble application for my smart watch. This was not an issue.

The device feels very solid, and has a nice rubberised surface on the back, which makes it feel very safe in your hands. I wouldn’t term it light - if you want to be walking around with it in one hand a lot, the smaller Nexus 7 might be a better bet. Not an issue for me.

Tablets have always been something I had no use for, never needing something between a laptop and a phone - between a desktop and a phone, however, it sits nicely.

Of course, the day is definitely coming where the tablets will oust the desktop PC and laptop for most users - small displays/touchscreen keyboards will never best their bigger/physical cousins, but with a bluetooth keyboard & mouse and a wireless display, a Nexus 10 can be thrown down and gain those capabilities. While Android might not be enough for power users, casual users will probably be fine, and Microsoft and Canonical both believe they can push a dual tablet/full PC experience (in Canonical’s case, they want to go the next step and have a phone which can be promoted to a desktop - definitely the future of casual PC use).

For now, I am happy enough with a range of devices - and the cloud is already starting to blur the lines between them. It’s an interesting time to be into technology, as hardware manufacturers try and find the delicate balance between portability and power.

Google, I would argue, are on the right track.