Review: ASUS Google Nexus 7 Tablet
Google first teamed up with Asus in order to create a laptop computer line. The next logical step from there was obviously tablets, and Google now have their very own line of tablet products, manufactured by Asus, to complement their laptop range. The Google Nexus 7 isnâ€™t designed to compete with the big boys like the iPad 3 and Asusâ€™ own device, the Transformer Prime. Instead, it slots in alongside other mini-tablets like the Kindle Fire and the small Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 edition. So how does it fare against these? Letâ€™s take a look. Key Specs For The Google Nexus 7 RRP: $254 Release Year: 2012 Operating System: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Display Size: 7 inches Connectivity: Wi-Fi Cameras: 8 hours Battery Life: 1.2 MP Google Nexus 7: The Pros Speed: The Google Nexus 7 is nothing if not fast. Youâ€™ll notice this in all aspects of performance, from start-up time to app loading times, and menu navigation too. Everything runs smoothly and seamlessly, and itâ€™s clear that Google have tried hard to make this a killer device. Multi-tasking: One problem that tablets have faced since their inception is how they handle multi-tasking. Multi-tasking is the ability to run several programs simultaneously, and switch between them. For example, youâ€™re multi-tasking when youâ€™re browsing the internet at the same time as listening to music and writing in an office word processing app. Thanks to the powerful multi-core processor at the heart of the Google Nexus 7, multi-tasking works perfectly, allowing you to switch back and forth with ease between several different apps. This is something it really shines at, and it definitely has a slight edge over its competitors. Screen: Much is made of the screens on tablets â€“ unsurprisingly since theyâ€™re such a prominent feature of any tabletâ€™s design. Screens vary a lot, and many are vulnerable to damage and smudge marks. The screen on the Google Nexus 7 is high quality. It looks like an expensive piece of equipment, and itâ€™s very tough which helps to ensure it wonâ€™t get any ugly scratch marks that spoil the tabletâ€™s sleek appearance. Image Quality: As well as having a great screen, the quality of images displayed is excellent. The images are rich and sharp, offering everything what weâ€™ve come to expect from good quality tablets. Front Camera: The Google Nexus 7 has a nice front-facing camera for video calls through the internet. The image quality is great, so your family and friends will always get a good view of you whenever youâ€™re chatting with them. GPS And Bluetooth: Unlike many tablets the Nexus 7 offers true GPS. This is an excellent feature, and it works well in practice. In addition, the Nexus 7 also offers Bluetooth connectivity, which makes it great for interfacing with other devices. Cheap: Setting its sights firmly on the Kindle Fire, the Google Nexus 7 comes starts at just $199 â€“ the same price as the Kindle Fire. This makes it a strong competitor, and certainly adds a great deal to its allure. 8GB Or 16GB Version: As with many tablets, the Google Nexus 7 comes in two different storage sizes: 8GB and 16GB. The 8GB version matches the Kindle Fire, while the 16GB version outstrips it considerably, and matches the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 edition. For a small tablet, 16GB is a great storage size. No Restrictions Unlike Kindle Fire: Whereas the Kindle Fire has many restrictions on app compatibility and online streaming service functionality, the Google Nexus 7 works seamlessly with all options. Thanks to having the standard Android installation you are able to customize the Nexus 7 as you wish. In addition, all native Android apps are supported. Itâ€™s certainly more flexible than the Kindle Fire in this regard. Google Nexus 7: The Cons No Rear-Facing Camera: One let down of the Google Nexus 7 is the lack of a rear-facing camera. This brings it up short against larger tablets, although it doesnâ€™t make it suffer against its immediate competition the Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. Still, if youâ€™re after a tablet that can double up as a camera when youâ€™re out and about with it, youâ€™ll need to look elsewhere. No Memory Expansion Slots: Unfortunately the Google Nexus 7 doesnâ€™t have any memory expansion slots in the form of microSD or USB ports. Thatâ€™s a significant limitation when youâ€™ve only got a maximum of 16GB available to start with. No 3G / 4G Option: If youâ€™re after high-speed internet access while on the move youâ€™ll have to look to a more expensive alternative, as the Nexus 7 doesnâ€™t offer 3G or 4G connectivity. For anything like that, you really need to look at the more expensive and larger tablets. No Mini HDMI Out: If youâ€™re hoping to connect your tablet out to an HD TV to watch streaming HD movies or view high resolution photos, youâ€™ll be disappointed. The Google Nexus 7 doesnâ€™t have a mini HDMI out port, so this just isnâ€™t possible. Is The Google Nexus 7 Worth Buying? Overall, the Galaxy Nexus 7 is a great little tablet. Of the mini tablets, itâ€™s certainly one of the best â€“ offering greater flexibility than the Kindle Fire. You just need to beware of the limited memory and lack of a camera. If either of those is a big deal to you, or youâ€™re really after super-powerful performance, youâ€™ll need to look to larger tablets.