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on November 19, 2012
Updated News as of November 2013:

Google has released specifications for the Second Generation Nexus 7 with the release date on July 30th 2013. Resolution has been bumped up to 1920x1200 (323 PPI!), a faster Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (sorry, no S8) quad core processor clocking in at 1.5 GHz (vs the 1.3 Tegra 3 on the First Gen Nexus), 2 gigs of RAM, 4 times as powerful graphics chip, and a 5 megapixel back camera. Cnet is reporting that the Second Gen will have HDMI out capabilities from its micro usb port, thus implying the MHL protocols which were missing on the first generation are enabled on the Second Gen thus letting you plug your tablet into your TV to watch movies. The tablet is a bit lighter and a bit thinner than the first generation as well. Also ships with Android 4.3, the newest version. The dimpled back that so many people loved is gone replaced with a smooth surface. Still no Gorilla Glass, but now includes Dual Band Wifi and stereo speakers. Battery capacity appears to have been decreased about 400 mAh most likely to fit inside the thinner case.

Unfortunately, the price has increased. 16gb for $229, 32gb for $269 and the new LTE enabled model for $349. Unlike the First Gen series (which you are looking at), the cellular options now include Verizon in addition to the original GSM based AT&T and T-Mobile. Sprint still out of luck. As always, sold unlocked. Due to the new release, the First Gen is likely to see significant price decreases.

USB Hosting and USB OTG still works on the Nexus 7 2nd Generation.

If you're on a budget, the Nexus 7 (2012) is an excellent choice, but for $229 the Nexus 7 2nd generation also known as the Nexus 7 (2013) is a superior product. Much better processor, better graphics, better screen and lighter.

End of Update.

I've had the Nexus 7 8gb since Late August. I'll share some of my experience as well as pitfalls. The 8/16/32 Gb are functionally identical abet with a few minor difference between them, largely being the size capacities. There is also a 3G cellular version for $300 on Google Play. Remember that currently Amazon is NOT selling the Nexus 7 itself, but merely providing 3rd Party sellers a place to sell it. Occasionally Amazon takes care of the shipping, but this is not an Amazon company product. It will be cheaper elsewhere.

The 32 GB version was released on October 29th, 2012. The 8 GB version was discontinued and the 16 GB version dropped $50 in price. The 3G cellular version went on sale on November 13, 2012 only on T-Mobile and AT&T networks for $300 big ones.

A few things key to know about the 32 GB version:
Flash memory works faster the more there is up to a plateau of around 480 GBs. Benchmarks on the 32 GB Nexus 7 show a slight improvement in speed in most activities. Meaning, despite having the same parts of its smaller sized brethren, the 32 GB will see a few seconds shaved off in terms of performance. The Nexus 7 8/16 versions were plenty fast already.

Asus should have fixed many of the defects that plagued the early releases from screen separation, light bleed, bad audio plugs, etc. Sometimes it pays to wait for technology.

Not all 32 GB are free for the user. Based on the previous models, you should have around 28 to 29 GB of empty space available.

Let's address some of the perceived flaws and some of the real flaws of the Nexus 7.

1) Storage. 8/16/32gb (the three flavors the Nexus 7 comes in) can go real fast real quick in today's age of HD movies. I took my 16gb iPad on a trip and I maxed out with movies incredibly fast, even after I shrunk them down to least tolerable quality. The Nexus 7 does deserve some criticism for no Micro-SD slot and I was not going to buy it for that sole reason. However, like all good Android Tablets, there's a solution.

It's called USB On The Go. You take a USB OTG cable (like $1 here or on eBay), plug it into your Nexus 7, download the Nexus Media Importer app (Currently $3 on Google Play) and then connect whatever side hard drive or flash drive you want. The largest size external media I could connect to (and have access too) is a 3TB Western Digital. So much for 8/16/32 gig limits! The only problem I encountered with large drives is that the Media Importer app (which streams media as well as allowing one way coping to the Nexus 7) is that it crashes when you try to stream media out of folders that contain huge amounts of files, like 3,000 mp3s. Oh yeah. And this requires absolutely ZERO rooting. Take your Nexus out of the box. Download the Nexus Media Importer App. Buy the cable. Plug in your thumb drive. You're good to go.

Kickstarter recently funded a MicroUSB MicroSD reader which will allow owners of certain devices (including the Nexus 7) to access MicroSD Cards. Google "Meenova.com" for more information about when they are going to be released for the general public. This will function the same as an OTG Cable, but instead let you access MicroSD rather than USB Flash drives.

If you're cheap, you can do much of the same via Stickmount and a file manager (Stickmount requires rooting). But the Nexus Media Importer just makes it ridiculously easy. Also be aware that apps that move other apps to SD cards in other tablets will not work with this. Apps such as App 2 SD don't do anything. I tried.

As of today (11/19/12), I was able to connect a canon point and shoot, iPad 3, iPod Touch, 4 small flash drives (less than 2 GB), a 32 gb flash drive, a 1 TB and 3 TB external hard drives (Western Digital), a SD card reader (with regular and microSD via adapter) and was able to pull/stream files off all of them (FAT and NFTS formatting, no EXFAT at the moment sorry!). For some reason my old Motorola ZN5 (ancient eh?) no longer registers anymore, but as long as you plug in relatively new devices you'll be okay. An exception is I plugged in my 9 year old iRiver player and it streamed music perfectly.

Don't forget that OTG also lets you plug in and use keyboards (wired and wireless via dongle) and mice without rooting. Mice generate a cursor when plugged in. Also be aware that OTG may charge devices from your Nexus 7. For you true gamers, PS/3 controllers work as well. Not on all games, but games like Dead Trigger they'll work just like they do on a PS/3. Like to see that on a Kindle Fire or an iPad.

Speaking of that issue: Game controllers and utilities such as Sixaxis and Stickmount (among other apps) require rooting. To those who are unsure of what rooting is, rooting grants the user access to the most bottom command line access of a device. Be aware this voids your warranty, risks turning your device into a very expensive paperweight and prevents auto updating of updates over the air. I learned this the hard way. Search on the XDA developer's website how to root, but research how to do it before attempting. There are benefits and disadvantages of rooting. Make sure that you know exactly why you are rooting.

One CAVEAT to this, you have to use digital rights management free media. Mp3s are generally fine as iTunes is now selling DRM free as is Amazon. Direct downloaded movies are another story. You can also rip legitimately owned DVDs and downsize them for the Nexus. Those will play fine. Also, using other media players like DICE or BSPlayer will let you play formats that the Google Video Player doesn't like, like MKV or MTS.

2) Display. Yes, it's not an iPad 3 or 4 or a Nook HD (which by the way is gloriously beautiful). It's also less than half the price of the new iPad. Text is still crisp and clean and colors are largely well done. Not take that-iPad well done, but save yourself lots of cash well done. It's fairly responsive, not quite iPad responsive, but better than many other tablets out there. I have no complaints about it. I honestly don't think people will notice the difference between the two in sharpness and text, but it is not as good in showing colors. That said, the Nexus 7 has a better screen then the iPad Mini. Go to your local Apple store, look at the iPad 4s and then the Mini. Prepare to be shocked. It's that noticeable.

3) Camera is pretty terrible. The front facing 1.2 megapixels is nothing to get excited about. And there is no back camera. I honestly don't get why that's just a big deal. You look like a tool using the back camera. Anyone does. Even Olivia Wilde (13 on a total possible score of 10 house fans!) would look like a douche using a tablet's back camera to take video/pictures. Odds are you have your smartphone with a decent camera. Use that. There oddly though, is no app for the camera that ships with the Nexus 7. But there is a free Nexus 7 camera launcher app. One cool thing about the camera is that it does allow Face Unlock which takes a picture of your face and uses it as the unlocking mechanism for your tablet.

4) Apps. The Apple ecosystem has far more apps designed for tablets than Android does. But most of your apps, like Skype, Facebook, office utilities are all there. Furthermore, rather than being stuck on iTunes you can install Amazon's app store in addition to the preloaded Google Play store via going to the Amazon App Store, registering your email and then opening the email they send you on your tablet. It's annoying but it works. One word of caution on the Apple selling point: according to a few studies, something like 60% of all apps on iTunes (roughly 400,000) have never been downloaded which gels with the economic data showing only a relatively few app developers actually make any money.

5) No cellular connection. Fair enough, but it does have the capacity to get on to a hotspot. Meaning, just tether your smart phone. Granted, that costs money, but the fact that something like 80% of all tablets sold, Android and Apple are wi-fi only suggests that cellular connections on tablets is highly overrated. If you're one of those 8 out of 10 people who don't care about cell connections on your tablet, this shouldn't obviously matter.

The 3G cellular model available now on Google Play sells for $300. Also, does not support CDMA networks so no Verizon or Sprint. Ships with an AT&T sim card.

6) No Flash - This is technically half wrong. While Jelly Bean does not support Flash off the bat, there are FREE fixes to get flash on to your Nexus.

Google "Install Flash On Nexus 7"

The downside is you need a browser that is flash coded which includes Firefox Beta (free on Google play). It's a bit convoluted but follow the instructions and you'll have your flash games. I've posted pictures on the Nexus 7 8GB image gallery of both flash games AND streaming flash video off my Nexus 7. Flash is being phased out entirely by Adobe. It's not pretty on the nexus 7 but you can get it to work, especially if you need to stream Amazon movies.

7) No home screen rotating - Not true! Update 4.1.1 fixed this. Home screen rotates now!

Now on to other things:

Performance:

Little black rectangle is lightning fast. The five core processor (yes, there are five I'll get to that later) loads things speedy without crashes and without bugs. My iPad crashes apps pretty regularly. Only once has my settings crashed but that was largely due to me screwing up my setup of my Wi-Fi extender. I can't fault the Nexus 7 for that. Speaking of which, the Nexus was super useful walking all over my house and yard to diagnosis network dead zones and other problems. 3/4 of a pound and strong Wi-Fi pick up made that job real easy, especially with free Wi-Fi apps. I could have done that with my iPad, but that would have been far less fun. Also, the Nexus 7 picks up Wi-Fi networks my iPad doesn't

Oh yes, five cores. The process actually has a fifth core that keeps basic services running when the device is in sleep mode. That saves massive amounts of energy. The battery life on the Nexus is better than my iPad without comparison even when doing the same things. The fifth core doesn't operate during normal operations. Battery life on this device is phenomenal.

On light usage, I am able to get ~195 hours before hitting 5% battery. On medium, movie watching no heavy gaming, I can regularly do ~110 hours before hitting 5%. GPS however, will eat power like nobody's business.
Speaker is pretty terrible compared to iPad. But the audio on headphones is on par. I don't expect anyone to really use the speaker so I'm not counting that as a real disadvantage.

Operating System:

Jelly Bean on the Nexus 7 isn't as smooth as iOS 5/6 but it is better than every other Android device that my friends and family have used (and I played around with). Jelly Bean is more smooth than iOS 5/6 on my Nexus 4 though. Hardware seems to be the difference.

The most recent update 4.2 allows multiple users accounts on the tablet (same as Nook HD) and 4.3 has added types of accounts, both full and limited. Limited allows a limited account to share the apps of a full user, thus eliminating the problem of having to buy apps multiple times. A limited account can also be limited in what apps are shared thus giving users some form of parental controls.

Because this is a Nexus device, Google is pushing out updates regularly and you don't have the problem that many Android phones have in their carrier refuses to release updates. You'll have the most recent update of Google for the foreseeable future.

What I like about the Nexus 7 is that I can largely customize anything I want. The Nexus ships with a format that is more phone than tablet, but with a Root and a few apps, I was able to switch it to the Tablet UI that you see in 10" Android tablets. I personally prefer that format but it makes icons smaller to fit it all in. Not the best for older people. But that's the great thing about Android in general. Whatever you want to change, you probably can. And the Nexus 7 is no different.

Google Voice Search is pretty awesome. It's not as good as Siri in actually reading back answers to you, most of my searches lead to a web search with links. Weather does get repeated in a Siri like female voice. Speak slowly and clearly. Or you'll get weird results. Also, phrase questions more as searches than something you'd ask a real human. Google Voice does not do well with questions like "do I need an umbrella today?" Ask "Weather forecast (your location)."Also Google Voice does not have the witty banter of Siri. For instance, asking Siri "what are you wearing" gets her to say "Why do people keep asking me that?" Google Voice doesn't do that kind of funny stuff.

GPS & Directions:

Now, in my opinion, one of the coolest things about the Nexus 7 is in the built in GPS coupled with the free cached maps. Say you're going to visit your friend who's getting married in small town in Iowa. You can either buy a GPS or bring your Nexus 7 with the map of the small town saved to memory. Turn on the GPS and it will track where you on in the town on the map real time no wifi/cell connection required. I downloaded a map of my town and tracked myself going to work. Planning your route out can easily turn the Nexus 7 into a GPS system without any additional costs.

Note, this doesn't give you turn by turn directions by itself. To get turn by turn directions you need the "NAvFree USA" (there is a Navfree for other countries) app off the Google Play store. It's free. Download your state and set your destination. It gives out voice commands on when to turn similar to a dedicated GPS device. It doesn't name street names which is expected considering it's free, but it is largely accurate saying "in 100 meters, turn right." My recent test of the app did ask me to drive over a divided highway though. As long as you pay attention though, this app coupled with the Nexus 7 will function as decent GPS offline, no wifi, no cell connection. And it even recalculates the route if you miss a turn.

Other:

Widgets are small applications that sit on your home screens showing whatever you want. Right now I have weather, Settings controls, Youtube, Facebook and Salon online magazine. It's real nice to be able to look at your screen and get all the info you need rather than having to crack open an app or a browser. This is partially why Android web usages is much lower because there's no need to go to the Web to get information when it's right on your home screen.

I previously argued that this device was awful for note taking. I take part of that back. While the screen is tiny, using a real keyboard either via OTG or Bluetooth isn't that bad after I spent a month doing it. I still suggest getting a real laptop, iPad or Galaxy Note 10.1, but this will do in a bind. There's no latency in typing like other Android products have seen. The Asus Transformer with keyboard has a real noticeable latency issue when typing so much so it's unpleasant to type. The Nexus 7 with keyboard can write as fast as you can.

A couple things I noticed:

1) Some apps will cause a restart after updating. Turning off auto-update in Google Play will speed up your device as programs are no longer sucking resources to update on their own.
2) Android itself doesn't do a very good job of reallocating resources over time. I need to restart my Nexus 7 about every two to three weeks where I can let my iPad 3 go for two to three months without restarting. It's a minor irritant.

If you're looking to jump into Android, this is the tablet to do so.

Especially if you're an Ender's Game fan.
review image review image review image review image review image review image review image review image
5150+ comments| 1,018 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on November 5, 2012
Update:
---------
Google just announced a newer version of Nexus 7, making this product obsolete. Some of the highlights are -
- A nice bump in the screen resolution - 1920 X 1200 (323 ppi)
- A 5 MP rear facing camera
- Ships with Android 4.3, which has a restricted profile feature that can be used to block in-app purchases and limit access to content.
- The usual improvements in processor, memory, weight, speakers, wireless, etc. You can find the details on the official website for Nexus 7.
- The 32 GB model is $269 now. $20 extra for the new model is well worth it, in my opinion.

Full Disclosure:
-----------------
Let me state upfront that in the last 3 years, my wife and I have purchased 4 iPhones, 4 iPads, 1 Mac Mini, 1 Apple TV and 2 Macbook Airs for ourselves and extended members of the family. I cannot review this product without comparing it to the iPad 2, which I've been using for the last year and a half.

Motivation:
------------
We have an 18 month old son who needs to be entertained with videos and apps while he's being fed and we have an upcoming trip to India during which we'll need to keep him busy during the flight and transits. Here are our requirements -
1) We needed a tablet that is more portable than the 16 GB iPad 2 that we currently have so that it's easy to stuff into my cargo pants or jacket and pull it out quickly when required.
2) We needed more than the 16GB storage to store his favorite videos because we may have intermittent access to WiFi, at least 32 GB.
3) When he's not using it, I would like a tablet that's easy to grip for long hours of reading.

Choice:
--------
Based on these 3 requirements, I restricted my choice to the iPad Mini, Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7 32GB.

Here are the reasons I decided to go with the Nexus 7.
The 32 GB iPad Mini was almost $195 ((429 - 249) * 1.0825) more than the other 2 when you include CA sales taxes. It is at least half an inch wider than the Nexus 7 which makes it slightly harder to grip if you have small hands like me. The areas where it's better - slightly bigger screen, iOS app store, rear camera were not that important to me since we already have an iPad 2 and I don't shoot photos or videos with tablets.
I chose Nexus 7 over Kindle Fire because I use a lot of Google services and wanted a tablet with a more open ecosystem. I can read Kindle e-books and listen to music using the Amazon Cloud Player on the Nexus 7. We have a Netflix subscription so the loss of Amazon Instant Video was not that important.

Review:
---------
Here are the things that I liked about the Nexus 7 -
1) Jelly Bean (4.1) is really good. I had played with Android phones and tablets before and they used to lack the smoothness of iOS. I think it's pretty close now.
2) The higher resolution HD screen is great for reading and watching videos.
3) If you are heavily into the Google ecosystem, it's a breeze to set it up.
4) Android in general is more customizable with widgets etc.
5) I was able to download most of the iOS apps that I use frequently with some exceptions. More on that later.
6) I liked the auto-update feature on Android. It's an option that you can tick while downloading an app. It automatically downloads updates to that app.
7) I liked the notification system and realized why iOS decided to replicate it.
8) I also liked the shortcut for looking at running apps and a simple flick deletes them.
9) It is easier for my son to hold compared to the iPad 2. He also has a habit of pressing the home button and exiting the app on the iPad 2 and then complaining about it (he's only 18 months old) but fortunately he can't do that on the Nexus 7.

Here are the things that I thought were missing -
1) There are fewer tablet optimized apps on Android. The quality of apps on iOS for iPad is definitely better. Flipboard was good on Nexus 7 but Zite lacked the polish of the iPad app. NYTimes was good. The usual games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja and Cut the Rope were more unstable and crashed a few times. I installed Talkatone to make calls through Google Voice and it worked fine. The usual ones - Netflix, Skype, etc. worked fine. I noticed some lag while using Zinio to read the National Geographic.
2) I'm still not used to the Chrome browser on a tablet. It seemed to me that accessing bookmarks on the iOS browser is easier. I found all my bookmarks already synced on my Chrome browser but accessing them requires multiple steps.
3) It is slightly heavier than the iPad Mini but not by a lot. The iPad Mini is still ahead in terms of external design and looks but the cost mattered more to me this time. I may have paid $100 more for the iPad Mini because of the iOS app ecosystem advantage but $195 was a very high premium for an optional device.

Conclusion:
-------------
The Nexus 7 is an excellent device irrespective of the price but the price makes it easier to appreciate it even more. If your requirements and expectations are similar to mine, I would strongly recommend it. I bought this product from Office Depot but I felt that the review might help others make a decision.
5150+ comments| 1,390 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on March 26, 2016
I have had this item now for three years and if it hadn't cost so much I would scrap it. It is slow and often is unable to connect to the app I am looking for, even when it is not necessary to be online for the app. The concept works but the products stinks. I love the idea of always taking my grocery list with me, but when I cannot open the app with the list, it is useless. The other really bad thing with this product is the way the battery works. It takes a long time to charge and when the charge is full, almost no time at all for the battery to need recharging. If it were a phone that I needed all the time, I would keep it charged daily, but it is basically a notebook to keep reminders and contacts in when I am not at home. I have just spent an hour trying to make a grocery list and am no further ahead than I was. I could have done it with a pencil and paper in five minutes. Which I now will do and keep the list in the pocket of the case of the Tablet.
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on June 20, 2015
I have to say that I was very disappointed in this device and have had similar disappointing performance in almost every ASUS device I have purchased. I think I will no longer consider ASUS in the future. This tablet is glitchy and completely unreliable. Without warning, the screen the thing just goes off, and starts opening apps and scrolling through files and then freezes up. I have reset this thing so many times it is ridiculous. I hoped software upgrades would help, but now it's glitchy and SLOW. My daughter wanted me to give it to her, but I bought her a decent competitors product instead and threw this away.
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on January 25, 2014
I originally started looking around at getting a tablet after seeing how useful they are for astronomy after seeing what the Celestron Skyscout could do. Think about it, you can download an app such as Google skymap, Skyeye etc. and hold the tablet up against the sky and it will show you what stars, planets, nebula's are behind it. Everyone into astronomy should know the basics but its nice to be able to quickly verify what you are looking at. These are a little harder to attach to a scope but if you are into astrophotography you likely want to keep your scope as light as possible unless you have a pier mounted Astrophysics mount or similar. But for a larger Dobsonian you might be able to attach it directly to the tube and use it as a crude spotter or for push-to guiding.

I researched iPads at first since they seem to be the most common and reliable but was not happy with how quickly Apple obsoletes its older products. I used some astronomy software on an iTouch but Apple won't allow updates to download to it since it is an older version. A fellow astronomer on Astronomyforum.net suggested I try a Nexus tablet over a cheaper droid device. I'm really glad I listened as really feels nice in the hands, durable and quick as it needs to be. The 32GB is ample to load up several DVD quality movies and the Wifi moves these back and forth in minutes.

Unfortunately instead of using this for AP I wound up getting distracted with the great variety of tasks it can accomplish. It is really nice being able to take this out for a quick visit to a news site, Panoramio, Foursquare, Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. Its like having a fully functional computer that you can jam into a fat pocket!

My biggest use so far has been loading it up with movies or TV shows to watch since I have a long commute for work. The portability of the Nexus 7 beats any portable DVD or Blue-ray player and the battery lasts longer than that I have owned. Its also nice being able to load up several movies and not have to swap discs. The device is also fully capable of streaming Youtube, Hulu etc when in WiFi range. If the screen isnt big enough for you, you have the option to Chromecast these videos to any HDMI (Television) device on your connected network. Getting files onto the Nexus is very easy, you can either plug in a USB to micro USB (Wish they had used mini or full size USB as the connector seems flaky). Since Droid has such a wide variety of software available you can also download a file browser such as ES Explorer and copy these over your network (or the Internet) via FTP, or Samba etc.

Google is able to offer these durable top notch tablets fairly cheap as they are trying to get their name out. In other words, it comes preloaded with Google apps, works great with Chromecast etc. Another nice thing about being a Google product is that it gets the firmware updates before other devices! These updates usually take 3-4 minutes to install compared to 3-4 hours for a similar firmware update on my Surface RT. Unlike the Surface and possibly the iPad is that Droids allow you to choose your internet browser, Mozilla firefox (can sync favorites and history with your desktop), Internet Explore or Google's own Chrome.

The learning curve to using these (my first tablet) is pretty quick. These are not my first tablets ever as one vendor shipped me a Surface RT for $75 (instead of a scratch and dented 2012 16GB Nexus 7). I thought the Surface was a heck of a deal until I started using it. The new Metro interface and Windows 8.1RT has all he unfriendliness and bad aspects of the past versions of Windows including being a real resource hog. I do miss a regular keyboard but for light use, the screen keyboard is sufficient. In fact, my wife liked it so much I wound up buying her a Nexus 10 for the 2013 Christmas season.

The biggest drawback with the Nexus 7 will likely be charging issue. If you Google this or look at some of the other reviews you will this not an uncommon problem. I believe the Nexus 7 has a small chip inline with the battery and for some reason it decides to charge at a really low rate. This seems to be exasperated when the battery is really low or dead and you plug in the charger. If you unplug the charger from the wall and plug it back in a few times during the charge cycle it usually seems to clear this up. If this is the case Google could easily just make a charger that cuts power briefly once an hour and this would allow the chip to work with some battery behind it and hopefully make the right decision about how much current to draw. Or better yet, why not have a charge light on the charger to let you know you its drawing 2a? This used to happen often for me even though I am a daily charger (my Treo 650 that I still use runs on two charges a month) often to get annoying. The docking base they sell for it seems to have cut back on this and I have only had it not fully charge overnight once on me.
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on December 4, 2015
Update:

I used this device for over two years. It was my go-to device beating out my then smartphone. It afforded me many great times and I won't forget those memories. I even repurchased this same tablet after a previous one was stolen and I still loved it. It is quality and if you are unable to afford a more modern tablet, this one is definitely a contender. It does suffer from slow-down after a few months of use; however, a system reset should fix that.

I would give this product 5 stars, but right after my warranty expired the charging port broke. I do not blame ASUS for this, although I also purchased a laptop from them that also suffered from this issue. I doubt they are connected but it does leave me a little more weary towards ASUS products. But like I said, if you cannot afford more expensive offerings, this is definitely a tablet to consider.
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on August 30, 2014
My Kindle Fire recently resigned from service when its touch screen became flaky. I wanted an iPad but was put off by the price and the fact that the WiFi version didn't have GPS. My first attempt at a replacement was a Samsung Tab 4, which I have also reviewed. While I like the Tab 4, it is limited by its 8GB internal storage (only 3.5GB is free) and the fact that its shiny new KitKat OS, Google's very own version of Vista, makes external SD cards basically useless. I wanted a tablet that I could use as a music player and could hold a large assortment of Kindle books. The older Nexus 7 does all that and more.

Pros:

GPS!
High quality finish
32GB storage
Fast Nvidia CPU with GPU support for fast graphics
Good WiFi
Bright and clear screen
Cheap Accessories
Comes with charger

Cons:

No rear camera
Weak sound (FWIW)

Review

At first I thought my Nexus was DOA since I plugged it in and it did nothing. I tried a beefier USB charger and realized that its battery was totally dead. I miss the charging LED that Kindles have, but that's a minor flaw. Setup was simple once it had charged for a few hours. Its WiFi is much more stable than the Tab 4 and downloads are instantaneous. While I sort of liked the Kindle Fire's interface (you like what you're familiar with) I now prefer the more generic Android interface and access to Google Play in addition to Amazon's offerings.

I realize the newer Nexus tablets have better screens and more features, but what I wanted was a Kindle Fire replacement and the older Nexus is cheaper than the Fire, doesn't require an overpriced cover and offers GPS for handy offline navigation, with great apps like Sygic. This is the best tablet I've seen for under $150. Don't waste your money on tablets that cost more, are slower and have less storage.

A neat feature of the Nexus if you have a cover on it (something I consider essential in any of these glass touch-screen devices) is that it will go into sleep mode simply by closing the cover and wake up when you open it. Not a big deal, but kinda nifty. I bought the ATC cover, which works just fine for about $9.

One last thought: I got an e-mail from Google offering an upgrade to KitKat. I really don't see much advantage to doing so and am concerned that it might make WiFi operation flaky, due to KitKat's constant scanning for WiFi hotspots. I don't see any compelling reason to "upgrade" the OS given KitKat's problems.
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on April 12, 2014
I really needed a replacement tablet due to the nature of my PCTuneUpGuy business, working in the field and taking lots of notes. I use Evernote for all my client work documentation and I use Android's MobileBiz Pro for billing. This is the perfect form factor for being mobile, and especially with the Thumb Keyboard 4 app, it's very easy for me to take notes on.

I was looking at Samsung Tab 3 7, but the specs on this were better, especially 32GB. It automatically updated through 2 updates to Android 4.4 Kit Kat. My only disappointment is that the bluetooth does not connect to my Sony BM10. Don't know whose fault it is.

The thinness, the rubber back, the minimalistic design all work great for me. I added a Zagg invisibleSHIELD screen protector which works great because it has a rubbery feel to it. Between the rubberized back of the tablet and the screen protector, it makes it so much easier to handle without it feeling like it is going to slip out of my hands. I returned a Lenovo Mix 2 10 because it was so slippery and just a disaster waiting to happen.

For anybody who needs an inexpensive, quality tablet... Grab em while you can!
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on March 17, 2015
Well, I'm not sure why, but after owning 2 Nexus 7's I can tell if they just don't like me. Or maybe there is just something truly wrong with the modal. I purchased a refurbished one in November of 2013 and it worked for a little less than a year before suddenly just going to that 4 colored X and just loading, loading, loading until the battery died. I was annoyed, but when my girlfriend reminded me that it WAS refurbished, I assumed it was just the original flaw that caused it to be refurbished coming back to haunt a new owner. I tried a Kindle Fire to broaden my horizons a bit but I was right back to the Google Nexus after 3 months after finding out what a horrible idea that was. This time I went with a new one, thinking that I might avoid the same problem happening. But it did. After less than three months. The EXACT same problem happened with the only difference being instead of a 4 colored X, it was now 4 different colored balls. Hurrah for new OS? I managed (after 2 attempts) to get it rebooted to factory specs since I learned from my last tablet and kept everything I could in whatever cloud I could find. So as I re-download all my aps (and all the stuff I DID need to have stuff downloaded for like VizManga), I get to sit here hoping it won't brick on me again like the last one did. If this turns out to be a one time thing I may give it 4 stars but that will take a while.
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on March 16, 2015
UPDATE: After returning the Nexus 7, I purchased this tablet instead: Acer Iconia One 7 B1-730HD-170T 7-Inch HD Tablet (Titanic Black) Works great. No problems powering it up or charging it. It's running games, streaming Netflix & Hulu, running gmail, web surfing...all of the things we generally wanted to do with a tablet. I'm quite happy with this one and it's only $80. For a nice starter tablet, this one's a good deal.

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At this price point, I wasn't expecting a top of the line tablet, but I was expecting it to actually work when I got it. It had all the features I wanted at a decent price (that's why I gave it three stars), but unfortunately it arrived DOA. I couldn't even get the battery charging icon to come up after 3 hours of charging using the charger that came with the tablet. The online troubleshooting about hard restart/reset had no effect. All I ever got was a single flash when plugging the charger in, then nothing.

This is the second ASUS product I've purchased in the last couple of years. The other is a monitor that began crapping out after only a year's use (by an adult, never banged or dropped). After some further research, I found a testing lab that showed test results as ASUS tablets having the highest rate of DOA's of all the more popular brands they tested.

Because of these two negative experiences, I will be avoiding the ASUS brand in the future. I'm getting the impression that this company is more about pushing volume out the door of their production plant as quickly as they can as opposed to ensuring their products are actually working properly before packaging them for shipment. ASUS if you're reading this, how about at least randomly testing your products before you pack them for shipment? A quality control program would be nice.

For the people who got one that works, they seem to be generally satisfied with this tablet. Just be aware that it appears to be a crap shoot as to whether or not you get a DOA.

When ordering a tablet, I'd recommend looking at multiple YouTube reviews as well as reading reviews on Amazon. Try the most recent as opposed to most helpful reviews because there unscrupulous companies that will have trolls write great reviews and then people vote them up. Typically those reviews show up early on when the product is first listed so if you look at the most recent reviews, you're more likely to be seeing reviews from actual buyers as opposed to trolls.

I also recommend looking around on the web for some articles where independent testing companies have tested the brand/model of tablet you want and see how their test results went. I did everything but the last step. If I'd done that, I'd have stood a better chance at avoiding this DOA.

I've ordered a different brand of tablet from Amazon and will be posting an update and link to the tablet here after I get it and use it for a bit.
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