Google's Android chief says Samsung will make the next Nexus 10 tablet. Here's what it needs.
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Google debuted an improved Nexus 7 tablet this week, but an improved Nexus 10 won't be too far behind. Google's Sundar Pichai, who heads the company's Android and Chrome efforts, suggested that the Nexus 10 tablet will be made by Samsung and should be available soon.
The current Nexus 10 tablet, which debuted almost a year ago, is made by Samsung, too. It is still available from the Google Play store starting at $399. As good as the Nexus 10 is, it could be a whole lot better. Here are five changes we'd like to see in the next-generation Nexus 10.
1. More horsepower. The Nexus 10 has a Samsung-made Exynos 5 Dual processor with two ARM Cortex A15 cores and a Mali T604 GPU. Samsung needs to step it up and use its newest Exynos 5 Octa chip, preferably one with a big.LITTLE configuration to balance performance and power needs.
2. LTE 4G. Today's Nexus 10 is limited to Wi-Fi networks for connectivity. That will no longer do. The next-gen N10 needs to add support for LTE 4G networks in the U.S. and beyond. Given the new Nexus 7's support for AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon LTE, it is more likely that this year's N10 will add LTE, too. Make sure it happens, Samsung. Also, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi wouldn't hurt.
3. Better storage options. The current N10 is available with either 16 GB or 32 GB of internal storage. Those are solid starting points, but it would be great to see the next-gen N10 add support for a microSD card, which could let users store up to an additional 64 GB of content on their device. If the N10 won't include more on-board or side-loaded storage, Google should up the amount of free online storage available to N10 owners.
4. Higher-quality cameras. The N10 has a 5-megapixel main camera and a 1.2-megapixel user-facing camera. Neither is terrible, but they aren't great, either. Samsung doesn't need to increase the megapixel count, but better low-light performance (you know, for all those Hangouts) would be nice.
5. An updated design. Samsung's own Galaxy Tab Android tablets have a superior look and feel to the Nexus 10. It would be great if Samsung could carry over some of its design acumen to the Nexus range. For example, reduce the amount of frame surrounding the screen and make the N10 thinner and lighter. Today's device is by no means a heavy-weight, but any improvement would help.
If there's one thing Samsung does not need to improve, it is the N10's screen. The N10 has a 10-inch screen with 2550 by 1600 pixels. It is already better than HD. Even Apple's iPad 4 doesn't match the N10's resolution, so this is one spec that can remain unchanged.
When will the new tablet arrive? Well, Pichai didn't provide specifics to The Wall Street Journal's Amir Efrati, but October seems a good bet. Google put about three months between the debut of the N7 and N10 last year, and it isn't unreasonable to assume it will do the same this year.
What do you think? What would you like to see in the next-generation Nexus 10 tablet from Samsung. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.
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