Google Nexus 7 review

Image courtesy of Google

Posted by: Brett

The Nexus 7 was a bold move for Google. It was their first attempt at entering the somewhat crowded Android tablet market. It’s the first true Android tablet designed by Google and manufactured by ASUS. How well does it compete with the iPad mini and other 7-inch tablets? Keep reading to find out.

HARDWARE

The hardware design of the Nexus 7 is exceptional consider it’s low price-point. The back of the tablet is a combination of a soft-touch plastic, rubber, leathery-type material. There are small little circles indented into the back making for a nice feel when you hold it. It’s pretty lightweight and the small size makes it easy to hold in one hand. The “Nexus” name and the ASUS logo can also be found on the back, the latter being situated right above the speaker. The Nexus 7 has the usual array of ports and buttons with a micro USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom and your power and volume buttons on the right side. On the left side are pogo pins for a dock.

Display

On the front, there is a 7-inch IPS WXGA, 1280×800 HD display with 216ppi and is made with Corning Glass (it’s unclear as to whether it’s Gorilla Glass or not). It’s surrounded by somewhat large bezel which houses the front-facing, 1.2 megapixel camera (it does not have a back-facing camera). It records video at a measly 480p out of the box, but can be made to record 720P HD video with a modification. Viewing angles are exceptional as with most IPS displays and color reproduction is pretty good, although it’s not a Super AMOLED display.

Internals

Inside the Nexus 7 is a 1.3 GHz quad-core Tegra 3 procesor and 1GB of RAM. It also has a 12-core  GPU, NFC, a 4325 mAh battery, in addition to the usual WiFi radio, gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, and GPS. When it debuted, the Nexus 7 came in two storage capacities – 8GB for $199 and 16GB for $249. As a part of the announcement of the Nexus 4, Google discontinued the 8GB model, moved the 16GB model to the $200 price-point, and introduced a 32GB model for $250. At the same time, they announced a cellular model with bands for AT&T and, more recently, T-Mobile. The cellular models will cost you $299 and come with 32GB of storage.

Software

The Nexus 7 launched with Android 4.1, but has since been updated to Android 4.2. The main issue with Android is the lack of tablet apps. There’s no denying that there is a big shortage of them and that most apps are phone apps scaled up to the larger display. I do believe it’s more manageable on the Nexus 7, though, because theoretically, the display isn’t too much larger than something such as the Nexus 4 or Note II. Otherwise, software performance is snappy, although again, there are the occasional stutter. This isn’t a big deal and most users won’t notice them, but  the Nexus 7 has a quad-core processor and you’d expect it to run without a hitch.

Conclusion

Overall, the Nexus 7 is a fantastic tablet. The size is just right and the price is perfect. You be hard pressed to find a higher-quality tablet at or below the $200 price-point that is running the latest version of Android. I see the Nexus 7 as a win for Google and the low price is what makes it hard to find. The really suggest this tablet to those looking for a tablet that isn’t too expensive and will work well.

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