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: Features / url: features-specs

    Google Nexus 7: Features

    One thing it seems Google and T3 can agree on is that a tablet is no place for rear-facing cameras so the Nexus 7 sticks to a 1.2- Megapixel front-facing camera which offers decent enough clarity and quality for video calling over Skype or Google+ Hangouts.

    If you’re hoping to browse the web or check emails on the Nexus 7 on the way to work, the Nexus 7 is Wi-Fi only which is immediately is going to put some off from buying one, but in a day and age where you can use your smartphone as Wi-Fi hotspot, there’s always a way around this.

    Google Nexu 7: NFC

    If you are planning to use the GPS, the new Google Maps now lets you save content offline to make it worthwhile to take in the car, while there’s also Bluetooth on board and Android Beam which is Google’s take on Near Field Communiations (NFC) and allows you to instantly send pictures and video and connect to NFC-enabled speakers.

    When we tried this out however with the Galaxy Nexus (running on Ice Cream Sandwich) we struggled to get it working. As soon as we've updated the the phone to Jelly Bean - we'll give it another crack. Stay tuned...

    NFC is still very much in its infancy, but Google at least has plans beyond paying for shopping wirelessly and transferring files between devices.

    Announced at its I/O developer conference, the Nexus 7 will soon support NFC-enabled docks and speakers which could be come as important as Apple AirPlay for audiophiles.

    Google Nexus 7: Android Jelly Bean

    The Nexus 7 is the first Android device to run on Jelly Bean, the latest version of Google’s mobile OS.

    The very fact this is named Android 4.1 suggests the changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary, but the additions do make for a far more sophisticated user experience.

    Some of the nicest new features include the improved voice search and commands which is essentially a rival for Siri but won’t tell you if your brother is at the football yet.



    Instead it makes searching for facts and pictures so easy to do and the latter worked particularly well delivering an entire image gallery that you can flick through in a slideshow.  

    Expandable notifications means you can now interact with apps from inside the notification pull down bar to answer emails, calls or update your Twitter status which enhances an already impressive feature that Apple is clearly trying to catch up with in the latest iOS.

    Perhaps the most notable addition in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is Google Now.  The intelligent information service uses search and location history like working out where you work and live to give you commuting details whether travelling by car or public transport.

    Everything is displayed in a slick card interface that looks very similar to the application cards we first saw with the Palm Pre.

    Inevitably, this is bound to have the privacy upgrade up in arms, but in practice it is a brilliant example of how intelligent devices like this can be and are likely to become in the future.

  • 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
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_lead2_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_13_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_12_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_11_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_14_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_15_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_16_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_17_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_18_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_19_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_20_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_21_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_22_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_lead_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_1_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_2_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_3_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_4_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_5_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_6_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_7_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_8_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_9_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_GoogleNexus7_10_624.jpg
    • Google Nexus 7 tablet preview
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_t3.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus_camera.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_handsonhero.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus_bottomicons.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_top.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_side.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_side2.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_multitasking.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_frontscreen.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_filmmenu.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_currents.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_charging.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_back.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/ga/xs_galaxy_nexus7_googleapps.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/go/xs_google_nexus7_books.jpg
    • 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

    Best deals

    Amazon Marketplace£149.99See deal
    Amazon£219.99See deal

Best Tablets

Apple iPad 4th generation
Best Tablets

Browse our best tablets list to discover the ultimate slate

Comments

Be the first to comment…

Back to top
Close
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Close
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network

OR

Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Close
Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now