Tech Review: Nexus 7

The mighty power that is Google has joined powers with tablet PC maker ASUS to create the Nexus 7, a brand new 7inch Android powered tablet. Priced at £209.98 delivered (for the 16gb version from the play store), Google are making a big statement to their competitors (and their allies) about there intentions to grasp the tablet market with both hands.

Google ASUS

Despite the low price they’ve packed some pretty beefy hardware into this little beast, the Nexus 7 runs the latest Android 4.1.1 (Jelly bean) Operating System, with lots of nice shiny new features. With ‘Project butter’ as they call it, Google have really focused on trying to make Android run smoother and faster and you can really see the benefits on the Nexus.

You see every frame of every transition or animation, buttery smooth! This is Google’s attempt to match the fluidity of iOS, and I think they are really getting there now.

Another new feature is ‘Google Now’, this is Google’s answer to Siri on the iPhone, but they’ve taken this a step further. By using the wealth of information they have on you, in the form of your search history, and if you use latitude, your location history too, it can do amazing things. Like notify you that there is heavy traffic on your commute to work in the morning, and tell you to leave early! The more you use it, the more it suggests. If you are stood next to a bus stop, it will tell you when the next bus arrives! Similar if you are in an airport or train station! Very clever stuff!

It will also offer to navigate you to places you wouldn’t expect. The other day it offered to take me to the in-laws!! BAD GOOGLE!

Nexus 7So into the hardware of the tablet, the usual Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi etc, are all present, plus now there is an NFC chip inside. This enables easy sharing of many things like files / contacts / media  and (in the near future) allow for small payments at places like Greggs and McDonalds etc. This all happens by simply touching the two NFC devices together, nice and easy, no setup required! Many of the big companies are adopting NFC payments, so expect to see it more and more, it’s the future of money!

The size of the tablet is sweet and comfortable, small enough to hold in one hand it is perfect for reading eBooks and browsing websites without your hands tiring with the weight. The screen resolution is good, and at 1280x800px slightly bigger than 720p. It’s not the brightest I’ve seen in bright sunlight, but considering the price of the tablet, its a small complaint to an overall excellent machine.

Gaming is also very good and the CPU they have chosen really packs a punch!

A QUAD CORE TEGRA 3 cpu!! In a £200 tablet!! Is pretty amazing. If you don’t know, Tegra 3 provides a much enhanced gaming experience. Providing the very latest graphics capabilities on this tiny little quad core beast! The 1gb of RAM also helps with the speed and fluidity of “butter”.

There are rumours of them making a loss on the 16gb version, whatever the financial connotations Google have stirred up the tablet market big time, and packed one hell of a punch into this machine.

If you like gaming.. buy this!
If you are waiting for that one real tablet bargain.. this is it!
If you are looking for productivity on your daily commute, buy this and get a tethering plan on your phone! Same goes for those that like eBooks!

A must have bit of tech and the new Windows Tablet and rumoured iPad Mini will have to be something special to compete on price and features. My only gripe is the accessories are taking ages to show up and I want a nice dock for mine!

Main features
SCREEN 7” 1280×800 HD display (216 ppi)
Back-lit IPS display Scratch-resistant Corning glass
1.2MP front-facing camera
WEIGHT 340 grams
MEMORY 8 or 16 GB internal storage
BATTERY 4325 mAh
9 hours HD video playback
10 hours web browsing
10 hours e-reading
300 hours standby
CPU Quad-core Tegra 3 processor
NFC (Android Beam)

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Phil Mottershead

I love anything tech! I mean anything! And in between running my (small) removal business and looking after my boy I sometimes get a chance to write the odd article. I am also a bit of a tweeter, follow me @philicibine