Google Nexus 7 Review
Introduction:

It’s crowded arena in the consumer electronics industry. As we’re all too familiar with by now, things live and die in a heartbeat, but for few that transcend above the crop, they live on in memory having a long lasting impact in the market. This is the case with many popular device families out there, such as Motorola’s DROID, Apple’s iPhone/iPad, HTC’s EVO, and Samsung’s Galaxy S line. Simply people, there are many reasons why companies continue to pump out devices that retain the monikers – not only for their brand recognition, but mainly because they invoke something more profound over previous offerings.

Google established itself as a premier force in the industry when they built Android from the ground up many years ago. However, it wasn’t until the release of the original Google Nexus One that they also managed to solidify themselves as a hardware maker as well – albeit, it’s despite the fact that another company (HTC) actually manufactured the device. Still, being graced with the “Nexus” moniker has its advantages – like being the first to feature a totally new Android experience. When we dig down further, the Nexus name continues to be the single point in the Android world where everything seemingly converges in the right proportions to offer users that authentic Android experience.

Previously, all Nexus devices released thus far have been smartphones, but this time around, Google decided to bring its Nexus to the table sphere. Catching some people by surprise, the Google Nexus 7 tablet redefines what it means to be a budget tablet. Oh no people, this isn’t a quick rush out the door kind of job. Rather, this love child between Google and Taiwan-based ASUS is aiming to broaden the appeal of Android tablets as a whole. Furthermore, it doesn’t skimp out in the hardware, as it boasts a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor – much like some of its highly respected brethren. And did we mention that it’s the first tablet to feature Android 4.1 Jelly Bean? Riding into the sunset at top gear, let’s see how far the Google Nexus 7 tablet is able to go.

The package contains:

  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Guide

Design:

We cannot stress about it enough, but ASUS has done an excellent job with the design of the Google Nexus 7 – especially when you factor in the kind of pricing constraints they had to deal with. Honestly, this isn’t the first time we’ve come across a decently made 7-inch tablet, as both the Amazon Kindle Fire and NOOK TABLET showed us already. However, the Google Nexus 7 manages to inch out over its rivals, as it embodies all the qualities we’d expect to find in a device bearing the Nexus brand.

Although it maintains a conventional design from the onset, we actually find it more comfortable to hold and use since its edges are rounded to conform perfectly to our hands as we grasp it. On top of that, the rear casing has a tough rubbery feel to it, allowing us to not only have a proper grip in the hand, but it also maintains a clean appearance at all times. Sure, it’s constructed out of mostly plastic, but you can rest peacefully at night knowing it’s the tough kind that’ll withstand most normal wear and tear. Rounding things out, it obliterates its competition by donning a super skinny (0.41” thick) frame and lightweight (11.99 oz) feel in the hand. Essentially, when you add in all of those elements, we’re still at awe in wondering how ASUS has managed to pull it off – even more taking into account the price that it’s flaunting.



The bezels surrounding the display are still wide enough to accommodate our resting thumbs – though, the top and bottom bezels are wider than the left and right. Nonetheless, we find them adequate with their spacing to enable us to easily hold onto the tablet with a single hand. As expected, the tablet sports the buttons-free approach with the surface of its display, however, the only item that stands out is the front-facing camera that’s positioned squarely into the middle area of the top bezel. Interestingly enough, you can’t take self-portraits with it, since there’s no camera app. Instead, it’s only activated with certain apps – such as video chatting with Google Talk.


On the bottom edge of the tablet, we’re presented with its microUSB port for charging/data connectivity and 3.5mm headset jack. We would’ve preferred the jack to be positioned on the top edge since it gets in the way if we rest the tablet on a surface.

In the bottom left corner, there are four dock connection pins that enable it to be used with various accessories – while a pinhole sits nearby for its microphone.

Conversely, we can find both the power button and volume control in the top right corner of the tablet. Even though they’re raised slightly to offer some distinction with our fingers, we still have just a tiny bit of difficulty in first feeling them out because they’re positioned at an angle. Nonetheless, they’re extremely springy with their response.


Finally, there’s nothing in the rear except for a small strip towards the bottom that discretely hides away its speaker grill. Also, the “ASUS” and “NEXUS” names are etched into the tough rubbery surface of the rear casing. Obviously, we’re forgiving in the fact that its 4,325 mAh battery isn’t accessible, but it pains us to know that there isn’t any sort of storage expandability with this one, since it lacks a microSD card slot. Undoubtedly, it’s evident that compromises are needed to keep its cost at $200, but still, it makes us wonder how much of an increase we’d see.



Display:

Again, it’s really hard to believe we’re looking at a $200 priced tablet because it’s sporting one pleasant looking 7” WXGA (1280 x 800) IPS display with Corning's Fit Glass to give it strength. Indeed, it’s not the most cutting-edge thing we’ve seen out there, but for a 7-inch tablet, it’s something head above water from most of the pack. For starters, its resolution is rarely seen in the 7-inch form factor, which delivers a respectable pixel density of 216 ppi. Therefore, it’s able to produce sharp details that make even the tiniest and faintest of text exquisitely legible to the eye.


And considering that this is an IPS panel that we’re talking about, color production tends to be more natural looking when compared to other competing display technologies – like AMOLED. Rounding things out, it boasts some decent viewing angles and a high brightness output to maintain its clarity in almost all conditions. Even though it’s more than visible on cloudy days outdoors, it still requires some shielding in direct sunlight. Overall, it’s a nice looking display that no doubt gets the job done, but it isn’t necessarily regarded as a class-leading thing.

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52 Comments

1. loken

Posts: 462; Member since: May 09, 2012

First! , This tablet is incredible and cheap! so definetly should get one :D Second , Who even takes Photos with Tablets....??? the front camera is enough right? :D good tablet

35. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

I saw a lot of exclamation points :p

46. android_sucks

Posts: 111; Member since: Jul 28, 2011

The question is not who takes Photos with tablets but rather who doesn't take photos with tablets?!!!!

2. STFUDonny

Posts: 4; Member since: Jul 18, 2012

Home run Google...

3. bobfreking55

Posts: 866; Member since: Jul 15, 2011

wow. 9! really good!

4. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Just I taken one from ebay today :D

5. tedkord

Posts: 17415; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Nice to see Asus building these. They make great motherboards. But I still don't see why anyone wants a tablet. They're so far behind even low end laptops in power an flexibility. They do win on portability, weight and battery life, I suppose.

16. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Tablets are a category for people who want something quicker and more intuitive then a laptop. What I'm getting at is that a laptop is for productivity and a tablet is for fun but can be very productive. Not saying that you are one of those people, but people generally bash tablets till they try them and see how convenient they are in comparison with a laptop. I could go on and on about it but I can't change you opinion... My point is that tablets are for those who don't want to lug around that 5 pound laptop just to check their Facebook or who want to emerge in a very intuitive multimedia universe...

6. MeoCao unregistered

It's a classic.

7. bloodline

Posts: 706; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

I dont why people of saying its googles competition to the ipad, it annoys me! Its clearly not to rival the ipad, you can see that by the price and the specs. Its happy in its own little market segment and its only rival is the kindle fire.

8. sonofzeus

Posts: 95; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

with a 3g or 4g capability it could been a master piece from google

9. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

I douted if any one will not change the DPI settings to 160 for the real tablet using

12. OptimusOne

Posts: 694; Member since: May 22, 2012

You just can't change the DPI settings that would just stretch apps on the screen Instead you have to go in framework res apk and change in

23. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Yes, you can do it by changing only bluid.prop

10. dreign91

Posts: 15; Member since: May 17, 2012

might be a silly question but if you download a third party camera app, does that still not activate the camera?

13. OptimusOne

Posts: 694; Member since: May 22, 2012

Theoretically yes it should work

18. dreign91

Posts: 15; Member since: May 17, 2012

Okay its just in all the reviews I've seen everyone complains about it (and rightfully so) I just didn't know if anyone ever tried it. I know it seems so simple but if it works that's an easy fix.

11. yougotkilled1

Posts: 167; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

The only con I see is the lack of expanding the 8gb limit on the tablet. Other than that, probably the best tablet for your money!

20. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

well there are 2 things, Google ideas have been taken from apple to improve their OS yet apple does not allow Google to do the same, witch is unfair, google is simpy saying, "hey when my ideas are cool It's ok to take them yet when your ideas are cool is not"

15. mas11

Posts: 1034; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

Great tablet. Idk how lack of a rear-facing camera is an issue because it's pretty silly to take pics with a tablet. Only issue is the lack of expandable storage, but for $200 this will probably be my first tablet.

17. Bluedroid

Posts: 57; Member since: Sep 12, 2011

Jelly Bean is an absolute stunner rockin at 60fps and now finally Android feels more refined and polished than ever and with IOS kicking the dust, Android all the way...

19. arcq12

Posts: 733; Member since: Oct 13, 2011

It would've been a perfect tab if they released a 3G version and put an expandable memory card slot on it.

21. BaltiCzar

Posts: 5; Member since: Jul 21, 2012

Love, love Android and Google. But I just can't justify buying a "media consumption device" (which is what tablets are for the most part) if it doesn't have expandable memory. So...on that note, just purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. Found a factory refurb for $209 w/ free shipping. The Nexus 7 is what spurred me to buy a 7 inch tab (already have three 10-inchers) and ironically I wound up buying a Samsung. Too funny. Anyway, I know that the Samsung Plus is dual core and that the Nexus is quad, but I'll take that trade off for the ability to slap in a 32GB SD card. Just my two cents.

24. justme

Posts: 58; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

The lack of storage is giving me pause too, but isn't there a 16GB model? If I'm using it primarily as an e-reader with only a few apps (not music or movies or games), would it be a good choice or should I still look for one w/SD storage? Also Phonearena: if it's a good thing, you don't have to "stress about it". You just "stress (emphasize) it". Also-in the context you used, it's "discreet(ly)", not "discrete". Sorry-I get paid to notice that stuff; hard to get off the clock.

25. BaltiCzar

Posts: 5; Member since: Jul 21, 2012

There is a 16GB model. However, if all you're using this tab for is web surfing and as an e-reader, the 8GB model should suit you just fine. Even though the 8GB model will only give you a tad over 5GB that you can actually use as storage, books/e-pubs don't take up much space at all. Couple that 5GB with a cloud storage such as Dropbox/SugarSync/Cubby etc you'll be good to go. I plan on dropping gobs of music as well as a few movies on mine so I feel I definitely need expandable memory.

26. justme

Posts: 58; Member since: Jan 09, 2012

Gotcha-thanks.

30. squallz506

Posts: 1075; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

nexus 7 can host a usb flash drive or external hard drive, it does in fact have expandable storage.

34. BaltiCzar

Posts: 5; Member since: Jul 21, 2012

True, But that's a tad obtrusive for my taste. I'd rather stick an SD card in. If that's the way someone wants to go they could also go the bluetooth file transfer route and swap files from their phone to the Nexus 7 (considering many people have 16 or 32 GB cards in their phones).

22. cellphonator

Posts: 298; Member since: Oct 29, 2011

"...he knows where you work, he knows where you live and what you like" Geez, the Big Brother just got its life easier lol.

27. radiation21

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 03, 2012

is there any sim slot in nexus 7

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Nexus 7
  • Display 7.0" 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Camera / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30L, Quad-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 8 GB
  • Battery 4325 mAh

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