Nexus 7 – Initial thoughts.

Now you may all know that I am not the biggest fan of tablets after two rants on YouTube about how I hated the iPad with a passion, you’d think that I hate all tablets, well you see my phone is great and all but I find it too small to use as a note taking, and reading device.  However I did not want the iPad, as I don’t like iOS.

Nexus S
Nexus S (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So I went out and got myself a Nexus 7 from Asus, which is one of the latest (and greatest) Android Tablets on the Market and it was cheaper than the iPad too at only £200.

Build Quality

Even though it’s mainly made of plastic, the device doesn’t feel cheap, nor does it feel like your holding a load of metal in your hand, which on these cold days is paramount. I don’t want to hold a cold metalic device in my hands. The weight of the device is also impressive, light weight and easy to use one handed or two handed.

Hardware

The Nexus 7 sports an Nvida Tegra Quad Core CPU and 1GB of memory which is more than enough. It can run most games at ultra settings (On Dead Trigger).   It also has the usual mod cons, GPS, Blue Tooth,Wi-Fi and 3G.  (The version I got was the WiFi model)

The screen size is pretty good. Enough screen real estate to get stuff done, but small enough to carry around with you.

There is a 1.2MP front facing camera, it seems there is no back facing camera which makes sense because the Nexus 7 was designed to use it as a webcam for applications such as Skype and Google Talk.  However some applications such as Instagram can be used to take pictures should you need it.

The Speakers are really good. Really loud, but it’s not something you want to use in a crowded place thankfully they added a headphone port.

It also has a Mini USB port so you can connect it to your charger or connect the tablet to your PC/Mac should you need to transfer any content.

However there are no memory card slots, which means that you’ll be stuck with either 8, 16, or 32GB of storage. This to me isn’t a problem, as I mainly use my Nexus 7 for streaming media and taking notes.

One really bad issue is that the Nexus 7 chooses when it wants to connect to WiFi. It works fine at home but when I take it to work it just doesn’t connect even though I entered all the information correctly.  However it was using the WiFi just fine at work.

Software

Out of the box the Nexus 7 comes packed with Android 4.2 (Jellybean), which runs like a dream on the Nexus 7, and unlike Samsung they haven’t plastered touchwhiz all over the OS.

Screenshot of Nexus 7 running Android 4.2 Jellybean.(Yes I listen to Gangnam Style)

It also comes packed with some really useful widgets, however you’re limited to using only five home screens which isn’t that much space for all your apps and widgets. If you want more home screens you can download some free launchers from the Google Play store.

The pre-installed applications such as Gmail and YouTube work really well.  Google Music works a treat, as soon as I opened the Application all my music was there ready to be played instantly.

The lock screen also allows you to add widgets. So you can see your E-mails without having to unlock the device. Which is great for being more productive.

Reading E-books is also really nice and fluid, the text is fully readable without having to zoom in. There are options to help people read E-books.

As far as the interface goes, its perfect. I just wish that more applications would be optimised for the UI and Screen size.

Battery Life

I managed to squeeze a full day out of the Nexus 7 without altering the brightness.  When I got home last night the battery was on 15%. Which is an impressive 9.5 hours.  However if you use full brightness all the time and play games all the time you’ll have significantly less battery life. It doesn’t take that long to charge either.

Overall

Honestly for £200 this tablet is amazing, you’ve got a lot of power, a decent OS and really good battery life. If Google can sort out the WiFi issues, then it will be even better.  I highly recommend this tablet over any other on the Market based on what your getting for £200.

What do you think of the Nexus 7? Let me know in the comments.

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2 thoughts on “Nexus 7 – Initial thoughts.

  1. I have to agree that the N7 is the stand out small tablet of the moment. I own Apple products so am no anti-iPad stalwart but Android just seems well ahead of the game right now. The iOS interface is looking tired with it’s lack of dynamic widgets, not to mention the lack of user profiles which is surely a must for family tablet owners. Google’s stock apps are fantastic and work well on a tablet format – I think even iPad owners are kinda wishing they had Google maps back!

    So as soon as you factor in the lower price and superior hardware (faster processor, better resolution, etc) defending the iPad is best left to the Apple die hard fans. Of course I’ll be happy to reassess when I next buy a tablet (in a few years) but for now I am more than happy that I chose the right tablet for me.

    1. Agreed, the integration with all Google Services is one of Android’s best qualities. I’m not a lover of tablets but the Nexus 7 swayed me with it’s low price point at £200. I’ve seen much better hardware in other tablets but the Nexus 7’s hardware is balanced, not to mention it’s rocking one of the best displays I’ve seen on a mobile device.

      Google music is also amazing. Last night I downloaded music on iTunes, I go to look at Google music on my phone and my iTunes music is right there waiting for me.

      iOS does have it’s good sides. It’s easier to use out of the box with minimal of setting up, there are more apps when compared to Android (Although this is debated).

      Thanks for the comment.

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