Google Nexus 7 tablet review

Google Nexus 7 tablet review

T3 5
  • Google Nexus 7 tablet review

    Love

    • Premium build
    • Great screen
    • Improved voice search

    Hate

    • No expandable storage
    • Wi-Fi only
    • Missing some Google Play stuff
    title: Google Nexus 7: Battery / url: battery-performance

    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)

  • The Google Nexus 7 tablet by Asus lands with the specs that can take on the iPad and a price that should worry the Amazon Kindle Fire

    Google Nexus 7 tablet review

    Love

    • Premium build
    • Great screen
    • Improved voice search

    Hate

    • No expandable storage
    • Wi-Fi only
    • Missing some Google Play stuff

    Update: The new Nexus 7 2 (2013) has been released in the US and is due to hit UK shores within a matter of weeks. Check out our Google Nexus 7 2 review....

     

    The Google Nexus 7 by Asus is the internet giant's first foray into the tablet world, as was announced at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco. Manufactured by Asus - well known for producing the popular Transformer Prime - the 7-inch tablet will pack a quad-core chip along with Google's latest OS - Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

    While obvious tablet rivals include the new iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, it's the Amazon Kindle Fire that Asus believes will be the Nexus 7's closet rival. As the Fire isn't even available in the UK yet, we reckon that Google's got a pretty good chance of winning this particular showdown. Plus, the Nexus 7 is cheaper.

    Google's tablet is also lighter than the Fire, weighing in at 340g, and measuring just 10.5mm thick. The rubberised back means that the tablet is comfy to hold and shouldn't slip from your mitts too easily.

    Google Nexus 7: Features

    The key feature on show here is the new Android Jelly Bean OS, which is geared towards tablets just as much as it is towards smartphones. We'll bring you more details on that once we've got a full review sample to play around with.

    The Nexus 7 has a front camera, plus two built-in mics for video calling, but no rear-facing cam, which seems like a fair ommission on a tablet, particularly if it keeps the cost down.

    Google Nexus 7: Screen

    The 7-inch screen sports a 1280 x 800-pixel resolution, along with TruVivid technology for a bright, colourful picture. While no match for the Retina display of the iPad 3, the screen was certainly punchy and easy to read and the IPS panel means that the viewing angle is about as wide as it can possibly be.

    For those that are worried about damaging the screen when it's lobbed into the bottom of the their bag, you'll be pleased to hear that the screen sports scratch-resistant Corning Fit Glass, which should keep damage to a minimum.

    If that's not enough for you, rest assured that Asus will be offering a case for the tablet as well.

    Google Nexus 7: Usability

    Along with Wi-Fi, the Nexus 7 also features Bluetooth and NFC connectivity, but there's no option for 3G. While there are currently plans for a 3G-enabled model, Asus hasn't entirely ruled out the idea either. Watch this space.

    Unsurprisingly, the tablet comes loaded with all of Google's major services including Gmail, Maps, Chrome and YouTube, while the Google Play store is also easy to find - in fact, it's this outlet that could well be key to the tablet's success.

    Google Nexus 7: Performance

    The Nexus 7 is powered by a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor (as used in the Asus Transformer Pad 300), with a 12-core GeForce GPU taking care of the graphics. The 4-PLUS-1 CPU is designed to "give maximum performance when you need it and power efficiency when you don't".

    We only had limited time to play with the device, but we found it to be very zippy and responsive, while graphics were rendered swiftly and clearly on the screen.

    Google Nexus 7: Battery

     

    Asus reckons that you'll get 9.5 hours of video playback, while Google is erring on the side of caution and saying 9. Obviously that's something we'll be testing out in more detail once we get a full review sample in at T3 HQ.

    Google Nexus 7: Verdict

    The Google Nexus 7 that we had a play with wasn't a completely finished retail version, but we were assured that it wasn't far off/ We were impressed by the tablet's build quality, punchy screen and zippy operation and above all - the jaw-droppingly reasonable price tag.

    Just as the affordable Kindle 4, released last year caused a significant rise in the number of people using e-readers, we think that the Google Nexus 7 could well be the tablet that really cracks the mass market - after all, top-tier tablets like the Asus Transformer Prime and the iPad 3 are still prohibitively expensive for many.

    Google Nexus 7 availability: Mid-July (8GB), 27 July (16GB)

    Google Nexus 7 price: £159 (8GB), £199 (16GB)

    Hands-on review by Libby Plummer

    • Google Nexus 7 tablet preview
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    • Google Nexus 7 tablet preview
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    • Video
      Google Nexus 7 review video

      We take an indepth look at the Android Jelly Bean tablet

      02:04
    • Video
      Google Nexus 7 tablet preview

      Specs, price and release date for Google's first tablet

      00:48
  • Google Nexus 7

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