Now that Google is rolling out a new version of the Google Play app for Android 2.2 "Froyo" and above, the company has taken the launch party to a new level by unloading a new official Book Cover on its Nexus 10 tablet customers. It will set back Nexus 10 owners a $29.99 chunk out of their bank account, but why even bother when you can get more for less on Amazon?
The Nexus 10 Book Cover arrives in Dark Grey and Scarlet (a Surface RT shot, Google?), and attaches directly to the back of the device for an "ultra-slim" fit. It's shaped to fit Google's (current) flagship tablet perfectly with rounded corners and a matte finish, without adding a lot of bulk to the gadget's already slim form factor.
Google's new cover naturally also supports the tablet's magnetic screen sensor. Thanks to this cool little detail, users can close the cover and put the device to sleep – open the cover, and the tablet "wakes" and is ready for action (unless it's dead, of course). This is not unique to Google's new cover, as generic covers for both the Nexus 10 and the Nexus 7 support the built-in wake/sleep sensor.
For $30, the Book Cover adds a stylish level of protection for the Nexus 10 tablet. But there are a large number of covers already offered on Amazon that sell for around the same price, if not less. Even more, many may include a detachable Bluetooth keyboard, turning the tablet into a makeshift Android netbook. In fact, this was the combination I personally used while on foot at CES 2013 and GTC 2013 (along with a Bluetooth mouse), saving me from lugging around my bulky HP Pavilion laptop.
Of course, using a cover with a detachable keyboard defeats the "slim and sleek" approach Google is taking with its Nexus 10 Book Cover, and honestly it's a bit bulky compared to carrying the standalone Nexus 10 tablet. If users don't need an external keyboard and want something slim and flashy, then Google's new Book Cover may be the way to go.