Saturday, 18 August 2012

Google Nexus 7 Review

For my recent birthday I purchased one of these excellent devices. I had been eyeing one off for several weeks - in lieu of an Apple iPad or similar device. I picked it up from JB HiFi here in town and paid less than what I'd pay online. The basic specs of the Nexus 7 are:

Specifications

SCREEN
  • 7” 1280x800 HD display (216 ppi)
  • Back-lit IPS display
  • Scratch-resistant Corning glass
  • 1.2MP front-facing camera
WEIGHT
  • 340 grams
MEMORY
  • 8 or 16 GB internal storage
  • 1 GB RAM
BATTERY
  • 4325 mAh
  • 9 hours of HD video playback
  • 10 hours of web browsing
  • 10 hours of e-reading
  • 300 hours of standby
CPU
  • Quad-core Tegra 3 processor
SIZE
  • 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm
WIRELESS
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
USB
  • Micro USB
OS
  • Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
FEATURES
  • Microphone
  • NFC (Android Beam)
  • Accelerometer
  • GPS
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscope

General Information

These specs come from the Google Website here: http://www.google.com/nexus/#/7/specs

I chose this tablet because of it's 7" size - the large iPads I find are too big to hold and type on with my thumbs, not because I've got small hands, on the contrary they're quite large, but just the comfort of the big iPad (or larger tablets for that matter) I find to be better on a smaller device. 

I also chose this device because of an ongoing love affair with Android - a love affair that I've felt to be a bit one sided at times. My first use of it was with the Motorola Backflip and it was dreadful. A HTC Aria followed, and while it was better, the speed was a real issue. I was hoping very much to avoid this again with the Nexus and thankfully it was all I hoped it would be. Let's start at the beginning:-

My initial impression of the device was a pleasant weight, solid build and a lovely bright screen. The onscreen keyboard was responsive and the buttons were large enough I was able to type quite quickly on it straight away. The pretty graphics and screen bling were very nice, smoothly drawn and with great colour depth. 

I managed to get a hold of a case, a rubbery plastic thing which I've since replaced with a nice faux leather one. The screen is robust and has thus far survived being dropped and drooled on by my 15 month old baby and also the rigours of being carried around in my hip pocket while I'm working. 

The screen's brightness and easiness to read have meant an introduction to eBooks in a serious way for me now. It also displays movies in HD and came with Transformers Dark Side of the Moon which I delightedly watched - the $25 Google Play voucher was very welcome too - I promptly bought a few eBooks and apps with it - the billing was very easy and it all worked well.

Now that I've had the device for a week I have it syncing 4 separate Google Apps accounts - email/calendar/contacts/Google Drive, plus Facebook and Twitter and the battery lasts for 2 days. I use it more or less continuously during working hours - reading and responding to mail, and using the Cards features for calendar and weather information. It has certainly accelerated my ability to respond quickly and stay on top of what is happening in a busy work environment. The WiFi connectivity has been solid, and I've been tethering it with my iPhone for out of office work - this has worked brilliantly thus far. 

Conclusion

For my money, the Google Nexus is an excellent device and has already saved me a significant amount of time and effort in keeping on top of the unending information flow that's part of my job. These are an extremely useful tool, and a great little toy too - definitely worth the money!

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