Samsung's 10-Inch Android Tablets: Which Is Best?

With its Nexus 10 tablet, Samsung risks cannibalizing sales of its existing 10-inch tablets. Let's look at the key differences.

Eric Zeman, Contributor

November 1, 2012

3 Min Read

10 Best Apps For the Samsung Galaxy Note

10 Best Apps For the Samsung Galaxy Note

10 Best Apps For the Samsung Galaxy Note (click image for larger view and for slideshow)

Samsung makes a wide array of tablets. Some have small screens, some have medium screens, some have large screens. The company is currently selling several different 10-inch tablets that might be hard to choose among. There's the Tab 2 10.1, the Note 10.1 and the Nexus 10. Which one is the best?

The specs of the Tab 2 10.1 and Note 10.1 are similar. Chief among them, both have displays measuring 10.1 inches with 1280 x 800 pixels. They both run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface. They also have approximately the same dimensions (10.1 x 6.9 x 0.38 inches versus 10.3 x 7.1 x 0.35 inches) and weight (1.29 pounds versus 1.31 pounds) for the Tab and Note, respectively.

Other shared features include W-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Google services, generous storage options, headphone jacks and microUSB ports.

They differ a bit more when it comes to the key internals. The Tab 2 has a dual-core 1.5-GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM, and the Note has a quad-core 1.4-GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM. The Tab 2 has a 3-megapixel / 0.3-megapixel camera setup, and the Note has a 5-megapixel / 1.9-megapixel camera setup.

The biggest difference between the Tab 2 and Note is the presence of the S Pen stylus with the Note. The Note has a number of apps that work with the S Pen to make note-taking and other creative tasks easier. The S Note software is robust and can be used for fun and games as well as for completing professional-grade tasks.

[ Microsoft looks to move in on the tablet market. See 8 Cool Windows 8 Tablets. ]

The Tab 2 10.1 is available with and without 3G/4G. The Wi-Fi version is available for $349.99 with 8 GB of storage. Sprint is selling it with LTE on board for $549.99. The Note 10.1 costs $499 for 16 GB or $549.99 for 32 GB. It is sold only with Wi-Fi.

So, what about the Nexus 10? Well, it is a next-generation device when compared to the Tab 2 and Note and pretty much puts the slightly older tablets to shame.

First, the display. It measures 10.055 inches, but includes an eye-dazzling 2560 x 1600 pixels. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 2. It uses a dual-core A15 processor that's mated to a Mali T604 graphics processor and 2 GB of RAM. On the wireless side, it has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC (for use with Android Beam). It has a massive, 9,000-mAh battery, a 5-megapixel / 1.9-megapixel camera setup, microHDMI, microUSB and support for magnetic inductive charging. It measures 10.39 x 6.99 x 0.35 inches and weighs 1.33 pounds.

Perhaps most importantly, it is a Nexus device and ships with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the newest version possible. It will always run a clean, stock version of Android, and will receive system updates much sooner than other Android devices. It comes in two variants: 16 GB for $399 and 32 GB for $499.

For my money, this purchase is a no-brainer. The Nexus 10 is a vastly superior tablet and costs the same as its in-house competitors. The only drawback is that it doesn't offer cellular 3G/4G data, where the Tab 2 10.1 (at least) does.

About the Author(s)

Eric Zeman


Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies.

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