When the Google Nexus 7 arrived in the Exact Editions offices last week we weren’t sure what to expect. What will this tablet do that it’s Android predecessors couldn’t? And more importantly, would it prove a worthy adversary to the mighty iPad?
Here’s Rob from our Tech Team with his assessment.
“In the last week Google started shipping out their new flagship tablet to the masses, the Nexus 7 tablet. We were lucky enough to get our hands on one and have a little play around. On the surface the tablet looks a lot like a large iPhone, slightly comically so, something akin to an old sketch in Trigger Happy TV.
The Nexus 7 debuts the new Android 4.1 OS named ‘Jelly Bean’, one of the many updates includes a ‘speed’ update, with a focus on improving the perceived performance. The Nexus 7 certainly feels a lot faster than some of the previous generation of tablets, but it is hard to tell if this is down to the ‘speed tweaks’ or down to the enhanced kit shipping with the new device.
The Nexus 7 ships in two flavours, a 8gb and a 16gb version, both with a 7″ screen. While the screen doesn’t match the resolution of the new iPad, it does look rather nice, and the interface feels a little less clumsy when compared to earlier Android devices. The Nexus 7 ships with one the fancy Quad-core Tegra 3 processor chips and has set some fairly high scores in the various Android benchmarks, easily beating the Galaxy Tab 7.7, Transformer Pad Infinity and the Kindle Fire.
Steve Jobs was rather outspoken about the 7″ form factor suggesting that “it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size”. While the Nexus 7 does feel a little small to be used for excessive web browsing, it seems to be a good form factor for reading while travelling. In my experience using the iPad on the underground or bus can feel a little awkward, which is one of the reasons I like my old Kindle. When comparing the size, the Nexus 7 actually managed to fit into my Kindle case. If Kindle sales are any indicator, this could be the sweet spot.”
I think size is going to come down to preference, for me a tablet was always going to be something to have around the living room for quick internet access, or like you say, for reading. If doing something more creative I would always prefer to use my desktop to be honest – with much larger dual wide screen monitors!