Google Nexus 7 Tablet Review
Available for Pre Order now the Google Nexus 7 gets you access to everything Google has to offer- and for a very reasonable $199. The tablet itself is made by Asus- so it should be a quality product. And the hardware specs are beefy enough to be worthy of a $500 phone- it sports a quad-core Tegra 3 processor with 12 dedicated graphics cores. So it is built with the horsepower of a tablet costing $400 ~ $600. How did Google do it? Why are they doing it?
First- they are late to the tablet hardware game and they have to offer something great to pull sales away from similarly priced Kindle Fires and similarly functional iPads.
Second- they figure they will get back some of the money in the Google "ecosystem" of apps, books, music, movies and eventually a cut of everything you spend on coffee, snacks, lunch that you pay for with the included NFC Google Wallet.
Finally- as an investment in the future of Android. There are over 400 million Android devices out there in people’s hands but before Christmas this year we will see the release of the iPad Mini, the newest full-sized iPad and the still mysterious Microsoft Surface tablet. Google wants to show Android in its best light. And so Android’s latest version release known as Jelly Bean will be introduced on the Nexus 7.
So what don’t you get for $199? No SD card slot- so no convenient chance to expand the storage capacity (short of paying an extra $50 for the 16gb version). No HDMI-out port so no easy way to play your movies, games, photos on your big screen TV. I say no convenient storage or easy TV connection because it is still possible you can do these things via the Nexus 7’s micro USB port. With a special adapter cable it has been possible to hook up some phones to TV sets to display the phone’s screen on the TV. It uses a standard called MHL that kind of works on some phones and tablets. So again- you might get it work on the Nexus 7.
Of course the Google Nexus 7 tablet is not about staying home with your TV it is about being mobile- but wait, there is no 3G or similar chip in the Nexus 7 so its connectivity on the road is only through wi-fi. If you have one of those cool little Mi-Fi devices that create a portable wi-fi hotspot then you should have no problem, or if your cell phone can become a hotspot. Otherwise better download what you are going to watch/listen to/read in advance or you will be at the mercy of finding a restaurant or hotel wi-fi where you can connect.
The battery life is good- rated at 8 ~ 10 hours. The screen is great with a better vertical resolution that the laptop I am writing this on (800 pixels vs my laptop’s 768). It weighs well under a pound. It supports Wireless N. So long as you have access to wi-fi it should be great on the go.
I doubt this will be any adult’s primary computing device. I do know people whose computers sit gathering dust while they live exclusively on their iPhone and iPad. This device won’t accomplish that. Some people will want it for having in the living room while they are watching TV, others will take it along on a trip rather than a laptop because it is so much easier to pack and to use on the plane, and some people, like me, will get it to keep in the car so the kids can have some entertainment on long road trips. It is powerful enough that you can do everything with it that you would do with your $500 phone/tablet while cheap enough that you won’t shed too many tears if the kids drop it and break it or if it gets stolen out of the car. For some of us it is just what we have been waiting for.