Google Nexus 7 tablet – is this the iPad killer?
WHEN Google announced that it was making its own tablet, many quite rightly observed that few of the company’s previous products had been the greatest successes in the mass market.
While 2008’s G1 handset, in the distant past, delighted some geeks, it was hardly a device to challenge the iPhone. For the search giant to take on the mighty Apple iPad was, at least, ambitious.
In fact this is a tablet that is ruthlessly functional – its screen is excellent (1280x800 is passable HD), its battery life an implausible nine hours that kept me entertained from London to San Francisco, its speed powered by an advanced quad-core processor that seems at 1.3GHz to respond more intuitively than ever to the touch of an impatient user’s fingers. These are not qualities previously associated with Google’s devices, but now they are simply what make the device good enough to demand serious attention in a sea of other Android tablets.
Indeed Asus, the manufacturer, has not excelled its previous standards of design, which with the popular Zenbook laptops have been all beautiful brushed steel. Here costs have been shaved through offering big margins around the screen and a plain black unit. Build quality is excellent and robust, with not a mark on it after my weeks of vigorous, regular use.
The software is also the best Google has ever made, but this is a media consumption device more than anything else.
Reorganising apps and widgets on the homescreens is now easier than ever, but this is a tablet aimed at people who, in all probability, have not used an Android tablet before. There’s a front-facing camera for video calls, which few seem likely to use, but is nice to have, just as there is improved dictation and voice recognition, which few people, at least for now, seem to be taking up with huge enthusiasm.
This is why the Nexus emphasises the ‘Play Store’, rather than its Android roots.
In short, the Nexus 7 is not for geeks or tablet fans. It’s for a much wider market.
The superb Nexus 7 is, overall, the device that deserves to take tablets from a niche category dominated by the iPad to a truly mass-market phenomenon.
Software : Android 4.1 Jellybean
Processor : 1.3GHz quad-core NVidia Tegra 3
Storage: 8GB/16GB; no expansion slots
Display : 7" backlit IPS capacitive touchscreen, 1280x800 pixels
Connectivity : Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports : Micro USB, 3.5mm headphone jack
Camera : 1.2 megapixel front-facing
Battery : Li-ion 4325mAh
Size : 199x120x10mm
Weight : 340g