Google Nexus 7 tablet review
- Premium build
- Great screen
- Improved voice search
- No expandable storage
- Wi-Fi only
- Missing some Google Play stuff
Google Nexus 7: Performance
Lest we forget, the Nexus 7 has serious power under the hood and unlike its 7-inch competitors packs a Tegra 3 quadcore processor which, combined with Android 4.1’s Project Butter, makes for slick navigation, an improved touch response particularly with the smarter virtual keyboard and has enough power to tackle multitasking and deliver smooth streaming video.
We played N.O.V.A. 3 and Shadowgun to test the grunt of the 12-core GPU, and it certainly handles the most graphically demanding mobile games, if not with some very slight frame rate issues.
It’s when we get to content where we encounter the real issue with the Nexus 7. Google Play is essentially your number one source for apps, movies and books and the number of Google Play widgets on the homescreen makes this apparent almost immediately. Google announced that it would add magazine content and the ability to now purchase movies but only for US customers.
That means that UK Nexus 7 owners miss out and add in the fact that Google Music has yet to launch as well, and for a device that relies so heavily on buying content from its own store, this is clearly something that needs to be improved.
This is further compounded by the fact that a tablet which is made for media consumption does not boast SD card, HDMI or USB support for either 8GB or 16GB models.
That means you are going to have to rely heavily on the cloud if you are planning to pack your Nexus 7 with movies, videos, and music.
Google Nexus 7: Battery
Asus claims you should get around 9 hours of tablet time which is about the same as what you can expect from the new iPad.
Thankfully, the fifth battery-saving core takes care of everyday tasks like emails, updating Twitter and Facebook feeds and watching videos to help preserve battery life, which means it will comfortably get you through the day.
Video: Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire
The Amazon Kindle looks set to launch later this year having gone missing since its US launch, but it could all be a little too late simply because the Nexus 7 is so much better value for money.
Yes, Amazon might have the content side of things sewn up a bit better than the Nexus 7, but it simply cannot be considered in the same category in terms of the Nexus 7 hardware and the fact that it just looks much sleeker.
Google Nexus 7: Verdict
Putting pricing aside for one moment and the Google Nexus 7 is truly a fantastic tablet that might not be considered an iPad rival in terms of the content available and the Apple tablet’s more work-friendly credentials, but Google and Asus have thought carefully about how to make the 7-inch tablet experience the best one possible.
This is evident from even the smallest things like tweaks in the Google Chrome browser to making it ideal for reading e-books.
It’s not perfect just like other tablets on the market, but it’s the significantly lower cost compared to the iPad plus the power and capabilities on offer that make it perfect for someone who wants to buy a tablet but can’t justify paying over £400 for one.
It’s a 7-inch haven for watching movies, browsing the web and playing games, and could be the first Android device to truly challenge the iPad in terms of sales. Until the iPad mini turns up that is…
Google Nexus 7 availability: Available now
Google Nexus 7 price: £159 (8GB), £200 (16GB)