Why the Nexus 7 is proving to be a success
Early reports indicate the Asus-built Nexus 7 is proving to be a sales success. We take a look at why that is
With the iPad circling the tablet waters like a particularly malnourished shark, Google and Asus were taking a bit of a risk with any tablet that wasn't able to transform into a money tree and stamp out poverty at the touch of a button.
But Google, who is hardly stuck for cash, manpower and creative thought (or market research, for that matter), decided to throw a device into the hornet's nest, with a view to raking in even more cash - and probably to rattle Apple a bit, too, which is quickly becoming a little too comfortable.
The display is of a high enough resolution (1280x800 pixels) to make games and movies look anything but pixelated and blurry. It's actually very good. Back-lit IPS technology means you should be able to see the display even when it's fairly bright, which means you can take it outside on the three days of UK sun.
It has an internet browser, too, for looking at your next eBay purchase or writing out lengthy email replies you could've more easily said over the phone. And there's access to the Android Market so you can download apps and games until you rinse the 8GB or 16GB of storage provided, not to mention your wallet.
A front-facing camera means you can video chat with people, but no one ever does that. What it actually means is the fairer sex and men who care about their appearance can check their hair before heading out.
Then there's a sizeable battery to keep you from having to set up camp near the wall and a relatively lightweight design (340g) to save you from tearing a muscle in your arm, both very practical assets when its heart and soul is portability. Computing in your front room, and without cables. That's the dream, isn't it?
To the average person, Android Jelly Bean is just a stupid name that reminds them of sweets. So long as the technology works, nobody really cares why, which means it's actually not important. But to the technically minded, you are getting the most up to date bit of software and that's great news when the word 'fragmentation' is used as often as the word 'the' in Android land.
What Google had to face up to was the mainstream. 'Why do I need a tablet? I have a laptop!' your Dad might say. After all, if it's not broken, why fix it, as the male mantra goes?
Because it's cheap. And because the Google-branding means you may actually get one software update or two before it's tossed into the Android equivalent of no-man's land. Two simple factors, but two very important ones.
Time after time we saw tablets hit the market with promising specs, usually offering a genuinely interesting spin on what the iPad does so well. But just as our excitement was about to peak, our wallets in hand, we're told it's going to cost £4700 and you need to charge it with your own blood. These seemingly suicidal factors, among others, of course, kept great devices from achieving the success they craved.