- Amazing price
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
- Quad-Core Tegra 3 chipset
- Solid construction
- High-resolution IPS display
- Respectable battery timing
- No SD card slot
- No 3G connectivity
- Limited tablet-oriented app selected
Google had to do an Android tablet and it needed to be done right. There has been many Android tablets starting from around $250 to $500+ but none of them was really a good overall purchase. Some lacked in hardware segment and some on software side; Apple iPad was the only undisputed king but its price was something a bit hard to swallow for most people. Google played a very clever move with Nexus 7 and they played it brilliantly. Google targeted the sweet spot of $199 which was previously captured by the aging Kindle Fire and Apple hadn’t explored this territory yet. There have been several 7-inch tablets before Nexus 7 but all of them sacrificed one or another department but none of them was good enough to be the default choice.
Google Nexus 7 is great because it is a combination of very good hardware and saftware; a form we have never seen before. The Tegra 3 chipset used in Nexus 7 is miles ahead of anything available in same price segment and it just doesn’t stop there; Nexus 7 is up to the levels of high-end ASUS tablets in terms of performance.
Another thing which makes Nexus 7 special is its software. Android 4.1 Jelly Beans is miles ahead of its previous versions in terms of usability and user experience. The user interface is smooth as butter; it’s finally comparable to iOS. Google still have to improve some things to beat iOS but from how things are shaping up, it’ll get there soon. One of the main issues with Android right now is the apps optimized for tablets. One of the main reasons of the iPad’s success is how apps take advantage of the extra screen size, which is missing in most Android apps right now. Most Android apps use phone interface on tablets and don’t take advantage of extra real estate but I am pretty much sure that huge sales of Nexus 7 will make developers think about it.
Google is offering two versions of Nexus 7; 8GB and 16GB for $199 and $250 respectively. The price is amazing and hard to believe for such a fine device but Google had to cut in some segments to make the tablet fit in this price bracket. Google got rid of rear camera and 3G connectivity. There is no SD card slot in Nexus 7 but I don’t think its decreasing cost in any way; it’s actually Google’s way to encourage users to use their cloud based services and consume multimedia from Play store. Google is selling Nexus 7 on manufacturing cost but they obviously want to make profit; selling cloud storage and content from Play store is how they plan to make Nexus 7 profitable for them.
Coming to the 7-inch form factor, it’s surely brings more portability and in my opinion it’s a better choice if you want to own a tablet and you already have a notebook. 10-inch tablets sit in an entirely different position. They have the potential (especially iPad) to replace notebooks but 7-inch tablet don’t have that potential.
Right now, Nexus 7 is not only the best Android tablet, it’s the best tablet. It will surely face some competition as Apple is planning to launch 7-inch iPad in October for a speculated price of $299 and there have been some rumors that Microsoft will sell its 10-inch Surface (Windows RT) for $199 starting from October 26. These two tablets will give a tough competition to Nexus 7 in future but right now, one can’t think of getting anything other than Nexus 7 unless they specifically want iPad.