Google Nexus 10 vs Sony Tablet S: Let the War Between Large Tablets Begin!

Posted by B. Johnson
March 5, 2016 | 0 comments
Google Nexus 10 vs Sony Tablet S: Let the War Between Large Tablets Begin!Samsung is one of the manufacturers that Google has already asked for partnering in its Nexus projects, besides HTC, LG, Huawei and of course, Asus.

And as one of the members in Nexus family, Samsung has released several, to be precise, 3 models of Nexus devices; ranging from the Samsung GALAXY Nexus and Nexus S smartphones to a wide bigger Google Nexus 10 slate.

Google Nexus 10 shows how Samsung doesn’t hesitate to bring its A-game when making this tablet.

Samsung’s superiority on tablet market just can be seen perfectly on this device, especially on its screen, which is one of the departments that Samsung has been really good at in the past few years.

As a matter of fact, Google Nexus 10 is the world’s first tablet shipping with the 2.5k display (2560x1600 pixels).

But it’s not just on the display this device is really superior at compared to other tablets and even iPad in late 2012. There’s more; from its processor, its GPU, its memory size (RAM) and many other sectors.

So there’s no reason for me to not make another comparison review involving Google Nexus 10 against other tablets.

And I think the perfect challenger for Google Nexus 10 today in this review is the tablet coming from Sony, Sony Tablet S.

Google Nexus 10 vs Sony Tablet S benchmarks and gaming performance

Sony Tablet S was actually released a year before Google Nexus 10 came out to the market. So these 2 tablets are not on the same page, especially in terms of hardware specs.

But I think the comparison between these 2 devices is still really interesting to see because both devices are the flagship tablets from both companies.

Well, okay then, if you’re also interested as I am to learn more about the comparison between these 2 tablets, as well as my take on their gaming performances, then here’s my comparison review between Google Nexus 10 and Sony Tablet S.

Enjoy!

Introduction

After gaining a lot of success with 2 of the Google Nexus 7 tablets in 2012 and 2013, a few month later, Google was back again in 2013 with another new Nexus device.

But this time around, Google shakes hands with Samsung to make a larger Google Nexus 10 tablet.

Meanwhile, the same year Google released Nexus 7 tablet in 2012, Sony also jumped on the same bandwagon as Google on tablet market with its own Sony Tablet S.

As the first tablet made by the company, I think Sony really nailed it even in the first attempt with Sony Tablet S.

I mean, if we look at other tablets that were being released in 2012 or late 2012, not many of them could look as appealing as Sony Tablet S in both hardware and design.

Most of Android tablets back then looked really generic one to another and definitely not as elegant and premium as iPad. But Sony Tablet S totally changed that through Sony Tablet S.

This tablet looks really amazing in design, it has premium feel and its build quality is also top notch.

Unfortunately, if compared side-by-side with Google Nexus 10, then we can totally see how huge the discrepancy between these 2 devices really is, either in hardware specs as well as the performance.

On paper, Google Nexus 10 is definitely on the higher level than Sony Tablet S.

Thanks to Samsung’s years of experience and technology, this Korean manufacturer really brings its A-game when making this device.

It’s got the best screen on the market, it’s got the best performance, it’s got beefy specs and pretty much everything about it is just incredible.

Amazingly, despite being an old-gen tablet released in 2013, Google Nexus 10 is still on par even with other flagship tablets on the market right now, which is unbelievable.

However, there are still some questions remain.

With all of the high-class of hardware on Google Nexus 10 and premium design on Sony Tablet S, which one between these 2 tablets that has what it takes to be the best gaming tablet in this review?

Which one deserves to be the better tablet in the whole aspect?

Is it worth it to buy any of these tablets, especially for gaming?

Well, you’re about to find out the answers of these 3 little questions right at the end of this comparison review. So be sure to stick around!

Design

When it comes to hardware specs, of course Google Nexus 10 is far more powerful than Sony Tablet S.

However, in terms of design and built quality, I think Sony Tablet S has the edge here against the Google Nexus 10 tablet.

So similar just like other Sony’s Xperia tablets (Xperia Tablet Z and Z2), the design of Sony Tablet S relatively looks pretty similar, with sharp flat edges dominated with dark glass finish all over the tablet, while the rectangular corners are not that skewed.

On the rear side, there’s this unique shoulder found on the top landscape area of the rear side, which is thicker than on the bottom area.

And I think this looks really cool and makes this tablet look unique than any other regular Android tablets out there.

Meanwhile, the design of Google Nexus 10 is also pretty attractive and has its own unique characteristics compared with other competitors around the tablet market.

So as the manufacturer of Google Nexus 10, of course there is some design language of this tablet that bears the striking resemblance with other Samsung GALAXY tablets.

The most prominent similarity is its curved ‘chubby’ design around the edge of this device. Not to mention, the rounded rectangular corners on this tablet are really skewed.

I think this looks really attractive and in fact, looks more appealing than the designs of other Samsung tablets that were released in 2013, which mostly looked kind of ugly.

The great thing of Google Nexus 10’s design is actually its built quality.

According to MKBHD on YouTube, the rear-cover of Google Nexus 10 feels really comfortable to hold in the hands. So it’s not slippery and also not prone to catch finger prints, despite using soft-touch finish on the rear side.

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Google Nexus 10Sony Tablet S
10.1 inch Super PLS TFT 2560 x 1600 pixels (~299 ppi pixel density) 16M colors
Android OS 4.2 Jelly Bean, upgradable to 4.4.2 KitKat
Dual-core Exynos 5250 1.7 GHz Cortex-A15
2 GB RAM
Mali-T604 GPU
5 MP rear-facing camera with LED flash
1.9 MP front-facing camera
No MicroSD card slot
16/32 GB Internal storage
No Radio
GPS
No Java
No GPRS
No EDGE
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
NFC
USB
Bluetooth
Infrared Yes
Non-removable Li-Po 9000 mAh battery
No SIM
Released in September 2012
9.4 inch LED-backlit LCD capacitive touchscreen, 800 x 1280 pixels, (~161 ppi) 16M colors
Sony Mobile BRAVIA Engine
IPX-4 certified - splash proof
Expandable external storage via SD Memory Card slot up to 32 GB
16/32/64 GB Internal storage
1 GB RAM
8 MP rear-facing camera, 3264x2448 pixels
1 MP front-facing camera 720p video
Android OS 4.0.3 ICS, upgradable Jelly Bean 4.1
Nvidia Tegra 3 Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A9
ULP GeForce GPU
No Radio
Non-removable Li-Ion 6000 mAh battery

One of the things that really makes me amazed with Google Nexus 10 is definitely its hardware specs.

Okay, I know Google Nexus 10 comes with some of the best spec sheets on the market right now. But the thing that really impresses me with this device is actually its release date.

I mean, how is it possible for a tablet that was released in 2013 to have the specs that are still on par even with flagship devices on today’s tablet market?

That's my friend, it's just unbelievable.

For example is its screen.

So Google Nexus 10 is sporting a 10.1-inch display with an insanely sharp 2560x1600 pixels resolution (or known as 2.5K display).

And this type of resolution is still one of the highest on today’s tablet market (not the highest, but one of the highest).

And then if we go further to the performance, Google Nexus 10 with its dual-core Exynos 5250 processor and Mali T604 GPU is also still one of the best performers for today’s standards, even for gaming.

So I think it’s really amazing how a 2013’s tablet like Google Nexus 10 is still capable to compete on the tablet market in 2016. Again, this is unbelievable.

This is the opposite with Sony Tablet S.

Sony Tablet S comes with a smaller 9.4-inch display sporting the 720p resolution (1280x800 pixels), a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 12-core GeForce ULP GPU, 1GB of RAM, a smaller 6000mAh battery and an older Android Ice Sandwich.

However, despite being a less powerful tablet than Google Nexus 10, there are actually some great things to be liked on Sony’s tablet .

Some of them are the IPX-4 splash proof certification, a higher 8MP rear-facing camera (as opposed to the 5MP rear-camera on Google Nexus 10), more premium and appealing design, and last but not least, the existence of microSD card slot for up to 32GB, which is lacking on Google Nexus 10.

Screen

One of the main selling points of Google Nexus 10 is no doubt its super-sharp 2.5k display.

So Google Nexus 10 is packing a 10.1-inch display with the resolution of 2560x1600 pixels, which is one of the highest resolution screens on the market right now.

So all these crazy amount of pixels are crammed into a 10.1-inch display, resulting in really high pixel density, which in turn makes the screen of Google Nexus 10 look insanely sharp.

So watching HD movies, reading books, browsing the web or even playing games are definitely more than ideal when done on this screen. The texts are readable, the images look nice and pretty much everything on the screen looks really sharp and crisp.

And thanks to Samsung’s expertise and experience with the development of its own screen along with its technology, not only does its screen look sharp, but it also looks really gorgeous with popping out colors with great saturation.

The great thing is, Google Nexus 10 is already equipped with a powerful Exynos 5250 processor along with the Mali T604 GPU, plus a huge capacity of battery, which are more than sufficient to deliver fast and smooth performance, plus long lasting battery life, even with all that crazy amount of pixels.

Meanwhile, Sony Tablet S looks more humble than Google Nexus 10 with its smaller 9.4-inch display sporting the ‘significantly’ lower 720p display.

So when it comes to sharpness, of course Google Nexus 10 with its 2.5K display is just untouchable by the 720p screen of Sony Tablet S.

But even so, despite having a lower resolution screen than Google's tablet, the experience of watching movies, reading books, browsing the web or playing games is actually still pretty enjoyable on Sony Tablet S.

And that's because 720p display still looks pretty sharp, and also, Sony Tablet S comes with attractive looking interface all over its pre-loaded apps.

So you will find it really interesting and even addictive to look at the screen and interact with the user interface of this tablet, even in long hours.

User Interface

All of Google Nexus tablets always come pre-installed with pure stock Android UIs without any customization from the manufacturers. Google Nexus 10 is no exception.

Google Nexus 10 is running on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean right out of the box, but it can be updated to Android KitKat OS (hopefully Android Lollipop as well in the future).

So as a tablet with stock Android UI, of course Google Nexus 10 really flies in overall performance. It runs really fast, switching between apps is really smooth and the lags are pretty rare to happen.

And I think this is really great for this tablet because by using this pure stock Android UI, not only is Google Nexus 10 capable to perform really fast and smooth, but it’s also really efficient with the use of memory (RAM) and of course, battery, which in turn, really helps a lot in making this device long lasting in battery life.

Meanwhile, as opposed to the stock Android UI on Google Nexus 10, the UI of Sony Tablet S is full of customizations from Sony.

And this can be clearly seen straight from the visual interface on the homescreen, which is fully customized by Sony from its icons, its live wallpaper, its pre-loaded apps and other parts of its UI.

To be honest, despite having really heavy UI, I think the visual interface of Sony Tablet S is really gorgeous and in fact, looks more appealing than the standard looking Android UI on Google Nexus 10.

Not to mention, the extra features found on Sony Tablet S' software can also be one the main selling points for this tablet.

However, the richness of UI on Sony Tablet S also comes with its own flaw. And that is the heavy use of its RAM and its battery.

So despite looking more sophisticated than the visual interface of Google Nexus 10, the software of Sony Tablet S actually squeezes a lot of memory in the background and also its battery.

As a result, the battery life of this tablet will not be that great and the available space of memory (RAM) will not be sufficient enough.

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So, what do we have here on both Google Nexus 10 and Sony Tablet S?

Well, under the hood, Google Nexus 10 is powered by a dual-core Exynos 5250 processor clocked at 1.7 GHz per core, coupled with Mali-T604 GPU and not to mention, 2 GB of RAM.

On the other side of the road, Sony Tablet S is really comfortable with its Tegra 3 quad-core processor, alongside 1GB of RAM and a staggering 12-core of GeForce ULP GPU.

By looking at the specs of both tablets, I think it’s quite clear that Google Nexus 10 is just unmatched by Sony’s device, especially in terms of overall performance and graphical power.

And that can be seen perfectly when both tablets are thrown with some of the most graphics-intense games on the market right now.

When playing games like Modern Combat 4, Dead Trigger 1, NOVA 3 or GTA Vice City, of course both Google Nexus 10 and Sony Tablet S have no problem at all to execute all of these games in smooth performance, even in full highest graphics.

However, the performance difference on Sony Tablet S and Google Nexus 10 will become so obvious to see when these 2 devices are tasked with much heavier games like Asphalt 8: Airborne and GTA San Andreas.

On Google Nexus 10, it’s not surprising to see Asphalt 8: Airborne run perfectly on this device with no lag whatsoever, even when set in full graphics, with all of the visual effects running smoothly without any lag whatsoever.

And it goes the same with GTA San Andreas, which also runs perfectly and smoothly on Google Nexus 10 even in full graphics.

On the other hand, the degradation of performance will occur significantly on Sony Tablet S when this tablet is deployed with GTA San Andreas at its full potential of graphics.

And this is not really shocking given that Sony Tablet S is only powered by Tegra 3 processor, which is already considered as outdated for today’s standards, especially compared with its own siblings, Tegra 4 and Tegra K1 processors which are way more powerful than Tegra 3 in terms of graphical performance.

So by knowing that, then Sony Tablet S will definitely struggle a lot in performance when playing GTA San Andreas in full graphics, especially when CJ (the protagonist character of this game) is approaching near the areas filled with many objects like people and cars.

The gameplay is just not so enjoyable to play and the lags are spreading out like crazy during the game.

Between these 2 tablets, it’s definitely Google Nexus 10 that comes out as the winner here with better gaming performance than Sony Tablet S.

All thanks to Mali T604 GPU found inside this device, which is still one of the most powerful GPUs on the market right now.

Not to mention, the dual-core Exynos 5250 processor and 2GB of RAM also take an integral part to make this Google Nexus 10 really powerful for playing games.

However, despite being a less powerful gaming tablet than Google Nexus 10, there’s actually still something to be liked on Sony Tablet S, especially the one that has something to do with gaming experience.

And that is the existence of Sony PlayStation 1’s games like Crash Bandicoot that comes pre-installed with Sony Tablet S.

So right out of the box, you can instantly play Crash Bandicoot on Sony Tablet S along with the PlayStation-alike virtual controls that have been designed by Sony for this tablet.

I know that this game is a really old game and probably not as great as other Android titles that you see today on the market.

But I think it’s still pretty interesting to play this retro game on this new-gen tablet.

But of course, if you ask me which one between Google Nexus 10 and Sony Tablet S that deserves to be the best gaming tablet in this review, then I will definitely side on Google’s tablet especially with all the powerful specs that this tablet comes with.

I mean, it has a super-sharp 2.5K resolution display, a powerful GPU, a bigger RAM, a faster CPU, a huge battery and not to mention, it uses the pure stock Android UI, which really helps a lot to deliver a much faster and smoother performance on this device without squeezing a lot of power from its battery, thus resulting in great battery life.

So between the 2, Google Nexus 10 is definitely the clear winner here in terms gaming performance.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about their gaming performances, including what games that will run on these tablets, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Cameras

Both Sony and Samsung have been widely known in the tech world as 2 companies that produce the camera sensors for their own devices.

So when it comes to camera quality, I think it’s very obvious that both Google Nexus 10 and Sony Tablet S are more than ideal for taking photos or recording videos.

So Google Nexus 10 comes with a 5MP camera on the back along with a 1.9MP snapper on the front to do selfies or video calls, not to mention, LED flash is also there to be found on the rear-side of this Samsung’s tablet.

Meanwhile, Sony Tablet S looks more superior with a higher MP count on its rear-facing camera (8MP), although its front-facing camera is only 1MP.

Unfortunately though, this Sony’s tablet has no LED flash. So in low light condition, it’s probably not very ideal to take photos or record videos using this tablet.

To be honest, I haven’t seen any photos or videos taken with either Google Nexus 10 or Sony Tablet S. So I don’t have anything to share here in this regard.

However, I know for quite a while that both tablets from Samsung and Sony, of course, the flagship ones, have fairly good quality cameras.

And Google Nexus 10 and Sony Tablet S are flagship quality tablets from both companies, of course when they first launched on the market.

So I believe you can expect the same thing with the cameras of Google Nexus 10 and Sony Tablet S. They are definitely more than ideal to accommodate your hobby of photography.

However, if I have to choose between the 2, I think I will pick Google Nexus 10 instead of Sony Tablet S.

And that’s clearly because first of all, this Nexus tablet is a newer generation tablet from Samsung, released in 2013, as opposed to Sony Tablet S that made its debut in late 2012.

And I know quite sure that most of the flagship tablets from Samsung have great and sharp quality cameras.

Not to mention, Google Nexus 10 also has much a much sharper looking display than on Sony Tablet S (2560x1600 pixels VS 1280x720 pixels).

So photos or videos taken with Google Nexus 10 would definitely look more awesome and gorgeous on Google Nexus 10’s display than on the screen of Sony Tablet S.

But even so, the 8MP rear-facing camera found on Sony Tablet S is actually not too shabby at all, especially in terms of sharpness and overall quality.

It may not have the LED flash just like on Google Nexus 10, which can be really handy in low light conditions, but when the lights are present, I can rest assure that the photos or videos taken with Sony Tablet S no doubt are top notch and still look great.

Battery Life

If compared side by side, Google Nexus 10 of course has the edge here with its huge 9000mAh battery than the smaller 6000mah battery found inside Sony Tablet S. But that’s only on paper. The real world battery performance is totally different story here.

So Google Nexus 10 comes with a larger 10.1-inch display sporting the high resolution screen (2560x1600 pixels).

Meanwhile, Sony Tablet S looks more humble, or more efficient if you would, with a smaller 9.4-inch and lower resolution screen than on Google Nexus 10 (1280x800 pixels).

So we can see right here that Google Nexus tablet definitely needs more juice to squeeze on its battery than Sony’s device.

Based on the battery benchmark test I found across the net, Google Nexus 10 with its huge 9000mAh battery is capable to last very long in moderate use, which is around 8 hours and 49 minutes.

And this can be considered as good especially considering how high the screen resolution of Google’s tablet really is.

Meanwhile, Sony Tablet S, when used for browsing with WiFI in minimum brightness, is only able to survive around 6 hours and 45 minutes of screen on time, which is pretty good for a huge 9.4-inch tablet.

My Personal Opinions

So in conclusion, between these 2 devices, I’ve gotta say that Google Nexus 10 is a more appealing tablet than Sony Tablet S in overall quality.

I mean, from the hardware standpoint, we can clearly see the superiority of Google Nexus 10 compared with Sony’s tablet.

It has a larger and much sharper 2560x 1600 pixels screen, a bigger 2GB of RAM, more powerful Exynos 5250 CPU and Mali T640 GPU, a huge 9000mAh battery and last but not least, it comes with pure stock Android UI without any customizations at all from the manufacturer, which is gonna make this tablet more efficient in battery life.

Meanwhile, as a tablet released a year before Google Nexus 10 came out, Sony Tablet S comes in the second place in terms of hardware specs.

Its screen is only sporting lower 720p resolution (HD), it only has 1GB of RAM, it comes with Sony’s fully customized UI (which is pretty heavy), its battery is only 6000mAh and its Tegra 3 quad-core processor is definitely not on par with the internals found inside Google Nexus 10.

Okay, Sony Tablet S may have a higher 8MP rear facing camera (compared to 5MP rear shooter on Google Nexus 10), which probably takes better pictures than the rear camera of Google Nexus 10.

However, most of the flagship tablets from Samsung have great cameras. So I believe the same thing happens to Google Nexus tablet.

In terms of gaming performance, Google Nexus 10 is also more superior than Sony Tablet S.

And that’s clearly because the Mali T604 GPU of this tablet is more than capable to ‘execute’ even the most graphically-demanding games like GTA San Andreas in full graphics.

And this is the opposite with Sony Tablet S, which suffers a lot when playing this game in full graphics, while Asphalt 8: Airborne also doesn’t perform as smooth as on Google Nexus 10.

So by looking at overall quality of both tablets, either in spec sheet or gaming performance, I think it’s very obvious that Google Nexus 10 is a much better all-around tablet than Sony Tablet S.

It’s a much better gaming tablet and it’s also a much better media entertainment tablet.

Besides, Google Nexus 10 is also equipped with NFC, while Sony doesn’t have it. And this NFC feature can be crucial in the future when mobile payment becomes ‘viral’ all across the world.

But even so, there are still some great things to appreciate from Sony Tablet S.

It has a more elegant and unique design with great build quality, it has a higher 8MP rear-facing camera, it has Sony’s fully customized UI (which is rich in terms of features and visual interface) and it’s also powered by Tegra 3 processor, which is still a powerful processor especially for gaming.

Not to mention, Sony Tablet S is also equipped with IPX-4 certification, which makes it splash proof from the water and can be quite handy if you want to use this tablet while you’re relaxing in your bathtub.

So I believe this unique feature makes up for its less powerful spec sheet than Google Nexus 10.

Not to mention, Sony Tablet S also comes with expandable external storage via microSD card slot for up to 32GB, while Google Nexus 10 doesn't have it.

So you can fill this device with many of your favorite media contents and games without worrying about running out of storage. And this can be really handy if you want to install many games on this tablet without deleting the existing ones.

Anyway, to end this comparison review, I’m gonna answer some of the questions I’ve previously asked above.

Which one between Google Nexus 10 and Sony Tablet S that has what it takes to be the best gaming tablet in this review?

As mentioned above, Google Nexus 10 is no doubt the best gaming tablet in this review when compared with Sony Tablet S.

And it’s clearly because it has better CPU and GPU, plus bigger RAM and it’s also more powerful in handling heavy 3D games like GTA San Andreas and Asphalt 8: Airborne.

Sony Tablet S is also pretty great when it comes to gaming performance. But when pitted side-by-side with Google Nexus 10, I think it’s very obvious that Google Nexus tablet is just way more powerful for gaming than Sony’s device.

Which one is the better tablet in the whole aspect?

I think Google Nexus 10 is also a better all-around tablet than Sony Tablet S in this review.

I mean, besides having better gaming performance, this Google’s tablet is also equipped with some powerful specs like a 2560x1600 pixels screen, bigger 2GB of RAM, bigger 9000mAh battery, NFC and I believe its rear-facing camera is also as impressive as the 8MP rear camera of Sony Tablet S.

So Google Nexus 10 is not only a better gaming tablet than Sony Tablet S, but it’s also a better overall tablet than Sony’s device in this review.

Is it worth it to buy any of these tablets, especially for playing 3D games?

I’m gonna say YES, but only if you pick Google Nexus 10 instead of Sony Tablet S.

And that’s obviously because Google Nexus 10 is powered by better CPU and GPU than what found inside Sony Tablet S.

And I’ve seen a lot how powerful the Mali-T604 GPU of Google Nexus 10 really is especially in handling heavy games like Asphalt 8: Airborne or GTA San Andreas.

Meanwhile, Tegra 3 quad-core processor of Sony Tablet S, eventhough powerful, is definitely not on the same level of performance with the Google Nexus 10.

And we can clearly see the difference of gaming performance of both tablets when they are running Asphalt 8: Airborne at its full graphics.

Google Nexus 10 of course, has no problem at all in running this arcade racing game in full graphics.

On the other hand, Sony Tablet S doesn’t perform well when running this game in full highest graphics, although it’s still playable.

So the answer is YES, Google Nexus 10 is definitely still a better worth buying tablet right now, even for playing games.

Pros and Cons

Google Nexus 10

Pros:
  • It has a higher-resolution screen (2560x1600 pixels)
  • It has powerful CPU and GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • strong battery life
  • appealing design with curved edges
  • It’s great for playing heavy 3D games
  • great cameras with LED flash on the back
  • it has the privilege to get newer software updates from Google
Cons:
  • Screen is too sharp and it could cause a headache when used intensively for playing games
  • No microSD card slot

Sony Tablet S

Pros:
  • It comes with microSD card slot, which Google Nexus 10 doesn’t have it
  • Tegra 3 processor is pretty good for playing games
  • Screen still looks gorgeous, despite using 720p resolution
  • Elegant unique design with premium build quality
  • It has great cameras
  • Sony’s fully customized UI is rich with features and visual interface
Cons:
  • Tegra 3 processor is not that powerful anymore for today’s standards, especially for gaming
  • 720p screen is not up to par with other flagship tablets on today’s tablet market


Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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