Review of the Nexus 7 tablet
I have been exploring my new purchase for a couple of weeks now and thought I would share my experience.
Let me begin with one of the most significant factors…
I don’t normally like to consider price as my first criteria, yet you cannot ignore the price point Google have chosen.
It is about half the price of an iPad.
The prices, as I have found them, are…
£160/$200 – 16gb
£200/$250 – 32gb
So, as you can see, this is significantly lower than an entry level iPad circa £350 in the UK
This is not ‘half the tablet’ though, in any which way.
When it comes to ‘cheap tablets’ you get what you pay for. They are dreadful – cheap is not a quality you will want to be exploring whilst sitting on the train, plane or whilst sipping on a cappuchino in your favourite cafe.
This is not a ‘cheap’ tablet. It is a high quality tablet at a low price.
Six months ago I bought 2 cheap/rubbish tablets for a family member and sent them both back as the screens were so unresponsive it made me want to cry. Then I ended up conceding my position to buying an iPad anyway as that was the best option at the time.
Which leads me on…
Structure and physical functionality (i.e. screen response)
At 7 inches the screen is smaller than the iPad and this is a big difference when comparing them side by side. But you can hold it in one hand with ease, so this I have found not to matter.
The construction of the Nexus 7 is excellent and even though it is not as ‘shiny’ as an iPad it is still a thing of beauty. And also, there is a fractional spring to the back casing that gives you psychological ease as you place it onto a surface, so you don’t need any heavy covers to protect it. I have always found it strange to have a shiny back that you need to cover up as it scratches?
Anyway, I digress.
Here is a big thing: the screen is highly responsive.
Very important for so many people and in my experience so far this is as good as when I’ve used an iPad.
Here are just a few specs:
“9 hours of HD video playback, 10 hours of web browsing or e-reading and up to 300 hours of stand-by time, Nexus 7 was built by ASUS and comes with a NVIDIA®”
Also, check out the Play store for the NVIDIA free App, as an aside my best friend of 25 years+ +John Gower made it.
The battery life does seem very good but I have not pushed it to the limits yet.
The Play store is where you download Apps, games, movies, books, music…
There are over 600,000 apps and games available.
This area is one that I am still exploring but I can see it integrating with my laptop so that the two units are in synch.
It is also very interesting how purchase in the Play store show up in my YouTube account now as well. I suspect this is all part of an increase in integration which will continue to bring it all together.
Apps I am using:
The Evernote app is awesome. For those of you not using it, it is very handy for notetaking, organising images, added in audio clips – all of which can be easily tagged for straightforward search-and-retrieve later on.
Pinterest and Flipboard also display beautifully.
Google Drive is in App form as well and now can access everything I’ve stored in the cloud from the tablet. For me, the App is even friendlier in display form than its Chromebook counterpart. The two work hand in hand. But it goes further than just accessing information in Drive. You can add people in to collaborate just the same as you can with the PC. I know people will say that is obvious, but for me the experience wasn’t obvious until I experienced it. The social layer slips over and through all aspects of Google.
It is still early days for me and Apps but I will let you know as I find out more…
How about Google+ then?
The main reason for me buying the Nexus 7 was for the Google Plus App.
And it is superb.
I still have an iPhone and no matter how ‘tall’ the iPhone gets, it will never display Google+ in a way that can be done by a tablet (or a ‘wider’ phone such as the Samsung SIII). Saying the Google+ App on Android is significantly better than on iPhone is an understatement.
The way the posts are displayed across the screen is simply perfect. I am finding I can +1 so much easier these days. If you are using an iPhone and haven’t seen how Google+ can be displayed, then you are missing the best of it all.
Please note: from my understanding, the Google+ app displays the same on other tablets so it is only an issue with iPhone.
My only request is that they increase the emoticons that display in Gchat.
I am deeply saddened, for instance, that 😛 and 😀 don’t turn into the cool Android type ones that 🙂 and 😉
Ok, maybe that is not a big issue… 😛
I am sure the Apple fans out there will say I am biased due to my love of Google+. They would be right as the Nexus 7 is another piece in the Google puzzle. I have a Chromebook which opened my eyes to the power of Drive and now the Nexus 7 has opened my eyes to how Google Play fits into it all.
This is also a very well priced bit of kit.
Even if you are not yet ready to buy, spend an hour with the Nexus 7 and you will see how integrated the Google service has become to use.