Earlier this week, Google launched its new Nexus 7, a tablet that combined modern hardware with an appealing $199 pricetag. The device has a 1280x800 screen, is the first to run on the new Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' operating system, and is based on Nvidia's 3 quad-core processor. Britse PC Advisor has already acquired the tablet for a closer inspection. The device is to be priced £159 in the UK for the entry-level model with 8 GB of storage capacity.
Smaller and cheaper
Google takes a completely different direction than Apple, as the smaller 7" sized tablet can be held in a single hand and is available to a much wider audience thanks to its price. The hardware that Google is able to provide for the price of the Nexus 7 is definitely impressive, the finishing on the other hand is of slightly less quality. PC Advisor liked the grip of the rubber backside, but wasn't pleased with the seam between the back of the tablet and the touchscreen's frame.
The tablet is assembled by ASUS, but is clearly less finished than some of ASUS' own tablets. PC Advisor does mention that the final product may be of better quality than the review sample. Another disadvantage were small distortions in the screen when a relatively large pressure was applied to it by touch. This shouldn't be an issue under normal circumstances, but it may make the tablet more vulnerable while transporting it. This could also be an issue that is only present in the review samples and may have been fixed in the final product.Screen
Remarkable is the quality of the 1280x800 pixel screen: despite the low price, Google has equipped its Nexus 7 with a high-quality IPS-panel. PC Advisor reports that the screen offers a nice contrast and viewing angles, as well as a satisfactory brightness. The pixel density is 216 ppi, even higher than that of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7") which is much more expensive.
Camera and networking
There was no camera on the back of the tablet, which isn't very surprising given its price. A front-facing 1.2 megapixel camera is present though, allowing for video conferencing. Network options are also limited as the Nexus 7 doesn't have a 3G receiver. Nevertheless, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and a near-field communication chip are integrated. While the integrated storage can't be expanded by a micro-SD card, ASUS and Google claim that there's more than enough space available in the cloud, which can then be approached via the network.
Navigating through the menus of the tablet and using the internet also went smoothly, PC Advisor says. Those are aspects Google has spent a lot of effort on with its new Android 4.1 operating system. Another welcome feature is the notification menu. The menu allows users to share messages through social media without having to open the respective application.
The voice control of the Nexus 7 tablet was also tested and considered decent. Virtually all commands were understood by the device and a timely response was provided. One of the improvements would be the home screen, which can only be used vertically. A horizontal interface would come in handy for watching movies on the tablet. Although the battery life couldn't be tested extensively, Google claims the device lasts up to ten hours while browsing the web.
PC Advisor cam to the conclusion that they were impressed by Google's new tablet. Especially the price-performance ratio makes the device interesting and gives it high potential. The images below are courtesy of PC Advisor; the full review can be found here.
Google Nexus 7 tablet hands-on