If you are thinking of getting yourself a new tablet, now is a good time to place an order, because the 16GB Nexus 7 is back in stock on Google Play store. The 2-week delay might have been caused by the Nexus 7 16GB being much more popular than the 8GB version, which would be quite understandable, since the operating system takes up to 2,5GB and with a HD movie or two waiting to be watched there is almost no space for music, videos or games in the 8GB tablet. The table can be purchased at the price of $199 for the 8GB model and $249 for the 16GB model.
Learn more about Nexus 7 Android Tablet
The Nexus 7 is a black table, 7.8 inches wide (landscape), 4.72 inches high and 0.4 inches deep, with 0.8-inch bezels (landscape position) which seems to be just the perfect size. It is big enough to play games or watch movies comfortably with the bezels providing support for your thumbs in landscape position, and it can fit in your pocket or a purse without a problem. It weighs 0.74 pounds so your hands won’t get tired even after using it for a long time, on the other side it is heavy enough not to feel like a fragile toy.
It looks thin thanks to a silver trim around the edges. The back is made of a soft material which feels like leather, but you can rest assured, it is 100% rubber so no animal gave its life for your tablet. The grippy texture has both “Nexus” and “Asus” embossed on it. Nexus 7 is designed to use in a portrait mode so the home screen is oriented that way and the camera is in the middle of the narrower bezel. On the right edge toward the top there is the power/lock button and the volume rocker.
Following the right edge down and around to the bottom reveals a headphone jack, with a Micro-USB port in the middle of bottom edge. Right above that, on the back is a horizontally aligned 2-inch-long speaker slit.
So that’s the look. Now, what is inside?
First of all, there is an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor running at 1.2GHz (though it can step up to 1.3GHz when it wants to), paired with 1GB of RAM with either 8 or 16 gigs of flash storage. The Nexus 7 features Bluetooth and NFC, GPS, an accelerometer, a digital compass and a gyroscope and you connect the Web via WiFi (802.11b/g/n). It can be summarized in three words: quality, efficiency and speed. The apps as well as websites (even graphics-heavy ones) load quickly and without a problem, and games and movies run smoothly.
The display offers a 1,280 x 800 pixel resolution, 400 nits of brightness and wide viewing angles. The picture remains clear and sharp and with high contrast even if the tablet is lying on a flat surface. The speakers, however, may leave you wishing for something more. The quality of the sound at a moderate level is acceptable but the higher levels may give you a headaches since the quality drops down drastically. Well, you can always use your headphones.
The 1.2-megapixel front camera serves mainly for video chats since there is no app for editing pictures or videos. There are, however, a number of other very useful applications like Google services: Play, Music, Books, Magazines, Google Maps, Google Plus, Gmail or Google Now, which displays current weather, local bus schedules or nearby restaurants. Google Play has been updated to include TV shows, purchasable movies, and magazines, but the prices may seem a bit too high. What is more, for some of the show only the last season is available. Movies and TV shows purchased through Google Play will stream by default and you’ll have to manually download them if you want them stored locally. That is a good thing, given that there is no slot to expand the memory, so it may help save some space.
Worth mentioning is also a Siri-like voice recognition app, which allows you to navigate the Web using your voice. While is may not serve as your personal assistant, it certainly is fun to use. A simple question like ‘Where can I get pizza?’ will result in Google Maps appearing on the screen and directing you to a pizzeria. The default browser is set to Chrome.
The Nexus 7 runs on the newest version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. Le latest incarnation of the OS can be personalized the same way as the previous ones but it seems to be more organized and better arranged. However, there is one thing that may annoy some people. The home screen is oriented vertically and does not rotate when you change the position of the table. While it works just fine with apps, the home screen remains locked in the portrait mode. It is not such a big flaw but still requires some getting used to.
Another feature of the new Android OS is improved precision when typing on the soft keyboard. The keys are just the right size and shape so it is much easier to type without making mistakes.
One more thing worth commenting on is the battery life. According to the manufacturer, the table can perform for up to almost 10 hours without having to charge the battery, depending of course on how you use the device. It is quite satisfactory but nevertheless, places Nexus 7 below the average in the tablet category, with the record belonging to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 (12 hours).
The Nexus 7 16GB is a good choice for those who are looking for a stylish device to keep in touch with the virtual world or just relax on the couch. For a reasonable price of $249 (or $199 if 8GB of storage is enough for you) you get all you can wish for and even a bit more. Sure, there are some weak points (or maybe it depends on the point of view), but there is no doubt that Nexus 7 gets as close as possible to a perfect tablet.