The Google Nexus 7: Everything you need to know
We take a look at the newly announced Google Nexus 7 tablet, following its grand unveiling at Google I/O 2012
Google has officially released a tablet device called the Nexus 7, which will run its Android Jelly Bean operating system. The handset was built by Asus and will go on sale in the UK for a ridiculously low price of under £200. Is this an iPad-killer in the making? We investigate.
The Nexus 7, as the name suggests, is a smaller device compared to Apple’s iPad 3 and Microsoft’s newly announced Surface for Windows RT. This means it’s also significantly lighter and a lot more portable. Google described it as being around the same size as a paperback, and is clearly going after the demographic that Amazon roused with its Kindle Fire.
Featuring a 7-inch 1280x800 IPS display means you’re also getting fairly high-end display technology on a device that, for all intents and purposes, should be utterly pants – when was the last time you saw a decent tablet for under £200?
What Google has done with the Nexus 7 is isolate key factors that users identify with and ensured that its tablet retains them. Clearly, display quality was high on the agenda as the panel present on the Nexus 7 is identical to the one on Asus’ Transformer Prime, albeit slightly smaller.
The Nexus 7 is powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 12-core GPU and 1GB RAM. Specs like that are usually reserved for £500 tablets like the Transformer Prime, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and new iPad 3. At least that used to be the case – now you’ve got it inside a sub-$200 tablet.
Having Tegra 3 on-board will ensure that everything from HD games, to video, to app switching, to Jell Bean’s UI runs silky smooth. Nvidia’s Tegra 3 CPU is the de facto choice for many of Android’s top manufacturers, such as HTC. It’s now been put to use inside Google’s Nexus 7 slate. We can only imagine how good Android Jelly Bean will run, with all its optimisations, on the beefy Tegra 3.
The Nexus 7 also features 1GB of RAM, which might not sound like a lot. But bare in mind that Apple’s iPad 2 features less than half that amount. This additional punch in the memory department, combined with Nvidia’s Tegra 3 processor, should produce results usually only seen on flagship tablet devices.
The Nexus 7 will come in two storage flavours: 8GB and 16GB of storage.
Android Jelly Bean 4.1 will power the Nexus 7, adding a whole load of speed optimisations, UI changes and improvements to search like Search and Voice to Speech, which now works offline.
Check out our Everything you need to know feature on Android Jelly Bean.
NFC and Android Beam will feature inside the Nexus 7 meaning you can tap it against other Android Jelly Bean phones to share photos and videos and pair it with compatible speakers to stream music too.
The Nexus 7 comes in at two prices points: £159 for 8GB and £199 for 16GB. Google has confirmed that the Nexus 7 will be available by mid-July. Pre-order for the device is now open over at Google Play.