The iPad Air is Apple's latest high-end tablet. A 10in tablet running the iOS 7 operating system. It's undisputed champion of the full-sized tablet world, but Google and Samsung are preparing a rival: the new Nexus 10 2 (2013), a 10in Android tablet that is bound to create excitement - not least because it is running the latest version of Android: KitKat.
We have spent time with the iPad Air, but we haven't yet seem the new Nexus 10, so this isn't a full comparison review. Instead we've taken the leaked- and 100 percent unofficial preliminary specifications of the Samsung Google Nexus 10 2 (2013), and compared them to the known specifications of the iPad Air. That way you can decide whether to order your iPad or wait to treat yourself to Google's latest Android tablet.
The iPad Air of course has Apple's much-vaunted Retina display. It's a 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with IPS technology and 16m colours. A resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels gives it a pixel density of 264 pixels per inch (ppi). In addition it enjoys fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating.
The new Nexus 10 2 display is slightly bigger, and slightly sharper (as was the case with the previous generation of iPads and Nexus 10 devices). It has a 10.1in Super PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen, with 16M colours. This has a 2560 x 1600 pixel resolution, which combined with that 10.1in size makes for around a 299ppi pixel density. And it's Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for toughness. (See also: 9 best budget tablets of 2013.)
New Nexus 10 2 (2013) vs iPad Air: processors and memory
Expect both of these devices to be major performers. The iPad Air is tricked out with an Apple A7 CPU. This is a dual-core chip running at 1.3GHz, and it's paired with 1GB RAM. It's combined with PowerVR G6430 quad-core graphics, too.
The new Nexus 10 2's specs are more impressive, but we won't be able to tell if it is quantifiably faster until we test them both. Remember that the software makes a huge difference here. The Nexus packs a whopping 3GB RAM, paired with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core Krait 400 chip running at 2.3GHz. The graphics are provided by an Adreno 330 GPU.
New Nexus 10 2 (2013) vs iPad Air: operating system
Apple's latest tablet runs Apple's latest OS: iOS 7.0.3. And with Apple you can be assured that it is guaranteed to be upgraded to the next version of iOS, too.
Intriguingly the new Nexus 10 2 is likely to be the first device to run Android OS, v4.4, aka KitKat. Tasty. Nexus devices often get Android updates, too, although there is no guarantee here.
New Nexus 10 2 (2013) vs iPad Air: storage
There are several different storage options for the new iPad. Depending on how much you are willing to pay you can choose between 16-, 32-, 64- and 128GB. There is of course no expansion storage slot, and until we test we don't know how much storage is available to install apps and media.
According to the leaked specs the New Nexus 10 2 comes with 32GB of onboard storage. We don't know how much of that will be available to the end user. There's no expansion slot. (See also: Best 10in tablets of 2013.)
New Nexus 10 2 (2013) vs iPad Air: battery
The iPad Air comes with a non-removable Li-Po battery, rated at 32.4 Watt hours. Apple says this will give you up to 10 hours in use. Obviously we will test this when we can.
According to the specs we've seen the new Nexus 10 2 (2013) also has a non-removable Li-Po cell. This is a 9500 mAh battery which should last for up to nine hours in use. Obviously all that extra power takes some juice.
New Nexus 10 2 (2013) vs iPad Air: cameras
Both tablets have front- and rear-facing cameras. The iPad Air has a 5Mp rear-facing camera that captures 1080p video at 30fps. The front-facing webcam stretches to 1.2Mp and captures 720p footage also at 30fps.
By contrast the rear-facing camera on the new Nexus 10 2 (2013) is an 8Mp snapper that also grabs 1080p video at 30fps. The webcam up front is a 2.1Mp camera.
New Nexus 10 2 (2013) vs iPad Air: connectivity
The iPad Air comes in both cellular and Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi-only models. The former packs in GPRS and EDGE, as well as Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth and a USB 2.0 connector (which uses Apple's bespoke Lightning connector).