Google Nexus 7
• Impressive hardware
• Android 4.1
• NFC support
• Incredible price
• No 3G
• Missing rear-camera
• Not many optimised Android tablet apps
Google’s first shot at the tablet market was a good one, even if they did miss out a few key features. For the cheap price tag, we aren’t really that bothered about the missing parts.
Google wanted to take on Kindle in the 7-inch tablet race, which has been dominated by the Kindle Fire for many months. They have gained courageous amounts of sales, with an apparent four million worldwide. Is it worth the $199 though?
216 pixels per inch isn’t exactly Retina display – but for the price, we doubt you were expecting something of that high order.
Still, with the Nexus 7 being a tad smaller than the iPad, it can get away with fitting fewer pixels into a concentrated area.
1200 x 800 resolution, HD backlit IPS is good enough though, it looks great when playing movies or reading books.
Google have really packed some ace components and developed a sturdy design for the Nexus 7, surprisingly, considering the budget they are on.
The black dimple backing creates comfortable usage for long periods, and feels sturdy enough to be slammed against the floor, although we don’t recommend you do this.
The front is covered in gorilla glass – again, a strong and sturdy type that stops easy breaks in the glass and doesn’t promote fingerprints on the screen.
The weight of the Nexus 7 is adequate compared to its opponents, it is not the lightest or the slimmest tablet, but Google doesn’t seem to be looking for the model style, more the builder body.
Google packed the newest operating system in the Nexus 7 – by bringing out Android 4.1 just before the Nexus 7 came out, we got our first look at Jelly Bean.
4.1 isn’t a large step from Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.0 – we find that design has been upgraded, but not revolutionised.
The newest thing to come to Android is Google Now – which takes in searches and location information to give you easier ways to make your journey to work, and where to find the best book stores.
There is still a problem with tablet development on the Android OS, not only are developers not trying to make apps on the tablets, they don’t seem to even want to either.
Google have tried to entice developers, by sending out 6,000 Nexus 7’s to their loyalist developers. Hopefully we will see some movement in the coming months.
For now, you are stuck with x1.5 size apps, sometimes good, sometimes awful, and a few optimised apps.
The Nexus 7 has the NVIDIA Tegra-3 processor, which allows more realistic visuals in games and enhances speeds, with a quad-core engine.
With the Nexus 7, you take advantage of Google’s amazing product line. Maps are incredible and offer a brilliant navigation service, as long as you have the mapping route already downloaded.
Google’s book, movies and TV store is pretty good too, you will find some good offers and Google has handed out a few freebies for all folks that buy the Nexus 7.
Most of this content is available only in the US, until Google optimise it for the world.
NFC is new to the world and is still in its first stages – while paying for things via your tablet may be a good start, near field communication is still being explored. It doesn’t offer a great deal of features, yet.
Sadly, the Nexus 7 comes with Wi-Fi only connectivity – it is a shame, considering it is quite a portable device that could do with a 3G or possibly 4G connection.
While it is a budget tablet, we do see this as one of the key elements that could’ve pushed the Nexus 7 up a notch.
Have Google listened to our complaints? As you may know, we aren’t fans of rear-cameras on tablets, and we never will be until they are actually suitable for taking photos.
Anyone that actually takes a rear-photo with an iPad or any other tablet is going it for one reason: to show they have a tablet.
The quality is useless, you cannot get a good shot and even if you do, the tablet is in your way!
Google has added a front-camera, to use on Hangouts and voice chats. With 1.2-megapixels it isn’t exactly picture perfect, but it will do the job.
Asus, the manufacturers of the tablet, claim you will get a good nine hours before it needs a re-charge.
Due to Tegra 3’s good battery-saving core, you may get a little more than that if you aren’t in to watching a load of movies or gaming.
For $199, we believe the Nexus 7 is a perfect Google tablet. It is cheap, the hardware is good and sturdy and you have a great range of things to do on it. We would just love developers to work on the Android tablet market.
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