Google's Nexus 10 goes for the iPad's jugular

The Nexus 10 tablet one ups Apple on some device-defining specifications and does so at a lower price.

Does this ad look familiar? Like Apple, Google is touting its high pixel density display -- which in fact beats the Retina iPad handily on the pixels-per-inch metric.

On paper, at least, Google's Nexus 10 is a remarkable-sounding tablet that challenges the iPad on 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.
Apple's Retina display tech had been a key feature that set Apple apart from the pack. Apple