The result is a fast, fluid and visually consistent user interface that's a pleasure to use. Equally important, it's a guarantee of fast and frequent future upgrades: While most Android tablets are dependent on their manufacturers for OS upgrades, Nexus devices receive their software directly from Google, typically within a week or two of a new release. That's a sharp contrast to the agonizing wait-and-see game owners of manufacturer-controlled tablets commonly face.
Android 4.2 brings a new but familiar look to the 10-in. tablet form: Instead of the tablet-specific UI introduced with Android 3.0 and carried over ever since, the Nexus 10 utilizes a setup that's more similar to what you find on an Android phone. It's very much like the UI used on the Nexus 7, only with a few additional tweaks designed to take advantage of the larger screen space.
At the top of the home screen, you have a persistent Google search bar that provides access to both the Google Now intelligent assistant tool and the Jelly Bean Voice Search feature. At the bottom, you have a Favorites Tray with eight customizable icons and a permanent shortcut to the app drawer. Beneath the tray is a black bar with virtual navigation buttons that let you move back, return home or switch apps from anywhere in the system; the buttons remain centered in that bar regardless of how you're holding the tablet.
Then there are the notifications: While previous Android tablets have displayed notifications as tiles in the lower-right corner of the screen, the Nexus 10 instead uses a variation of the standard top-of-screen setup. The main notifications pulldown is accessed by swiping down on the left side of the screen. Swiping down on the right, meanwhile, brings down a separate "quick settings" panel -- a new feature of Android 4.2 that provides quick access to basic system settings.