Google Nexus 7 - Cream of the Crop

Launch SRP: S$349

Overview and Design

Overview

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 

 

Design

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: 

9.0
Design
9
Features
8.5
User-Friendliness
9
Performance
9.5
Value
9
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
Awards:
Editor's Choice