Google Nexus 7 vs Asus Padfone

Vs Paul Briden 16:45, 10 Jul 2012

We pitch the Google Nexus 7 against the Asus Padfone in an Android tablet stand-off

We see how the new Google Nexus 7 compares to the transforming Asus Padfone.

Form

Asus Padfone (tablet dock) - 273x176.9x13.55mm, 724g
Google Nexus 7 - 198.5x120x10.5mm, 340g

We may have said it a million times before but it still stands that there’s only so much you can do with the tablet form factor to differentiate it from the competition while still having something functional.

From the front, the Google Nexus 7 looks very similar to any other 7-inch slate with a broad black bezel surrounding the screen and slightly rounded corners.

The build quality and materials are reassuringly solid, the back panel is textured and rubberised for grip and there’s a sturdy metal bezel around the outside edge of the device.

It’s fair to say that the Nexus 7 isn’t re-defining tablet visuals but it is put together with a high level of polish.

The same can be said for the Nexus 7’s opponent in this comparison, the Padfone, as both devices are made by Asus to its usual high standard.

However, the Padfone is a bit of a Chimera owing to the fact it’s a phone which fits inside of a tablet dock.

Looking exclusively at the tablet component Asus hasn’t scrimped on the materials here either, with everything being made from brushed aluminium. The proportions and shape work well with more than a passing resemblance to the Transformer Prime, although it’s a good deal thicker at 13.55mm.

It’s also fair to say that it's a bit more rough and ready looking than both the Transformer Prime and the Nexus 7 due to the design having to accommodate the compartment on the back panel where the phone slots in.

Considering the technical problems of having a phone fit inside a tablet we think Asus has done a brilliant job of making something which still looks better than much of the competition.

However, with Google’s Nexus 7 Asus has made something which looks a bit more refined in our view.

Build quality is equally good all round but on aesthetics alone the Nexus 7 gets our vote here.

Winner – Google Nexus 7

Display

The Nexus 7’s display is one of the device’s stand-out features and is particularly impressive when you consider that this is a budget tablet.

As the name implies, it’s a 7-inch screen, specifically using LED-backlit IPS LCD technology with multi-touch, Corning Gorilla Glass and a resolution of 1280x800 pixels.

The result is something very crisp and clear thanks to a pixel density of 216 pixels-per-inch (ppi) which, while not iPad toppling, is certainly approaching a similarly high-grade level of sharpness and is a good deal better than most other tablet offerings currently available.

The Padfone’s tablet dock features a 10.1-inch capacitive multi-touch display with a 1280x800 pixel resolution, giving a pixel density of around 150ppi.

It’s not the sharpest display out there but it is perfectly usable and the brightness, colour depth and contrast are all quite good.

Between these two devices the Nexus 7 is a clear winner.

Winner – Google Nexus 7

Storage

To keep things affordable the Nexus 7 is a little lighter on storage than many of its rivals with options for either 8GB or 16GB of onboard capacity.

Sadly, there’s no micro SD slot meaning you can’t expand this with cards. There is, however, 1GB of RAM to support the processor.

The Padfone has a wider range of options, starting at 16GB, with a mid-level 32GB model and a higher-tier 64GB variant if you really fancy splashing out. All of them have 1GB of RAM and micro SD capability for cards up to 32GB.

Asus’ Padfone is holding all the cards here.

Winner – Asus Padfone

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