A year has passed since Google released its first Samsung-made Nexus 10, with an appealing price and a display that still holds up well against Apple's most recent iPad. With the release of Android 4.4 KitKat and the Nexus 5 now in the rear-view mirror, could Google be poised to release the Nexus 10? And what will the tablet offer?
If reports are right, Samsung, which is doing fine selling its own Galaxy tablet line, won't be behind the new Nexus 10. Instead Asus, which made the popular Nexus 7 tablet, is tipped to be Google's OEM of choice for the Nexus 10. Geek.com reported in August that a 16GB wi-fi model at least will be manufactured by Asus, with the device likely to sport a 2560x1600 display and powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset.
It's highly unlikely that Google would release a single model, or have more than one manufacturer make the device, so we can safely assume that Asus will be manufacturing 16GB and 32GB Nexus 10s, and likely wi-fi plus mobile connectivity models as well.
With potentially the same manufacturer behind both the new Nexus 7 and 10, the pair are likely to be more consistent in design than their predecessors, a sleek 7-inch tablet and its rather odd-looking, curved larger counterpart.
The screen was the centrepiece of the last Nexus 10 and if Geek.com is right, the new version should have a similar priority with a 2560×1600 display, keeping it ahead of the current generation of iPad.
Given that there aren't really any solid details of new specs, we can only guess that Google is working with its OEM partner to deliver improvements on the last device, which didn't offer 3G or LTE connectivity, required regular re-charging and lacked enterprise-friendly features. Using the jump in specs from Nexus 4 to Nexus 5 as a model, it seems likely that the forthcoming Nexus 10 will be slightly lighter and thinner (the current Nexus 10 weighs 603 grams), and to have LTE connectivity for those that want it.
The last generation of Nexus 10 also had a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.9-megapixel front camera, also both of which are due for an upgrade. We could also expect the next Nexus 10 to abandon Samsung's dual-core 1.7GHz Exynos 5 in favour of some quad-core Snapdragon action, although the 2GB of RAM is likely to remain a constant between both models.
The Samsung Nexus 10 was released in late October last year, just ahead of the holiday season, and so it's also expected the new Nexus 10 will make its arrival some time this month. Given that it follows the release of Android KitKat, if the Nexus 10 does come at all, it will likely run that OS, possibly making it the second device to the Nexus 5 that ships with the OS out of the box.
However, there's an outside possibility being mooted that Google will abandon the larger slate in favour of, say, a new 8-inch tablet, which was spotted in Google's Android promotional material this week. Why would Google pull a switcheroo like that? The Nexus 10 received solid reviews, but wasn't the same runaway succcess as the Nexus 7, which surfed the growth wave enjoyed by the smaller, cheaper tablet segment last year.
The price was a major appeal of the Nexus 10, but will it creep up? The wi-fi-only Nexus 10 came in 16GB and 32GB models and cost US$399, £319 or AU$469 for the former and US$499, £389 or AU$569 for the latter. But as we've seen, with better specs, the price of the new Nexus 7 has crept up from $199 to $229 in the US. In the UK the Nexus 7 costs £199 for the 16GB model, and £239 for the 32GB model. The 4G model costs £299.
The same could happen with the Nexus 10, according to a leak of an inventory system page, purported to be from UK retailer PC World this September, which indicated a 16GB Asus Nexus 10 for £349 instead of its 2012 price of £319. A price bump of $50 would seem about right.