Say hello to the Nexus 7 – Google‘s mighty and mean 7-inch tablet that is powered by the lighting-fast NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor. Made by ASUS, the first-ever official tablet with the Nexus moniker is also the first-ever Android tablet running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. We received one unit of 8GB and 16GB each for review.
ASUS has always been known for their premium design and I tip my hat to that. Simple, minimalist, beautiful. Furnished with a silver frame and a dimpled resin surface on the back allows solid grip for the user. You will also find both company logos displayed proudly on the back.
In term of sheer thinness, the Nexus 7 may not be the definition of ultra-thin. The Nexus 7 measures 10.45mm thick and weighs 340g. Well, the weight is actually pretty standard for most 7-inch tablets available in the market. However, it’s no deal breaker – All is forgiven when you consider performance, features and price. (We’ll get to that later.)
On the right side of the unit, there’s a power/sleep button and volume control buttons. You will also find a micro-USB and 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of device.
The Nexus 7 build quality feels very solid, sturdy and feels great in the hands!
The quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor is a refined beast. Crashing rarely occurs even with three Google Earth, four Google Chrome tabs, and two Youtube videos running in background (for sheer testing sake). The game Dead Trigger was later installed and tested (with all the applications still running in the background), spikes eventually occured. However, it was still actually rather playable. The processor took everything we threw at it. This isn’t something we’d do everyday mind you, so pretty darn impressive. Remember, I was holding a device powered by a 12-core GPU and a 1Ghz quad-core processor that is made by one of the finest graphic chip manufacturers on the planet.
What’s power if you can’t display it on a crisp, bright, vibrant display? The Nexus 7 comes bundled with a 7-inch WXGA (1280×800) LED Backlight IPS Panel. IPS technology allows an impressive 178-degree viewing angle. It also comes with ten (10) point Multi-Touch sensor and the venerable Corning Gorilla Glass.
On the touchscreen display, there are THREE (3) basic software operations granted to the user. Home, Return and Navigate. Navigate allows you to view what type of programs is running on background. If you find it sluggish (fat chance), you can just close the apps with an easy swipe.
Jelly Bean. The sound of it makes you feel kind of hungry. Make no mistake though, because Jelly Bean runs exceptionally buttery smooth on the Nexus 7. Much thanks to the optimised system and blazing fast hardware. There’s little to complain about in terms of performance. And the great thing about being a Nexus device – you get updates FIRST. Not to mention, pre-installed Google Chrome in Jelly Bean works well, offering a fast and smooth browsing experience. It also comes pre-installed with Google Earth and coupled with GPS built-in, offline navigation is possible.
Standard use of browsing the web, Facebook-ing, and watching videos on Youtube, the Nexus 7 can easily last for a day with its display brightness cranked up to 50%. On paper, it’s rated at a whopping 9.5 hours and 300 hours on standby. I will have to say it’s definitely legit and possible.
Despite all its greatness, there are several noticeable shortcomings. The first – the absence of a rear camera. Yes, it’s social networking without your latest pictures in it. No Instagram-ing. No Twitpics. This might be a turn off for a few. Certainly was the case for me. Not to mention other shortcomings such as only a single choice of color which is Brown (still looks Black to me). The choice of a meagre 8GB and 16GB storage options (32GB has only now been introduced) also leaves much to be desired.
The RM1,000 Question: Is this worth my greens?
Overall answer: Yes. Why? First of all, this is one of the most powerful 7-inch tablets available in the market. Second, it’s relatively cheap, at an inexpensive price of RM999 (this review unit was prior to the price cut). How could you argue with that?
Provided that you’re not bothered about the missing rear camera, this might be the ultimate tablet you’re looking for. Remember, the unique selling points for this device, Jelly Bean, Tegra 3 and the Nexus brand.
A solid fusion of top-of-the-line hardware and latest software, translating into unbeatable performance and user experience.
A great effort by Google and ASUS.
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