Google has launched a couple of ‘Nexus’ devices which come with totally stock Android OS with no topping and pure Google-experience. Google doesn’t make the device; they just design it and hire a popular hardware maker to bring the product to life. First Nexus device was a phone made by HTC; the Nexus One. It was more off a developer’s phone than a consumer device but with time, next two Nexus phones became the default choice of many android lovers and users actually started preferring these over other Android phones both for general usage and software development mainly because of pure Android experience and Google’s unbeaten support.
At Google I/O 2012, the tech giant unveiled a new Nexus device and this time it was a tablet; the Nexus 7. It wasn’t really a surprise that Google launched a tablet. There have been a number of Android tablets before this but there was nothing which had the potential to stand against Apple’s iPad; the default choice when it comes to tablets.
Nexus 7 is a 7-inch tablet which is made by ASUS but obviously like all other Nexus devices it’s designed by Google and comes with pure Android experience. Nexus 7 is actually based on ASUS Eee Pad MeMO ME370T which they unveiled back on CES 2012 but Google liked it so much that it was selected to be the first Nexus tablet. However, it needed some changes mainly to bring the cost down. Google went for a completely different approach as opposed to Apple. iPad is more off a content creation device with 10-inch screen and a hefty price tag but Google made a content consumption device.
ASUS actually planned to launch MeMO 370T for $249 but Google wanted to target the $150-200 market so they dropped the 8 mega-pixel back camera and SD card slot, which brought down the price. Now, Nexus 7 comes in two versions; 8GB for $199 and 16GB for $249.
Nexus 7 is based on NVIDIA’s latest quad-core Tegra 3 processor (T30L) which has four Cortex A9 cores and 1 GB of memory. It actually has four main cores and one companion core which only comes in action in low priority tasks. When only 1 core is active, it’s clocked at 1.3 GHz with multiple cores it backs to 1.2 GHz. There are 12 GPU cores in Tegra 3 clocked at 416 MHz. The 1GB memory is DDR3L-1333 providing 5.3 GB/s of bandwidth.
Display is another main focus point for the Nexus 7. It has a 7-inch 1280 x 800 IPS display with around 300 nits of brightness. The brightness isn’t up to the current days’ levels since high-end tablets ship with over 500 nits but this isn’t really a deal breaker since Nexus 7’s display works fairly well in direct sunlight. The display is covered with corning glass which results in considerably less scratches.
Another advantage smaller display brings is increased battery life. Nexus 7 comes with a 4325 mAh battery which can easily let you pass a full day with fair amount of usage. It also packs Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, GPS, NFC, gyroscope, compass, accelerometer, front facing 1.2 mega-pixel camera, two microphones for noise cancelling.
On the software side, Nexus 7 comes with latest version of Android; the Jelly Bean 4.1. Google released Jelly Bean along with Nexus 7 at Google I/O and it’s the first tablet to get this version of Android. It’s one of the main attractions of the tablet. Google has implemented Project Butter in Jelly Bean; it brings fluidity and better user experience to the device. We’ll discuss it in detail in upcoming pages.
Let’s have a quick look at all of its features before we start having a detailed look at individual aspects of the tablet. We’ve the 8 GB version with us today.
- Thin, light and portable
- Stunning 7-inch display
- 9 hours of HD video playback, 10 hours of web browsing and 300 hours of stand-by time
- Designed with gaming in mind
- Quad-Core Tegra 3 processor
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean