Google/Asus Nexus 7 Review

At a recent developer’s conference in San Francisco, Google revealed a few new toys. One of which, the Nexus 7, is a new entry in Google’s flagship Nexus series. This time, it’s not a smart phone, it’s a tablet.

Even though Google switches hardware manufacturers from one Nexus product to the next, they always carry the Nexus brand to let you know that you are getting a pure Android experience.

This time, the manufacturer is Asus and the Nexus 7 tablet is not aimed at the iPad as many thought, but at other smaller budget tablets like the Amazon Kindle Fire.

See it on Amazon

About the Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 measures at 7.81-by-4.7-inches making it a similar size compared to the Kindle Fire. It weighs 12-ounces, which is lighter than the Fire by a couple of ounces. The Nexus 7 has a rubberized backing that should help protect it as well as grip it.

You will notice a few things missing when you look around the tablet’s perimeter. First, there is no dedicated camera on the back. There is, however, a front-facing 1.2-megapixel camera ostensibly for video chatting.

The speaker sits behind a long slit on the back near the bottom of the tablet. On the bottom is the Micro-USB port and headphone jack. On the right side, you will find the power button and the volume controls. There is no mini-HDMI port and there is no expandable storage. You will be stuck with either 8 GB or 16 GB depending on which model you go with.

The display is a 7-inch backlit IPS LED with a 1280-by-800 resolution. Although it’s not the highest resolution on a tablet, it definitely shines when compared with the Kindle Fire. Google rates the battery life of the Nexus as up to 10-hours with normal usage.

Comparing the Nexus 7 to the Kindle Fire

The only other device that many will compare the Nexus 7 to is the Kindle Fire. It’s no surprise since the Nexus 7 looks to be direct competition to the Kindle Fire. However, in every way, the Nexus 7 is the superior device.

It’s understandable when you consider that it has been over half a year since the Kindle Fire came out, so automatically it’s at a disadvantage when compared with the Nexus.

The Nexus has a better looking, higher resolution screen. It uses a 1.2 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor compared to the Fire’s slower, 1 GHz dual-core processor. The Fire only has half of the Nexus’ 1GB of RAM.

The Kindle Fire uses a heavily customized version of the Android 2.3, Gingerbread. The Nexus arrives with Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, out of the box. Jelly Bean is an upgrade to 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. So already the Fire is several versions behind.

Another thing to note about the Nexus is that it is pure Android with no proprietary customization laid on top of it.

The only real claim the Kindle Fire has over the Nexus is the Amazon services. However, except for the Amazon Instant Video, all the other Amazon services are available for Android through Google Play.

Should You Buy One?

Overall, the Nexus is a budget tablet that is far above and beyond its budget label. For those that already have a similar tablet like the Kindle Fire or the Nook Tablet, then you probably do not want to immediately jump onto the Nexus 7. But if you do not already own one, then the Nexus 7 would be the one to get.

See it on Amazon