At their I/O for 2012, Google announced their first tablet, the Nexus 7, a 7-inch tablet that’s manufactured by ASUS. With a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and 12-core GPU and a 7-inch 1280×800 HD IPS display at 216 ppi, it should be the smoothest Android tablet that you’ve ever used. Google clearly wants to compete with Amazon’s now outdated Kindle Fire, providing the best experience possible on a tablet. Just think of this as the Galaxy Nexus, but a tablet instead. It’s running the stock version of Android with no annoying skin or anything to get in the way of the experience Google has always wanted you to have.
The Nexus 7 has a 4325 mAh battery and can play HD video for nine hours on one charge with a standby time of 300 hours. It has a front-facing camera for video chat, but nothing in the rear, unlike the new iPad and iPad 2. Best of all, the tablet only weighs a mere 340 grams, which Google says to be about the weight of an average paperback book. (The iPad, in comparison, is 652 grams, but that makes sense because it’s a 9.4-inch tablet.) The device’s dimensions are 98.5 x 120 x 10.45mm.
Google’s tablet is open for pre-order today on the Play Store, but will not ship until mid-July when the latest version of Android releases. It costs $199 for an 8 GB model and $249 for a 16 GB one and includes $25 of credit towards any content in the Play Store. If you’re worrying about storage, don’t because you’re not going to need it since most data is stored in the cloud and the average app doesn’t take up all that much space.
Google has a really nice tablet here. I envision it just as good as, if not better than, the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. I’ve used that phone quite a bit in the past month and really like it, but there are always those little annoyances. However, I enjoyed using the Nexus far more than my old HTC ThunderBolt, even though I’d still choose an iPhone 4S over it due to iCloud and such.
But is the Nexus 7 an “iPad killer?” I don’t really think so because its league is different. First, it’s a 7-inch tablet and we already know that Amazon didn’t make much revenue off theirs even though it was a really nice product. Second, it’s running Android and many former iOS users just refuse to make the switch even though the OS has lots of potential. Some think of it as being too hard to use, while others are just accustomed to iOS and don’t want to leave their lovely comfort zone. Whatever the case, I’m not sure if people will move from an iPad to a Nexus 7. First-time users may choose the latter over the former, but experienced ones will have uncertainties.
The Nexus 7 is a good piece of hardware and even though it doesn’t have “16 cores,” I think it’s going to do well. One of my only hesitations about purchasing it, however, is that the app ecosystem isn’t all that great. Sure, it’s getting better each day, but there aren’t as many quality apps available in Google Play as there are in the App Store. That’s just the way it is and might always be, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t invest in a nice little tablet like the Nexus 7. I’m still thinking about it, but I’m pretty sure that I’d like to buy one of these.
Now, what do you think of Google and ASUS’ tablet? Would you buy one or do you need to wait for the reviews to come in?
- 7” 1280×800 HD display (216 ppi)
- Back-lit IPS display
- Scratch-resistant Corning glass
- 1.2MP front-facing camera
- 340 grams
- 8 or 16 GB internal storage
- 1 GB RAM
- 4325 mAh (Up to 8 hours of active use)
- Quad-core Tegra 3 processor
- 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm
- WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
- Micro USB
- Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
- NFC (Android Beam)