Nexus 10 vs. iPad Shootout to the Death!!!!!

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I really despise these whole “this versus that” arguments, especially when it comes to tech. C’mon people, why are we so damn competitive? Why does there have to “be only one”?

I got a Nexus 10 tablet this week, provided by my awesome employer, Community Medical Centers. See, I’m a web developer and so we need to make sure our sites look reasonable on all devices, or at least the popular ones, and after a few days of using it I realized a few important things; everything I’ve read on the Apple fanboy blogs is complete garbage. This is a dang good tablet! I’ve also realized however that the Android guys are also full of crap because owning this tablet has not made me a stud with the ladies, nor has it made me hate my iPad. Let me explain…

There are similarities and differences in the tablets. I mean, there’s a ton of patent battles going on so there are slight variations in how you do things between the devices, but honestly these things are just minor things that require a bit of retraining. Now I know that people get all bowed up about who created this or that first, but I don’t give a crap about that. Every creative endeavor starts with copying somebody else. Take music for example. There’s only 12 notes people! Are you going to criticize T-Pain because he first used a C chord 30 years after Iron Maiden? Artists steal, and improve. That’s how it works. So what I want to do here is point out some things I’ve noticed about the Nexus using my previous iPad experience as the baseline. There is no “winner” here, it’s simply a different way of doing things.

OK, so here are some things I really dig about the Nexus:

I love the launch screens. You have 5 screens and each can have any combination of info widgets which show weather, mail messages, etc, app icons, or “folders” that contain multiple icons. You can also arrange your icons with spaces in between them rather than having to have all your icons flow to the top left like on the iPad. You also have the standard launch bar at the bottom of the screen. In addition you have an “all apps” button that pulls up a screen of all your apps in alphabetical order as well as all your available gadgets. All this is very handy and customizable.

I like the notification window. Its a small pulldown window in the top left of the screen. Not all that different from the iPad but I think its more purposeful and less cluttered than the iPad equivalent.

I like the setting window. Its a small pulldown in the top right that gives you access to your settings rather than having to find the settings icon in one of your many launch screens.

The Nexus has a rubber back which I thought I would hate until I set the tablet down on my lap and it didn’t slide into my crotch. Very handy.

I absolutely love the integration of Google apps. Honestly I think Apple’s iCloud apps suck. I’ve always used Google apps but on the iPad they are second class citizens.

OK so there’s the main things I like. Now here’s the things that suck:

The keyboard! In writing this on the Nexus and its a pain. Honestly, the iPad keyboard sucks too but this one is giving me fits. It just feels like getting to numbers and special characters is a pain. And the fact that the home button is a software button rather than a hardware one, I’m constantly returning “home” when I go for the space key.

It crashes more than I would expect it to. I’ve already had two hard lockups in the 10 or so hours that I’ve used it.

As a whole, and this is very subjective, the OS feels stiff and rough around the edges. It’s just not as forgiving or polished as IOS.

Several apps that I love are not available on this device and others are clearly not as good as their IOS counterparts. This is not an issue with Android as much as it is with individual developers but still, it’s an issue.

So there you have it. Pretty minor annoyances eh? And that’s my point. This is a darn good tablet and I like it a lot. All in all I think if you took a complete noob and gave them one or the other they would have no problem using either one. So which would I buy if I only had $500 of my own money to spend? I can’t say yet. To me its a wash. If you had real specific needs such as controlling you prosthetic leg or running your Mackie mixer, I’d say iPad all the way, but if you’re just checking mail, browsing the web and playing some games, honestly you could go either way and, after a bit of getting used to the quirks of each OS, function just fine.

Son the moral of the story is to not buy into the fanboy hype. The differences are minor and mostly related to user training, not core defects in design. I would definitely stay away from any of the third party Android tablets though. Pure Google is the way to go.