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
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.
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.
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: