Google Nexus 7 - Cream of the Crop

Launch SRP: S$349

Overview and Design


In December 2011, Google chairman Eric Schmidt ignited speculation of a Nexus-branded tablet when he revealed that the company planned to "market a tablet of the highest quality" in the next six months. It was hardly any surprise since Android as a tablet platform hasn't gained much traction despite the flood of Android tablets in 2011. Apple and its iPads still managed to dominate and Google needed a new strategy to move forward or risked leaving the lucrative tablet market entirely in the Cupertino company's hands.

Six months later at Google I/O 2012, the company unveiled its latest Android 4.1 operating system, codenamed Jelly Bean. While the version number jumps a mere 0.1, the new features and enhancements are nothing short of staggering. The flagship bearer for Jelly Bean is the Nexus 7, Google's first Nexus-branded tablet. Is the Nexus 7 the magic bullet that Google needs to break Apple's stranglehold on the tablet space? Well, read on to find out: - 


  Key highlights of the Google Nexus 7

  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • 7-inch back-lit IPS display / 1280 x 800 pixels
  • NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core 1.2GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB / 16GB internal storage capacity (no microSD card slot)
  • 1.2-megapixel front facing camera 
  • 4,325mAh battery
  • 340g
  • 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm
  • Availability and price: 16GB for S$399 from 29th September 



While there is a general rule that you get what you pay for, the Google Nexus 7 is probably an exception. Despite its lower than average price point (check out the prices for the current crop of 7-inch tablets), the Nexus 7 boasts quite a solid build that is comparable to the more expensive 7-inch tablets such as the BlackBerry PlayBook.

One striking design aspect of the Nexus 7 is its rubberized back, which gives a nice textured feel and offers good grip of the device in your hands. Furthermore, its non-glossy surface makes sure that fingerprints and smudges do not spoil the sophisticated look of the Nexus 7.

The dimpled pattern on the back of the Google Nexus 7 gives it a unique look and nice feel. Both the Nexus and ASUS branding are embossed at the top and bottom section respectively.

However, we cannot say the same for the 7-inch display. As with most tablets in the market, it attracts fingerprints and smudges very easily. We recommend getting a matte screen protector or the official screen protector from ASUS, which is specifically designed to minimize these problems.

You can find the contacts for the dock on the left edge of the Google Nexus 7. This can be put to good use with the Nexus Dock accessory that allows you to view multimedia content and charge the tablet at the same time.

Compared to the proprietary connectors found on ASUS and Samsung tablets, the choice to use microUSB port will bring convenience to Nexus 7 users as they can use any microUSB cable to charge and transfer files. On the far right is the 3.5mm audio output jack.

The top right edge of the Google Nexus 7 houses the power/sleep button and the volume controls. The buttons are raised slightly, hence provide good tactile feedback when pressed.

In terms of handling and physical dimensions, the Nexus 7 competes favorably against other tablets of its class. Even though its side profile of 10.45mm positions the Nexus 7 a far cry from the thinnest tablet, the Toshiba Excite X10 at 7.6mm thin, the Nexus 7 is by no means bulky.

The Nexus 7 is one of the lightest tablets at 340g, and this is a huge plus point especially when portability is considered an important aspect in this product segment. For those who want to compare the Nexus 7 with the other tablets of its class, here's a quick run-down: 

The Good
Very attractive price point
Superb overall performance
Great design and handling
The Bad
Lack of memory card slot
Lack of mobile data connectivity
No rear-facing camera
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