Review: Google Nexus 7

Quite simply this is an excellent little tablet and given it was reduced to €189 when I bought it also excellent value! If you want more information then please read on.

The Google Nexus 7 tablet. Image copyright Google.

Specification wise the device comes with 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM – a larger storage option is available. My version does not have 3G and it is not expandable so that is one major drawback. Also there is no HDMI out – a feature which is often found on many cheaper tablets.  You also get a front facing 1.2mp camera, of course wifi and bluetooth. Plus a rather natty NFC feature that lets you easily send info/files between other tablets or devices that support this platform. You also get all the standard features such as bluetooth, GPS, accelerometer, gyro and compass. This is a quad core device and comes with good graphics capabilities. Wifi connectivity is reliable and so far I have not had any cause to reset.

The Nexus 7 comes not surprisingly with a crisp 7″ display (1280×800), which makes reading almost anything a pleasure. It also beats the much more expensive iPad Mini. That said for reading books it is still not a replacement for the traditional Amazon Kindle. The display is responsive and fonts are clear, there is not really anything to complain about here. Although like all 7″ tablets the screen can sometimes be just too small, but for everyday tasks such as basic email, calendar and document viewing it’s great. The multitouch surface is good quality and is both accurate and quick.

The Tablet comes with Android 4.2 which is very easy to use and responsive. It is a noticable improvement on earlier versions of Android. Also as this is a Google device you are among the first to receive any updates to Android. The device is quite literally switch on and use and unsurprisingly setting up Google services is quick and easy. Also adding additional email accounts for example your one from work on Exchange is no problem. For a more thorough review of Android 4 click here.

If you partner your device with cloud apps such as Google Drive, Evernote or Dropbox you will quickly have something which although it’s Android in a PC and iOS/Mac world merges easily with your everyday tasks. All are free up to a point and make life across devices much easier.

To sum up I recommend buying it as at the price I got it buying an iPad mini is really a no-brainer unless there is some specific app you really must have. Also it really is a huge step up in terms of speed and display from the cheaper sub €150 tablets such as the Xelio. Given this is Google’s early attempt at a tablet then I think Apple should rightfully be terrified.

The Good

  • Fast, responsive
  • Easy to use
  • Well made, feels solid and looks good
  • Good value for money especially if you can bag it for less than €200
  • Lots of Apps on Android Play store
  • Claimed 10 hour battery life

The bad

  • No HDMI out
  • Not expandable
  • Camera could be better and there is no rear facing camera
  • It’s not iOS so Apple people will instinctively not like it:)

 

About Rod McCall

Rod McCall is a researcher in the field of human-computer interaction in areas such as augmented reality, mobile gaming in-car systems and virtual environments. He works for the University of Luxembourg and has previously worked for Fraunhofer and Runtime Revolution. He is an advocate of new technologies only when they have some practical benefit for individuals or society.

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