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The specs of the Tab 2 10.1 and Note 10.1 are similar. Chief among them, both have displays measuring 10.1 inches with 1280 x 800 pixels. They both run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with Samsung's TouchWiz user interface. They also have approximately the same dimensions (10.1 x 6.9 x 0.38 inches versus 10.3 x 7.1 x 0.35 inches) and weight (1.29 pounds versus 1.31 pounds) for the Tab and Note, respectively.
Other shared features include W-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Google services, generous storage options, headphone jacks and microUSB ports.
They differ a bit more when it comes to the key internals. The Tab 2 has a dual-core 1.5-GHz processor with 1 GB of RAM, and the Note has a quad-core 1.4-GHz processor with 2 GB of RAM. The Tab 2 has a 3-megapixel / 0.3-megapixel camera setup, and the Note has a 5-megapixel / 1.9-megapixel camera setup.
The biggest difference between the Tab 2 and Note is the presence of the S Pen stylus with the Note. The Note has a number of apps that work with the S Pen to make note-taking and other creative tasks easier. The S Note software is robust and can be used for fun and games as well as for completing professional-grade tasks.
[ Microsoft looks to move in on the tablet market. See 8 Cool Windows 8 Tablets. ]
The Tab 2 10.1 is available with and without 3G/4G. The Wi-Fi version is available for $349.99 with 8 GB of storage. Sprint is selling it with LTE on board for $549.99. The Note 10.1 costs $499 for 16 GB or $549.99 for 32 GB. It is sold only with Wi-Fi.
So, what about the Nexus 10? Well, it is a next-generation device when compared to the Tab 2 and Note and pretty much puts the slightly older tablets to shame.
First, the display. It measures 10.055 inches, but includes an eye-dazzling 2560 x 1600 pixels. The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 2. It uses a dual-core A15 processor that's mated to a Mali T604 graphics processor and 2 GB of RAM. On the wireless side, it has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC (for use with Android Beam). It has a massive, 9,000-mAh battery, a 5-megapixel / 1.9-megapixel camera setup, microHDMI, microUSB and support for magnetic inductive charging. It measures 10.39 x 6.99 x 0.35 inches and weighs 1.33 pounds.
Perhaps most importantly, it is a Nexus device and ships with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the newest version possible. It will always run a clean, stock version of Android, and will receive system updates much sooner than other Android devices. It comes in two variants: 16 GB for $399 and 32 GB for $499.
For my money, this purchase is a no-brainer. The Nexus 10 is a vastly superior tablet and costs the same as its in-house competitors. The only drawback is that it doesn't offer cellular 3G/4G data, where the Tab 2 10.1 (at least) does.