Google Nexus 7 tablet first look – five top features [Video]
What is the Google Nexus 7 tablet?
A 7-inch tablet made by Asus, the Google Nexus 7 gets its name from the fact it is the first tablet to run the latest version of the Android operating system – Jelly Bean.
This is the first Google branded tablet ever, but rather than focusing on competing with the iPad Google has focused on the cheaper end of the market and set it against models like the – currently US only – Amazon Kindle Fire.
Watch our video below to find our more about the Nexus 7 tablet.
Read our what’s new in Android Jelly Bean for more information about the new operating system.
5 things we like about the Google Nexus 7 tablet
- Its price
Costing £159 for the 8GB version and £199 for the 16GB model, the Nexus 7 is very affordable and is a lot cheaper than an iPad. Plus, this includes a £15 voucher to use in the Google Play store
- It’s a commuter friendly size
As well as a 7-inch screen the Nexus 7 only weighs 340g meaning holding it with one hand on a train or bus won’t leave your arm aching for the rest of the day
- New operating system
The Nexus 7 is the first product to feature Jelly Bean, the latest version of the Android operating system. This includes improved touchscreen performance and better search. For more information read our post on what’s new in Jelly Bean
- Good hardware
Despite being an affordable tablet the Nexus 7 still has some impressive hardware including a tegra 3 – quad-core processor and 12-core graphics processor. This means apps should work very fast and it will be able to play the latest games
- Large battery
Google claim the 4,325mAh battery provides 9 hours of video playback and 300 hours of stand-by time. We won’t be able to confirm this until we test the tablet in our labs, but it sounds impressive
Tim’s impressions of the Nexus 7
There’s no way of talking about the Nexus 7 without mentioning the cost, and for less than £200, it could fundamentally change the tablet market. Despite the price it has the features to compete with tablets that cost twice as much, and that’s just the 16GB version, let alone the 8GB edition.
And it doesn’t look like a £200 tablet – it looks classy and feels well-made. There are some compromises – the screen is surrounded by a large bezel so it looks a little small, and the back panel has a rubbery finish so it doesn’t feel as premium as the iPad or Asus Transformer Prime – but they’re easy to forgive.
The 7-inch screen means the tablet is small enough to use with one hand and theoretically fit into a jacket pocket – a pretty big jacket, at least. Weighing just 340g also means that, while it doesn’t feel cheap and breakable, it’s light enough to wield one-handed without getting achy arms.
On first inspection it’s fast and the interface feels very smooth – whether this is down to the quad-core processor or the Project Butter feature from Android Jelly Bean it is hard to tell, but it makes for a nice experience.
The new search function of Jelly Bean also looks good, and Google Now served up relevant cards for the location – although without a search history to rely on we aren’t able to see how well this will work after everyday use.
A rear-facing camera, 3G functionality and a microSD slot have all been sacrificed in the name of cost cutting – although the only one of these that are likely to make a difference to most users is the lack of microSD. This means you will be stuck with the fairly modest 8GB or 16GB of internal memory – so you may have to do a bit of juggling to fit what you need on the tablet every now and again.
Overall, I found it a very decent tablet and would still have been fairly impressed if Google was asking £300 for it. It’s not quite up to competing with the iPad, but at this price point it’s hard to imagine finding anything better.
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