WITH the Christmas shopping season fast approaching, the battle for supremacy in the tablet market is dominating the technology sector and has made for one of the busiest series of launches in recent years.
Last week Apple stole the headlines when it unveiled the widely trailed iPad Mini - as well as a new version of its phenomenally successful larger iPad range with a souped up processor.
That was closely followed by Microsoft’s Surface, which runs on the new Windows 8 operating system.
With Amazon’s Kindle Fire also joining the fray after finally being given its UK release, Google wasted no time in beefing up its Nexus tablet range this week.
Google, which has traditionally dominated the fields of search and online advertising, is pushing further into the lucrative hardware arena and its Nexus 7 has been selling well since its summer launch.
Now the web giant has fixed its sights squarely on the iPad with the new Nexus 10, a ten-inch tablet built in partnership with Samsung.
Google was due to introduce the device at an event in New York on Monday, but was forced to cancel because of Hurricane Sandy.
The Nexus 10’s main selling point is its display: 2560 x 1600, with a screen resolution of 300ppi. That is far superior to the iPad’s resolution, which delivers 2048 x 1536 and 264ppi.
Like the new iPad, the Nexus 10 has a 5MP camera on the rear, but trumps the iPad with its 1.9MP on the front and an LED flash.
While battery life is purported to be similar on the Nexus 10 and the iPad, Apple’s tablet has the option of larger storage (64GB).
And on price, the Nexus 10 is £319 (16GB) or £389 (32GB), which is significantly cheaper than the WiFi-only iPad at £399 for 16GB, £479 for 32GB or £559 for 64GB.
Unlike Apple, Google is not offering 3G or 4G-enabled devices.
The Nexus 10 is 263.9mm x 166.6mm x 8.9mm and weighs 603g. By comparison, the new iPad is 241.2mm x 185.7mm x 9.4mm and 652g
With Amazon earning most of its money through content, Google also said it was expanding its online movie and music retail businesses to several countries in Europe.
While Google Play has a similar range of apps as Apple’s App Store, there are more dedicated iPad versions out there at the moment.
From November 13, when the Nexus 10 goes on sale in the UK, users will be able to access the Play Music service, which has previously been US-only.
Google also updated its smaller, Nexus 7 tablet by increasing the storage and unveiled a new Nexus 4 smartphone, made in partnership with LG Electronics, which features a quad-core processor and a 4.7-inch display.
In the larger tablet race, Apple does have a head-start: the new iPad goes on sale on November 2, eleven days before the Nexus 10.
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