Product Type: Google Tablet PCs / eBook Readers
Newest Review: ... it was cheaper than other tablets available on the market and I was apprehensive about spending lots of money on it incase it got stolen o... more
Google Nexus 7
Member Name: bilbobaginz
Google Nexus 7
Advantages: beautifully made with good connectivity, apps, battery and price!
Disadvantages: quite reliant on Google Play.
Released last summer, the Nexus 7 was developed by Google in conjunction with hardware producer, Asus. It's a more affordable alternative to the IPad Mini, and runs the much more open and customisable Android OS - the new 4.2 'Jelly Bean' version. Google say they've slashed their profit margins substantially in order to bring the device's RRP more than £100 below the Mini's to 169.99 for the 16gb version and £199.99 for the 32gb. There was an 8gb version but this was discontinued after the hard drive space became obsolete, falling behind today's ever expanding tech frontier . I own the 32 GB version, and both this and the 16gb are powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor with 1gb of RAM - that's a lot of umph for a small 7-inch device. The speed at which the thing loads games, videos and web-pages is unmatched by anything I've seen. It has a crystal clear 1280x800 HD display that really brings the vibrancy and sharpness of detailed visuals to light. Watching a film (or trailer) with a varied colour pallet will highlight the devices ability to transmit colours in a smooth, seamless fashion - I advise 'Life of Pie'. The tablet has a 1.2 megapixel front camera, but rather bizarely, no application or triggure installed to take pictures with! - It's easy to find a free app that can optimise your camera as a video recorder or snap shot taker though, and these are generally free. The Nexus has a weight of 347g, about average for a small tablet, though quite a bit heavier than the IPad Mini. The device feels slim and refined in your hand and there is minimal logo-ing on the rear - just the Nexus and Asus names etched into the plastic covering.
It's worth mentioning that also available is the Nexus 4 and 10: the 4 being a powerful smart phone, and the 10 a large tablet similar in performance and price to the latest large IPad device. Its both easy and convenient to transfer files - whether media or document - between the three products, prompting you to buy two or three from the range and help Google dominate Apple for good.
There are now more than half a million Apps available for Android devices, the vast majority compatible with both tablets and phones. Nexus users use 'Google Play' to access free and payable applications. Play is a good basis for downloading games, films, music and books as well. There is the looming danger that the Nexus is too heavily burdened by Play and that this gives users too little freedom in comparison with other android tablets. After using the device, I don't really agree, I think the balance is quite good - the barrage of free stuff available tends to numb your opinion of Google's controlling nature.
As for the use-ability of this wonderfully powered and fantastically connected device, I have nothing but good words to type. In fact, typing is a good place to start. The keyboard on the Nexus is excellent - it responds instantly and intelligently (as does the entire touch system) bringing up predictions of words and allowing you to select them or ignore them. The device has multi-touch for zooming and spinning screens (like when swivelling maps) which works smoothly in all areas. The layout of the programs and apps installed is partially customisable - as you can move round / resize elements on your home screen - which means a more familiar layout and therefore better useability. Drop down menus at the top of the screen allow you to change the brightness and wireless options easily among other things. The battery icon brings up an in depth account of your battery usage for the duration of the tablets use, you can then adjust apps and brightness settings to prolong the usage of your tablet. The battery will last around 10-12 hours playing games / watching videos, and more than 3 times that listening to music or reading an e-book on low brightness. This time-frame is not dissimilar to the other competing small tablets.
There's so much to this tablet. I've only scraped the surface here, giving you the basics so that you can make your own decision on the tablet that's right for you. Kindle Fire HD, Mini, Surface, or Nexus. Go for the latter, it far surpasses the rest in quality and price.
Summary: a wonderful purchase.
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