Nexus 10 vs Surface RT
Can Google's Nexus 10 best the versatility of Microsoft's Surface RT hybrid? We find out
We see if Google’s latest tablet, the Nexus 10, can take on Microsoft’s Surface RT hybrid device.
Surface RT - 274.6x172x9.4mm, 680g
Nexus 10 - 263.8x177.8x8.9mm, 603g
With the Nexus 10 you get the distinct feeling that Samsung and Google wanted to build something that could in no way be mistaken for an iPad.
The rubberised, soft-touch plastic unibody has a far more pronounced curvature at the corners than Apple’s iconic slate, but it also has curved edges which have apparently been built with grip and ergonomics in mind.
We can’t say it’s any easier to handle than any other tablet on the market, and it would’ve helped if, like the smaller Nexus 7, it had been treated with a textured coating.
On the back panel you’ve got the Nexus logo and Samsung’s logo stamped in, plus there’s a bar along the top housing the aerials, camera and LED flash.
The Nexus 10 looks decent enough, it’s light, thin and avoids feeling too plasticky, however, its curviness might be a bit too bubbly and cartoonish for some.
Microsoft has also managed to make something very un-iPad-like with the Surface RT, but for very different reasons.
There’s barely a curve on the whole device thanks to its sharply contoured and angular bodywork. You’ll not find much plastic or aluminium either, instead you’ve got specially treated ‘VaporMag’ magnesium for the chassis, which lends things a reassuringly premium feel while also being a bit different.
Like its opponent it’s also thin and lightweight. The Surface features a brilliantly integrated kickstand which is thin but solid and well-fitted and sits flush to the back of the tablet when closed.
There’s also the optional keyboard cover attachments.
The TouchCover is wafer-thin, available in a variety of colours and has a touch-sensitive keyboard – this has very little travel in the keys, making it a bit awkward for extensive typing, but it is better than on-display touch-keyboards.
The TypeCover is more substantial, it’s more in-line with your conventional laptop keyboard – although more condensed. It’s thicker than the TouchCover but is still remarkably thin. It has proper key travel and typing is much easier.
Overall the Surface RT has extremely impressive design and build quality. It’s an attractive device, it’s robust and the fit and finish is excellent.
Winner – Surface RT
As the name suggests, the Nexus 10 has a 10.1-inch display. It’s a Super PLS LCD with a staggering 2560x1600 pixel resolution and a pixel density of around 300 pixels-per-inch (ppi).
For a tablet display of this size that is a very impressive pixel density and ensures the visuals are pretty incredible. The sharpness is on a par with some high-end smartphones and far exceeds the 9.7-inch iPad’s Retina display.
Colours are rich, contrast is good and brightness is strong enough to make the device usable outside. Unquestionably, this is the best tablet display on the market right now.
Microsoft’s Surface RT has a larger display than most people might be used to on a tablet – it’s a 10.6-inch LCD with a 1366x768 pixel resolution, 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. It also features Microsoft’s ClearType HD technology and a pixel density of 148 pixels-per-inch (ppi).
For the most part, visuals are decent enough despite that meagre pixel density. Brightness, colour depth and contrast are also excellent.
But, under closer scrutiny it just doesn’t stand up against the Nexus 10’s fantastic picture quality.
Winner - Nexus 10
Google’s Nexus 10 has options for either 16GB or 32GB of built-in storage space but no MicroSD card slot for expanding this.
The Surface RT is better equipped with 32GB or 64GB options and a MicroSDXC slot for cards up to 64GB.
This is an easy win for Micrsoft.
Winner – Surface RT