Asus Nexus 7 review
Its finally here. A joint effort between Asus and Google brings you the Nexus 7. Possibly the biggest challenge to the New iPad and solely designed to get the most from Google Play.
By Chris Messenger | Published 16/08/2012
Beautiful looking device
Brand new android 4.2 jelly bean OS
Battery life of over 8 hours
Kindle for Android works like a charm
Lacks 3G connectivity
No option to upgrade capacity
No HDMI output
Application support is confusing
The Nexus 7 is a very interesting tablet PC indeed. It is clearly a model aimed at sowing the seeds of revolution in a fertile marketplace. “But hundreds of tablets are being produced every day”, we hear you say, “What’s so special about this one?” Well, in addition to being co-produced by both ASUS & Google, the Nexus 7 could potentially be a real game changer in terms of tech, price and manufacture. We outfitted our reviewer (much to his chagrin) with a deerstalker hat, a magnifying glass and a tobacco pipe and sent him off in search of an answer...
The Nexus 7 comes with a veritable ton of apps, these range from the very useful (many of which designed by Google with the Nexus in mind) to the completely inane.
The outer design is overtly phone-like, appearing slightly longer and more slender than the average tablet. An attractive silver frame lines the smart black outer casing and every effort has gone to making the screen as
prominent as possible. Branding has been taken into consideration (perhaps a Google influence) and the product’s name is tastefully etched into the back casing.
Aside from that, the Nexus 7 doesn’t look radically different from any other tablet out there and, at first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it wasn’t.
Weighing in at a cute 320g and measuring 180mm or so, the key words to use here are ‘compact’ and ‘lightweight’.
Both are positive attributes for a portable device and the Nexus 7 is perfectly in keeping with the lighter, smaller tablets on the market. It’s also not much thicker than a slice of roast beef, another pleasing design choice.
However, when it comes to tablet PCs at least, it’s the what’s on the inside that counts. The Asus Nexus 7 is the first tablet (or any device, for that matter) shipping with Android 4.1 (or ‘Jelly Bean’, to give it its full name).
The logo may resemble an entry-level Pokemon, but Android assure us that their new baby will be something very special indeed. It will certainly have to be, as Jelly Bean is going head-to-head with the all-new and much-hyped Windows 8 Pro operating system and the resultant fallout will have massive
ramifications throughout the tablet industry.
With a minimum of 8GB memory (maximum of 16GB), the Nexus 7 has got you covered for pretty much anything. Quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processors ensure a speedy system capable of handling multiple functions with ease. In fact, for a tablet that’s almost cheap enough to qualify as a ‘budget’ model, its seriously fast.
At the beginning of this review, we talked about revolution, not in husky tones over warm beer in some bombed out bar room in the back of beyond, but loudly and in full view of the technology world. The truth is, we want good quality products, we want these products to be available at affordable prices and we want them now. We don’t want to have to wait around for price drops.
With a minimum of 8GB memory (maximum of 16GB), the Nexus 7 has got you covered for pretty much anything.
I’m happy to report that the Nexus 7 can be yours, brand new, for just $200 (that’ll be slightly more when we convert it to Pounds Sterling). That a top-level product such as this can be released with such a low price tag is nothing short of a minor miracle. This may actually force a gradual lowering of prices for the tablet market, which, far from causing a ‘race to the bottom’ as Sony predicted in 2008, ought actually to allow more people to buy tablet PCs, which could, in fact, cause a market boom instead.
The 1280 x 800 px screen is LED backlit, and, whilst it isn’t the highest resolution in the world, it is perfectly adequate. Understand that I’m comparing it with the new iPad here, an unfair if useful test. Compared to the iPad’s impossibly lush visuals, this is pretty flat, however, it still stands up as an above-average screen.
The Nexus 7 takes roughly half a minute to boot up, which is not exactly lightning fast. However, once it gets started, the Nexus 7 outperforms quite a few other ASUS tablets, leaving a long list, including the Transformer Infinity Pad and the Transformer Prime, in the dust (as shown by the recent engadget.com review).
It also out lasts an even longer list (including the Apple iPad, the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity, the Acer Iconia, the HP Touchpad, The Samsung Galaxy 10.1 and The Motorola Xoom) in terms of battery life, lasting an impressive 9 hours 50 mins.
Typically, the Nexus 7 comes with a veritable ton of apps, these range from the very useful (many of which designed by Google with the Nexus in mind) to the completely inane, but amusing nonetheless. It does feel that little bit more net-friendly as well, perhaps as a result of Google’s name on the banner.
Thoroughly exciting. This is the product I’ve wanted to review since tablets first started coming out en masse. The Asus Nexus 7 is a truly exceptional product that offers extremely high standards at a very low price.
With the newest Android OS available, the involvement of Google in the product’s development (its the first Nexus tablet PC) and the awesomely awesome price tag, this really is a revolution.
The only negative I can find is the lack of HDMI support and USB, which is a set back, but after all we’ve seen today. I think I can live with it.