Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad Air Specs Comparison

Written by B Johnson April 26, 2016
Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad Air Specs Comparison
The first time I saw Google Nexus 10, I was like “damn, this tablet is so powerful!!”. I mean, look at its super-high-resolution display (2560x1600 pixels). And then, its fast powerful performance, its huge-sized battery, its sharp-taking cameras and the list goes on.

Yes, Google Nexus 10 has all of that in its package. This tablet is just really impressive in many ways. In fact, this Google Nexus tablet is still one of the best tablets on the market right now, alongside Apple iPad Air.

(Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad Air Specs Comparison)

Talking about Apple iPad Air, we all know that, despite being an older-gen iPad, the first-gen iPad Air is still the company’s best selling tablet even until today. It’s still selling like hot cakes for sure.

Well, what’s not to like from this device?

It’s really sleek, its full metal unibody feels really solid and premium, its performance is fast, it has smooth operating system and it’s a perfect machine to do anything, even to play games.

But Google Nexus 10 also has all the same quality to compete head-to-head with this Apple’s machine.

Google Nexus 10 vs Apple iPad Air benchmarks and gaming performance

It has an insanely sharp resolution display, its performance is really fast, it comes with decent quality cameras, its software runs smooth and it’s also a great media-consumption device.

So this is why I thought it would be nice to compare these 2 high-end flagship tablets and see which one of them is the most powerful tablet in this review, especially for playing games.

It’s also really interesting to compare and explore more about all the entire sectors between these 2 tablets.

Well, if you're also interested as i am to find out about the comparison between these Google and Apple's tablets, as well as my take on their gaming performances, then here check this one out, my comparison review between Google Nexus 10 and Apple iPad Air.



I totally remember when Google made its Nexus 10 official to the public.

It actually happened at Mountain View, Google’s own headquarter, all 'thanks' to hurricane Sandy that attacked New York a couple of years ago.

In that same time, Google also unveiled its Nexus 4 smartphone by the way.

There are many things that make this tablet so impressive in many ways. First of all, it’s got an insanely sharp display with the resolution of 2560x1600 pixels, which is not very often to see even on today's tablets or laptops.

But its screen is not the only one that makes Google Nexus 10 a worth buying tablet.

Its performance is powerful, it has a huge 2GB of RAM and a gigantic 9000mAh battery, it comes with decent quality cameras that take amazing pictures, its design looks unique and appealing and it’s also really amazing for playing games.

The same thing also applies to Apple iPad Air. Most of us already know how incredible this tablet really is.

It has a sleek design with premium metal unibody, its rear iSight camera is superior for taking photos and recording videos, it handles all games on App Store smoothly, its battery life is solid and pretty much everything about this tablet is just perfect.

But the questions remain. With all of the great stuff found on both tablets, which one between these 2 devices is the best gaming tablet in this review?

Which one is the best media-consumption tablet?

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

Hopefully, we’re about to find out more about the answers of these questions right at the end of this review? So be sure to stick around!


As far as the design goes, I think it’s very obvious that Apple iPad Air will claim the throne here as the one with the best design and build quality.

Well, that’s actually true because not only does iPad Air have solid build quality with its full metal finish, but it’s also really thin and feels convenient to use single-handedly.

It feels like holding a thin book, according to Apple when it announced this tablet the very first time.

Something that is so interesting about its design is that, Apple never made such a complete overhaul to the overall design of its tablet.

I mean, look at every iPad from time to time, each of them still looks pretty similar one to another - a sleek tablet with full metal finish, although there are still some design changes here and there.

This is the opposite with what happens to Google Nexus 10.

Unlike iPad Air that is entirely dominated with full metal finish all over the place (except the screen of course), Google Nexus 10 uses matte finish that feels really comfortable to hold in the hands (according to MKBHD on YouTube).

This tablet also has unique characteristics on its design that make it look stand out in the competition. Weirdly, despite having chubby rectangular design, Google Nexus 10 still looks really awesome and premium.

I believe Samsung, the one that manufactures this Google Nexus 10 tablet, is fully responsible with this design.

I know that Google takes over everything about its software, but when it comes to hardware, it’s very obvious that Samsung is totally in charge to design and to choose which internals that will be crammed inside this device.

Between the 2, I’ve got to say that both tablets have great looking designs. I know that Google Nexus 10 is not made out of aluminum materials nor it has sleek premium design just like iPad Air.

However, its soft-touch matte finish that is really comfortable to hold in the hands, has put this tablet on the same ergonomic level of iPad Air.

But of course, Apple iPad Air is definitely the one that comes out as the winner here in design department, all thanks to its full metal finish and slim design.

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Google Nexus 10Apple iPad Air
October 2012
10.1 inch Super PLS TFT 2560 x 1600 pixels (~299 ppi pixel density) 16M colors
Android OS v4.2 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to v4.4.2 (KitKat) and Lollipop
Dual-core Exynos 5250 1.7 GHz Cortex-A15
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
No Java
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Infrared Yes
Non-removable Li-Po 9000 mAh battery
Released November 2013
9.7 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
1536 x 2048 pixels (~264 ppi pixel density) 16M colors
iOS 7 (upgradable to iOS 8)
Apple A7 Dual-core 1.3 GHz Cyclone ARM v8-based Chipset
PowerVR G6430 quad-core GPU
No micro card slot
16/32/64/128 GB Internal storage
5 MP
1.2 MP, 720p@30fps
Wi-Fi 802.11
Bluetooth v4.0GPS
No Radio
USB v2.0
Accelerometer, gyro, compass Sensors
HTML5 (Safari) Browser
No Java
Siri natural language commands and dictation
iCloud cloud service
Non-removable Li-Po 8600 mAh battery (32.4 Wh)
Up to 10 hours (multimedia) for Talk time

Google Nexus 10 and Apple iPad Air fall in the same high-end category. That means, both tablets are equipped with some flagship quality hardware specs.

Right from the screens, we can actually see how these 2 devices deserve to be positioned on high-end tablet market.

Apple iPad Air is sporting 1536x2048 pixels resolution on it 9.7 -inch display, while Google Nexus 10 looks more superior with its 10.1-inch display that comes with much higher 2560x1600 pixels resolution.

On the sector of performance, Google Nexus 10 and iPad Air are also on the same page here. So they both basically are extremely powerful and more than capable to handle some heavy tasks like watching high-resolution movies or playing some graphically demanding games.

And that’s thanks to Mali-T604 and Samsung Exynos 5250 dual-core processor found inside Google Nexus 10, as well as Apple A7 dual-core Cyclone processor and PowerVR G6430 GPU embedded beneath the iPad Air.

Google Nexus 10’s processor is clocked at 1.7GHz, while the A7 chipset on iPad Air is set with the clock speed of 1.3GHz.

However, Google’s tablet comes with much bigger 2GB of RAM, as opposed to the 1GB of RAM found inside the iPad Air, which actually is no surprise here given that iOS 7 is a very light-weight UI, compared to the stock Android 4.2 Jelly Bean run on Google’s device.

The superiority of both tablets also continues on the sector of photography. Google Nexus 10 is equipped with a 5MP rear-facing camera as well as 1.9MP shooter on the front, while Apple iPad Air also looks shiny with its 5MP iSight camera plus another 1.2MP front-facing snapper.

Meanwhile, in terms of battery life, any of these tablets are definitely well-prepared, thanks to their huge battery capacities, iPad Air comes a non-removable 8600mAh battery, while Google Nexus 10 gets a better treatment from Samsung with a much bigger 9000mAh battery.

Screen, UI and Battery Life

Screen is definitely one of the things that Google Nexus 10 is really superior at compared to Apple iPad Air.

And that’s because its 10.1-inch display is sporting much higher resolution (2560x1600 pixels) than the smaller 9.7-inch screen of iPad Air (1536x2048 pixels). So in terms of sharpness, of course Google’s tablet totally grabs the crown here from Apple’s slate.

It’s also really pleasing to look at the screen of Google Nexus 10 because it looks insanely sharp, vivid and gorgeous with over-saturated colors, similar just like when you see the Super AMOLED displays of Samsung’s flagship tablets that mostly have high level of color saturation.

So the colors look popping out, the sharpness is exquisite and everything that you throw on the screen of Google Nexus 10 just looks nice and crisp.

Anyway, on software side, both Google Nexus 10 and Apple iPad Air are standing on 2 entirely different bandwagons here. Google’s tablet is running on Android platform, while iPad Air is of course more comfortable with its iOS 7.

So if you’re more into widgets and features, then you will feel at home with the stock Android UI of Google Nexus 10. But if you’re otherwise a huge fan of simple straight-forward UI, then iOS 7 on iPad Air is definitely the one to go.

Impressively, despite using a much higher resolution display, Google Nexus 10 is still capable to survive really long with its battery life.

And what makes it even more amazing is, this Google’s tablet comes with stock Android UI, which practically is much heavier than the iOS 7 of iPad Air, in terms of features and visual interface.

And this is why Google Nexus 10 needs bigger RAM (2GB) than iPad Air (1GB).

Anyway, according to battery benchmark test held by some tech websites across the web, Google Nexus 10 could last around 8 hours and 49 minutes in moderate use, followed by Apple iPad Air that also looked strong with its battery life, lasting over 8 hours and 40 minutes in the same moderate use.

But of course, the battery life of each tablet could drop even further to less than 6 hours if you mainly use it to do some heavy intense stuff in non-stop mode or without resting the screen at all, like for watching movies in marathon or playing heavy games in the row.


Well, if you love photography, then you won’t make any mistake if you decide to buy any of these devices.

And that’s because the cameras on both Google Nexus 10 and Apple iPad Air are more than happier to take some decent quality photos or videos.

So Google Nexus 10 is equipped with a 5MP rear-facing camera, accompanied with another 1.9MP shooter on the front. Meanwhile, Apple iPad Air also looks really superior with its 5MP iSight camera on the back, as well as the other 1.2MP snapper on the front.

In terms of overall quality and sharpness, I think I don’t need to explain further about the rear camera of iPad Air because you probably already know that Apple devices are mostly great with their cameras.

As for Google Nexus 10, according to what I’ve seen on one video review on YouTube (Chris Nacca “oode”), the photos taken with the camera of this tablet look really amazing and sharp, especially for taking micro shots like flowers.

And thanks to its insanely sharp and gorgeous display, checking out photos on this device is definitely a pleasing experience.

Not to mention, it’s got an LED flash on its rear-facing camera, which is nowhere to be found on the Apple iPad Air.

So if you love taking photos at night when the lighting conditions are not ideal, you totally can count on the camera of Google Nexus 10 here.

Even so, the rear camera of Apple’s tablet is also pretty decent for taking low-light photos, despite not having LED flash. So you can also count on it if you love nighttime photography.

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If you’re looking for a great and reliable gaming tablet, then you’re looking at the right tablets here. Both Google Nexus 10 and Apple iPad Air are no doubt really powerful for gaming.

So you can literally play any games that you’ve always want to play on any of these devices. And they all will run perfectly in buttery smooth performance.

Basically, and according to what I’ve seen on YouTube, Google Nexus 10 is capable to handle games like Modern Combat 4, GTA Vice City, NOVA 3, Asphalt 8: Airborne, Dead Trigger and Need for Speed Most Wanted.

And all of these games run smoothly on this device, even in full highest graphics.

It goes the same with the Apple iPad Air actually.

Not only does this device have the horsepower to run some heavy and graphically-demanding titles like GTA San Andreas, Modern Combat 4 or Need for Speed Most Wanted, but it’s also more than sufficient to play a much heavier game like Bioshock I.

The great thing is, when used to play heavy games, they both are really strong in terms of battery life.

So not only do they both have the performance, but they also are really ideal as gaming devices, thanks to their long lasting battery life.

Anyway, according to benchmark tests I found on the web, Google Nexus 10 managed to score impressive 13.563 point in Antutu v3, which is higher than the 5065 points held by Motorola Xoom with its Tegra 2 processor and 12703 points grabbed by Google Nexus 7 with its Tegra 3.

However, it’s still significantly lower than Google Nexus 9 with its Tegra K1 processor that managed to get insanely high 56.836 points.

On the flip side, Apple iPad Air score 1479 points in Geekbench 3/32 bit single-core, which amazingly is higher than Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 that managed to reach 915 points.

And this is so shocking because Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 is equipped with one powerful Snapdragon 801 processor and Adreno 330 GPU, which both are high-end chipsets on the market.

Weirdly, in GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen, Apple’s slate managed to run this benchmark app with 27 fps (frame rate per second), which is close to Sony Xperia Tablet Z2’s achievement with 27,6 fps.

But Apple’s tablet was beaten up by Google Nexus 9 in the same test with 41 fps, which means this app runs much faster and smoother on Google Nexus 9 than on iPad Air.

But then again, it’s not shocking because this Google Nexus 9 is powered by a super-powerful Tegra K1 processor. So no wonder.

Bottom line, both Google Nexus 10 and Apple iPad Air are definitely 2 great powerful gaming tablets. And you won't make any mistake if you pick up any of these devices for gaming.

My Personal Opinions

Well, from every aspect that I’ve explored from each Google Nexus 10 and Apple iPad Air, I’ve come to the conclusion that these 2 tablets are both equally great either as media-consumption devices or gaming tablets.

In fact, they are 2 of the best gaming tablets on the market that you can buy right now.

They have sharp looking screens, their performances are really powerful, they both have decent quality cameras, their battery lives are really solid, they look elegant and premium with their designs and pretty much everything about these 2 tablets are just great overall.

So if you’re still on the street looking a great and reliable gaming tablet that is also great for watching movies, taking photos, recording videos, browsing the web, reading books or listening to music, then you’re on the right track here if you decide to buy either Google Nexus 10 or Apple iPad Air.

They both are really awesome!

Anyway, to finish this comparison review, let me answer some of the questions I’ve asked previously above. Here you go.

Which one between these 2 devices is the best gaming tablet in this review?

I think it’s really hard to answer this question because both tablets are equally great for playing games. And most of graphics-intense games will perform great and smoothly on any of these devices.

But if I have to choose, I probably will go with Google Nexus 10 here because it has a much sharper display, which will deliver a more immersive gaming experience given that everything inside the game will look sharp and gorgeous.

Even so, both Google Nexus 10 and Apple iPad Air totally deserve to be the best gaming tablets in this review. They handle any games perfectly and smoothly.

Which one is the best tablet in the whole aspect?

Similar just like the previous question, I think both Google Nexus 10 and iPad Air are also equally great in the whole aspect. I mean, they have sharp and gorgeous screens, decent quality cameras, strong battery life, fast performances and they both are also really strong for gaming.

But then again, Google Nexus 10 has a much sharper display. And its rear-facing camera is also equipped with LED flash, which will come in handy in low-light photography.

So between the 2, I’ve got to say that Google Nexus 10 is definitely the one that comes out as the best tablet in the whole aspect.

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

Yes, totally. Both Google Nexus 10 and Apple iPad Air are extremely powerful for playing games.

Pros and Cons

Google Nexus 10

  • an insanely sharp display with 2.5k resolution
  • fast performance
  • powerful for gaming
  • 2GB of RAM
  • decent quality cameras
  • nice looking design with Samsung’s touch
  • amazing for enjoying media contents like movies, music, books, etc
  • huge battery capacity contributes to great long lasting battery life
  • LED flash
  • sufficient hardware to get the latest software updates
  • design and build quality could be better just like Apple iPad Air
  • NO expandable storage

Apple iPad Air

  • Premium design with full metal finish
  • fast and smooth performance
  • powerful for playing any games on App Store
  • gorgeous and sharp Retina display
  • amazing tablet for enjoying media entertainment contents
  • great quality cameras
  • solid and long lasting battery life
  • NO expandable storage
  • NO LED flash
  • Expensive
  • it only has 1GB of RAM

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