After my review of the Huawei Y300 phone I was kindly offered the use of a Nexus 7 for a couple of weeks so jumped at the chance of reviewing this excellent 7″ tablet. Please note that this review is of the original Nexus 7 released early 2012 (late 2012 in Australia) not the new model which was released in July in the US and is expected to be available in Aussie in September this year. Once the new model arrives it is likely that the 2012 model will be heavily discounted so watch out for this next month if you plan to buy one!
Brief specs for the Nexus are : Tegra QuadCore processor, 7″ 1280×800 HD IPS display (216 ppi) with scratch-resistant Corning® glass, 1.2MP Front Camera, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC (Android Beam), 16 or 32GB internal storage, 1 GB RAM, Micro USB, 4,325 mAH Battery (Up to 8 hours of active use).
Retail pricing as at August 2013″ $249 (16Gb) or $299 (32Gb). Optional model with built in 3G capability is $349.
The tablet I am reviewing is the 16Gb WiFi model and I must say I am very impressed with the real world performance, the Nexus really does live up to the hype. The Tegra QuadCore processor is the star of course and allows the Nexus to basically run most things you can throw at it. It isn’t perfect of course so I’ll run through the small things that bug me a little about this tablet.
Firstly, the lack of a rear camera doesn’t upset me greatly and it is compensated for by the front facing one which makes it ideal for video chat – which it does well using Skype – ensure that you have the latest Skype update though as this has to be done to get the camera to work on a video call I noticed. Also, unlike most Android tablets the Nexus has no SD card slot so for this reason if you plan to store a lot of music or videos it would pay to get the 32Gb model over the 16Gb.
That’s really it for the negatives and the tablet compares very well against the iPad in my opinion – the latest model we will see here soon with a beautiful very high resolution screen and 5MP rear camera make it a no contest deal especially compared to the iPad Mini.
The additional features built in to this tablet make it an interesting device – NFC for instance. NFC is a technology that allows devices to instantly ‘share’ info like contacts, web addresses, YouTube video links etc by simply ‘tapping’ the devices together. An example would be people sharing their contact details by tapping their phones together which is like a modern version (but much easier) of swapping business cards. The addition of 3G capability in the top end model means that you can go anywhere with a suitable SIM card installed.
Having Bluetooth and GPS included also means that it would make a great in-car device. I recently paid for the premium version of CoPilot Live GPS navigation system and running this on the Nexus 7 would make a fantastic GPS in say, a Winnebago camper or similar with a suitable dashboard tablet holder.
Being a Google product, updates to the latest Android version come through as soon as they are available and the review one has just been updated to 4.3 (the latest Jelly Bean version at August 2013). This has improved the performance over the previous version which apparently has been driving long term owners of the Nexus 7 users crazy. The addition of something called ‘ftrim’ in this version which basically cleans up the internal memory periodically has made the Nexus run like new again.
As I mentioned before, if you were planning on getting one I’d hold off until the new version is released and you should get a good buy.