Google Nexus 7 review
We review the affordable, ultra-powerful Google Nexus 7 tablet to see what all the fuss is about
If you wanted a decent tablet experience between 2010 and late-2011 there was only one real option: Apple's iPad. Despite persistent attempts from Google and its partners, Android has failed to give Apple any real trouble in the tablet space.
Android's first whiff of success came with the Amazon Kindle Fire, which featured a heavily modified version of Gingerbread, lots of content options and some relatively decent hardware.
Priced at under $200 in the US, Amazon's slate sold well initially and by Q1 of 2012 it represented over half of the US Android tablet market, illustrating that consumers would gamble on a new slate, particularly if it was priced correctly - i.e. less than $200.
Google took this idea one step further with its Nexus 7, adding a faster quad core processor, 1GB of RAM and a high definition IPS display. The result is one of the strongest debut devices we've seen in quite some time.
With its expertly crafted chassis, rubberized back panel and metallic bezel, the Nexus 7 looks anything but a budget device. It looks like it should cost quite a lot more. Boot up the Nexus 7 and it still looks like a quality piece of kit with its detailed IPS panel and silky user-interface (UI).
The exact dimensions of the Nexus 7 are 198.5x120x10.45mm and it weighs 340g, making it 20 per cent lighter than Amazon's Kindle Fire. The overall design of the device is of a similar quality to what we've seen from Samsung and RIM with their respective offerings, which cost considerably more.
There's a power/unlock key and volume rocker along the top right hand side with a 3.5mm jack and microUSB along the bottom. Nothing about the Nexus 7's design screams innovation. Instead Google has gone for simplicity - clean lines, conservative proportions - and the results are impressive.
A pixel density of 216ppi and a display resolution of 1280x800 pixels is not usually something you expect to see on a sub-£200, but that's exactly what you find on the Nexus 7. Colours and text look sharp making it ideal for browsing the web, reading ebooks and gaming.
It does lack the vivacity of current SLCD and Super AMOLED displays and is no way near the standard of the Retina Display present on Apple's iPad 3. But for what it is - a £160, entry-level tablet - the Nexus 7's IPS setup is far beyond anything currently available at this price-point.
|Typical Price||£159 (8GB), £199 (16GB)|
|UK Launch||July, 2012|
|Built-in Memory||8GB / 16GB|
|Additional Memory||N/A, no expandable memory card slot|
|High-speed Data||N/A, WiFi only|
|Screen Size||7-inches, 1280x800 pixels (216ppi)|
|Screen Colours||16 million|
|Camera||Front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera|
|Video Resolution||720p@30 frames-per-second|
|Song Storage||8GB / 16GB|