Google may be up-sizing its tablet line in a few weeks: A reported Samsung road-map shows a Nexus 11 tablet with two potential firsts. This could be a Nexus with memory expansion and also use an octa-core Samsung Exynos chip.

Nexus 10 tablet

Attendees of the annual Google I/O developer event are looking forward to the conference, which takes place in two weeks. Sure, they’ll get to hear details of Google’s latest Chrome, Chrome OS and Android efforts, but that’s only part of the story. Often, Google introduces a new Nexus device to showcase its software. Last year the Nexus 7 tablet arrived and this year, it could be a larger Nexus 11 tablet if leaked specifications pan out.

The SamMobile blog, which has a better than average track record for such leaks, reported on Monday that the Nexus 11 appears on Samsung’s 2013 tablet roadmap. Samsung currently makes the Nexus 10 tablet and it also built the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S smartphones. As the biggest seller of Android hardware, Samsung is Google’s key partner of late. Then again, the two have a complicated relationship as Samsung’s Galaxy line is becoming synonymous with the Android brand to many.

exynos-5-powerSo what does the leaked roadmap say about a new Nexus tablet? Not much but enough to give prospective Nexus 10 buyers a reason to pause: The rumored tablet is expected to be the first octa-core tablet to market, running on Samsung’s 8-core Exynos 5410 chip. Don’t get too hung up on the eight cores though; they’re not all high performing processors. Instead, four are cutting edge Cortex-A15 cores for heavy duty activities while the other quartet are Cortex-A7 cores to offload lighter tasks and save on power consumption.

The 11-inch display is expected to be a Super PLS TFT screen and I’d expect it to be at least 1920 x 1080 resolution, if not the same 2560 x 1600 resolution used on the current Nexus 10. A pair of cameras should grace the slate — 8 megapixels on the back and 2 megapixels on the front — while a feature unique to Nexus devices may finally appear as well: micro SD expansion.

A lesser version of the tablet is reportedly planned as well: Samsung may create a Galaxy Tab 11 with similar specifications. That device would certainly use Samsung’s TouchWiz software interface and feature set, of course. And if the roadmap is accurate, Samsung will opt for a standard dual-core Exynos 5250 chip; likely to keep costs down.

chrome-tabletCould the Nexus 11 be legit? I’d say the odds are quite good although I don’t know if we need a larger Android tablet on the market. Then again, might a Chrome OS tablet be a possibility? If so, then an 11- inch slate might be sized just right, especially with a docking keyboard.

We’ll find out for sure at Google I/O, where we’ll be reporting live.

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  1. Why 11 inchs? Nexus 10 has a much nicer ring to it. I hope they keep the 7″ size and give it a 1080p screen.

    1. Looks like smaller bezel while still being the same size. I personally dont mind a bigger screen if the size stays the same

    2. but..this one goes to 11?

    3. dope. magazine pages fit better on 11 inches. 1080p on small screens is useless. learn to spell too.

      1. Not really useless if your working with photography or video.

  2. I would love it if Google actually made a premium tablet with expandable storage. If they do, somebody better remember to ask if it’s going to be a feature on all upcoming Nexus devices. I was going to get a Galaxy S4 but I’ll wait to see what Google has to say about this.

    1. Same with me. I thought about the S4, but this new google roomer halted me, so I could wait for (perhaps) better specs, because I need a tablet.

  3. Instead of teaching the controversy about octa-core, why not just call it quad-core?

    1. Because it’s not. ;)

      I totally understand your point and to be honest, I’d love to keep it in simpler terms. However, there is a potential benefit to the pair of 4-cores in terms of performance battery life over the true quad-core solutions available. So it’s (unfortunately) more accurate to describe this way.

      1. But it’s not 2x the performance (or whatever 8-core is vs. 4-core) of the quad-core.

        To call it Octa-core is as dishonest as saying that increased megapixels without the matching sensor upgrade is any step up in image quality.

        1. I agree, Raj. But I didn’t say it has 2x the performance of a quad-core. I noted that heavy lifting is done by the 4 A15s while lighter duty is offloaded to the 4 A7s. Is that dishonest?

        2. If it has 8 cores, then calling it an “octa” core is a true fact. It is what it is. He never said anything about it being twice the performance. That was your assuption.

    2. To be fair, it should be possible to run all eight cores once the scheduler becomes aSMP aware.

  4. Since I got the flip cover recently for my Nexus 10 I’m less inclined to upgrade to a next model that will be months without such a nice accessory.

  5. I have a Nexus 10 and from what I’ve been hearing they’re not selling very well so I don’t think they’re going to release another just because it’ll include a quad core processor.

    1. John-Michael Williams Zeakavo Monday, April 29, 2013

      No they are not selling that well and there are many reasons for that. One being the lack of ‘quality’ tablet apps. Google is working to fix that and I for one can not wait for the better tablet optimized applications start rolling in.

      The other, and this is just me, is that I will not buy a tablet that is wifi only. I have an iPad cellular and I bought the first gen Nexus 7.. I returned it after a week not because I didn’t like it but I did not have instant internet when I was out and about; instead having to rely on hot spots and tethering. I have not bought the Nexus 7 with cellular because I was hoping that the 2ed gen of the Nexus 10 had celular in it. So I am waiting to replace my iPad with a Nexus device…

      1. I think that’s a great point about the lack of ‘quality’ tablet apps. In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed Google working harder to make this easier for developers. It won’t change overnight of course, but the fact that we see effort from Google there is promising.

      2. JM, I so agree with you on this, I use my iPad because it has 3G, I also bought the 1st Gen Nexus 7, mine is currently in the drawer gathering dust.
        With at least 3G it’s of no use to me, regardless of the quality tablet apps.

    2. i believe they are not selling well at least in part because of the drastic price difference when moving from 7 in to 10 in

      a lot of people who might prefer a 10 in are buying the nexus 7 or other small tablet because they do not want to pay 2 1/2 times the price

  6. I’m looking forward to hardware announcements at I/O as much as the next guy, but the micro SD rumor on a Nexus is a give away.

  7. Strangely, my Nexus smartphone is built by LG (not by Samsung).

    1. Google rotates around the Nexus devices- HTC built the Nexus One, Samasung the Nexus S and the Galaxy nexus. LG is building the Nexus 4 phone and Acer the Nexus 7 Tablet. The Nexus 10 is again with Samsung. Confusingly even some of the devices not built by Samsung may use Samsung chips. More confusingly when Samsung builds a Nexus they are not allowed to build a touchwiz UI into it but then they come out with a very similar device within months with the TouchWiz UI built into it

      1. Asus built the Nexus 7, not Acer.

  8. Craig Campbell Tuesday, April 30, 2013

    I had a Nexus 10 briefly, and I have to say I loved the device. Unfortunately, I returned it due to having an iPad 4, and I decided to go that route instead, mainly because of the higher quality apps on the iPad. I would have loved to keep both, but I have so many other gadgets, I really couldn’t justify it. I loved everything about the Nexus 10 though, except for the lack of tablet optimised apps! It broke my heart to return the device :-(

  9. And make sure it has 3G and LTE, else it’s as useful as a brick with a screen

  10. My wife has an iPad 4 and I have a Nexus 10. We both like the Nexus tablet better, I have found just as many similar or the same apps on the Nexus and others that aren’t on iPad. I love the Nexus, I hope they make another upgraded model.

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