Jul 312012
 

Google Nexus 7 Review

My Google Nexus arrived recently, and I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and play with it.  All I can say is WOW!

Let’s start with the basics.  The Nexus 7 is the latest tablet in the already crowded tablet space, this one is created by the good folks over at Asus.  The packaging was very well done, and the product reveal was quite impressive.  After removing the plastic film, the product launched, and was ready to go. Very nice! Setup took less than 5 minutes, including a sync with my Gmail account.

What’s even nicer, is once you unlock the unit, you’re immediate offered a $25 Google Play credit!  Something that i know that nearly all users of the Nexus 7 will use, and appreciate.

Powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor with 1GB RAM and either 8GB ($199 CDN)or 16GB ($249 CDN) of storage. This 7″ 1200-800 HD backlit display is quite impressive. However, I do not believe it is as nice as the iPad3 Retina display, or even the Samsung Galaxy units, but for the price point, it’s unmatched.

There is just 1 camera on the unit (thank goodness), a 1.2MP front facing camera, however unlike many of its family, this unit does not come with a camera app. Something that might drive a few first time drivers and other tablet owners a bit crazy.

The home screen is fixed in portrait mode, however will rotate into landscape for functionality such as video or application use.

Unlike many tablets, the Nexus 7 only has a couple of buttons.  A power/sleep button with a two-stage volume rocker just below it on the right side, the rest of what you’re looking to do is done on the unit, including the ‘home screen’ button. Something that Apple fans will find irritating to a point. At the bottom of the unit a micro-USB port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. While a speaker port is the only feature on the back of the unit. The top of the unit is complete free of buttons or ports, although a small pinhole microphone is located here.

I don’t feel a cheap device when I pick the unit up, unlike the majority of the lower priced units found on the market today.  It feels solid.  One of the key factors to consider when buying a tablet – how does it feel in your hands? In fact, I would say it feels as nice in my hands as any of my iPads, or Galaxy Tabs. However, with the plastic casing, I wouldn’t be using this tablet to cut vegetables or stand on to reach something. It seems to creak a fair bit when you attempt to bend the unit.

The Nexus 7 has many of the more familiar hardware toys we’ve become accustomed to such as Bluetooth and GPS, but also includes an accelerometer (in case you wish to run with it, and play Zombies, Run! now available on Android), and a gyroscope.

The Nexus weighs in at a minuscule 340 grams, which is refreshing in a tablet of this size.  I don’t have any issues with my fat thumbs getting in the way of typing, or viewing the screen.  Very well laid out design.

The biggest knock that i have seen so far, is that there is a fair bit of stutter in the unit when viewing web pages, and a number of people also are reporting the same when navigating between screens. Overall the transitions are smooth and well received.

The “JellyBean” (OS 4.1) keyboard is sure sweet. Easy to use, and even people like me with fat fingers shouldn’t have much issue typing on this unit.

Would i replace my iPad3 with this unit, with the notion of it becoming my primary tablet? No. Not hardly. I do nearly everything on my Apple devices. But for those looking to enter the tablet market, this would easily be the unit I would be recommending to people.  This unit does not complete with the iPad devices, but does enter the market as a great alterative to the Kindle Fire, and other units similar in nature.

I gave this unit a 4.2 out of 5 – A definite buy recommendation!

 

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iarchibald

Hello! My name is Ian and I have been addicted to weather since I was about 3. My hero growing up wasn't the police man, superman or even a teacher. Mine was a Meteorologist named Percy Saltzman. I have been chasing storms for a long as I can remember and according to my doctor, I am NOT crazy. I am a storm chaser, weather freak, Social Media Educator, amateur Photographer, speaker and father of Twins.

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