NOV 29 UPDATE:
Google just announced upgraded Nexus 7 tablets to be available on Nov 13. The 8GB model will probably be discontinued and you will get a 16GB Nexus 7 for the amount you pay for an 8GB model now. You will be able to get a 32GB Nexus 7 for the price of the current 16GB model.
My initial review was a Nexus 7 vs. the first generation Kindle Fire and the Nexus was a clear winner. I have now updated my review for the Fire HD. It's a close call but the Nexus' 4-core CPU and its pure Android, more open makeup make it my preferred 7-incher. However, the rest of my family prefers the Fire HD because it's such a great dedicated (Amazon) media consumption pad.
We've been using a Kindle Fire since September 2011 (pre-ordered) and I am happy we ordered ours. Soon after purchase it was adopted by our daughter. She is using it to draw and paint, she watches Netflix for Kids on it, she learned how to search Youtube for arts and crafts 'how to' videos and she plays (mostly free) games from Amazon's Appstore. The Fire wasn't a full-feature tablet when it launched but we overlooked its hardware shortcomings, its off-mainstream Android and its locking us out Google's much larger app store because the price was right and because the 7" screen size made it lighter and more portable than the 'full size' 10.1" alternatives. We are still happy with our Fire but we are happier with Nexus 7, our second 7" tablet.
Because Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle are both Android tablets very similar in screen size that sell for the same price, I am going to compare the two while I write about my experience with Nexus 7. Whenever appropriate, I will note the differences between Nexus and the Fire when such differences exist. If a feature is present on both tablets I will simply note its existence. I will prefix specific features with an equal sign if both tablets support it equally, a plus sign if the Nexus implementation is superior or Fire lacks it and a minus sign when a feature is better implemented by Fire or is a Fire exclusive.
HARDWARE (Nexus 7 but it's a close call)
The Nexus comes pretty close to what we normally call the latest and greatest (written in July 2012).
+ GPS (Fire lacks it)
+ Quad-core CPU vs. Fire's dual-core
- 16/32GB models for Kindle vs. 16/32GB for Nexus
- Dual-antenna for Wi-Fi on Kindle vs. one antenna on Nexus
= Backlit screen at 1280x800 are identical in specs and looks
= Front-facing camera on both
= Micro USB port
= Microphone on both
Neither the Fire or the Nexus come with memory expansion ports or a rear-facing camera. The Micro USB interface will allow you to attach flash drives and even powered USB HDDs but the fact remains that if you buy an Nexus 7 or a Kindle Fire HD you are stuck with built in amount of internal storage. At the same time, I will testify that I haven't used 8GB yet on my much older 16GB XOOM. A rear-facing camera would have been a plus.
CONNECTIVITY (Nexus 7)
The better connected a tablet is, the more useful it becomes. Both the Nexus 7 and the Fire HD lack 3G/4G capabilities (Amazon will have a very expensive 4G model later this year), relying mostly on Wi-Fi to stay in touch with the world but there are some differences between the two worth noting.
= WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
= Amazon's Appstore
+ Near Field Communication (Fire lacks it) It allows two devices that support it to exchange information by touching each other. Not widely used at this time.
+ Google Play (Fire restricts access to Amazon's Appstore only)
I listed the app stores under connectivity mostly because Amazon made it impossible (unless you hack your Fire) to shop from anywhere other than Amazon's own store and I believe you are confined to Amazon's cloud services. There are no such restrictions on the Nexus. You can use Amazon's cloud, Google's or anyone else's if you so desire.
SOFTWARE (Nexus 7)
+ Android. Nexus 7 comes with Android 4.1 pre-installed, the latest version at the time I write this. It is very likely that it will be upgradeable to future versions. At the same time, it is not likely that the Fire's custom Android 3.x will ever be upgraded. It's possible but not likely.
+ Chrome. It happens to be my favorite browser. Amazon does not allow Chrome on its Fire. Fire's own browser is not too bad but I personally prefer Chrome.
= Flash. Nexus 7 or Android 4.1 rather does not support Flash which is too bad but it's because Adobe decided not to support it on Android 4.1. Kindle Fire HD does not appear to support Flash either.
BUILD (a tie)
I like both tablets look and feel. Both the Nexus 7 and the Fire HD are strikingly beautiful tablets. One little issue for the Fire is its too well hidden power and volume controls but it's something that's likely to be annoying for the first few days only, until reaching for them becomes second nature.
PRICE (Fire HD but it's a close call)
The Fire HD appears is the less expensive one on the 16GB configuration but the difference is not as big as it may seem. Keep in mind that the Fire comes without a charger so you will have to buy one separately and you will have to pay Amazon some more if you don't want to see ads on it.
I've been using a Nexus 7 for over a month at the time I'm writing this. I've also been using a Kindle Fire HD for about a week now. I am fully aware that when it comes to 'tablets' the technology changes fast and I have little doubt that it will be surpassed by many newer models but, at the time I'm writing this, I have a personal preference for the Nexus 7 even though I enjoy using the Fire HD and they are nearly on par when it comes to 'media consumption' activities with the Fire HD clearly in the lead when the content's is Amazon.
Neither the Nexus or the Fire are perfect. Both tablets, for example, lack memory expansion capabilities and a back camera. However, the Nexus, while selling for the about the same price, beats the Fire in every single category but it's a close call. If you are an Amazon person (like I am) the Nexus gives you the best of both worlds. You can still get your Amazon Appstore and the Kindle reader app but nothing restricts you from using someone else's store. The Fire HD erased the Nexus advantage on Bluetooth, camera and microphone. Amazon's new tables now match the Nexus 7 for many features and they even beat the Nexus on some (Wi-Fi, internal storage). In my case, I will continue to use the Nexus 7 but the rest of the family prefers the Kindle Fire HD.
>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<
NOTE ON STORAGE (memory)
We are doing just fine with our 8GB Kindle Fire and our Nexus 7 is a 8GB model. I went for the 8GB model for 2 reasons: my year-plus experience with a 8GB Kindle Fire and a 16GB XOOM and, I must admit, a 16GB model wasn't available at the store when I bought my Nexus.
I agree that 16GB is always better than 8GB and a tablet with a SD card slot is better than one without. Objectively, 8GB may be okay for most of us but not all of us. Our 8GB Fire is less than half-full today and I never needed an SD card for our 16GB XOOM because, after more than a year, I have 4.8GB worth of Apps, 1GB worth of pictures and videos (all pics and videos I took with the XOOM) and 0.2GB worth of Audio.
Had I decided to download my music library and the family photo albums on a tablet, 16GB might have been barely adequate and I would have used the SD memory expansion but I never felt that need. With videos coming from Youtube or movie streaming services and most of my music streaming from Pandora or cloud storage or our dedicated Media Server, 8GB appear to be okay (barely) and 16GB are quite plenty. Of course this may not be the case 2 years from now.
I would buy the 16GB model if I was planning on storing lots of content other than apps on my tablet or simply wanted 'peace of mind' as in not worry about managing my tablet's storage. If not planning to keep lots of photos or videos or music on the Nexus then the 8GB may be just fine.
on July 24, 2012
This is THE 7" tablet to get right now, it blows the competitors clean out of the water in terms of equipment and customization. Google has finally made a winning device, by entering a market not yet dominated by Apple. The device itself is simple to use and offers the latest version of Android, and promises to always give you the newest version -- first.
Let's dig into the deets:
💻 Display: 7 inch IPS LCD, 1280x800 px (216 PPI), LED backlit, scratch-resistant Corning glass.
◼ Processor: 1.3 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9.
◼ GPU: 416 MHz Nvidia GeForce ULP with 12 cores.
💾 Memory: 1 GB DDR3 RAM
🔋 Battery: 4325 mAh, microUSB charger.
📷 Front facing Camera: 1.2 MP.
🌐 Other: Multi-touch Touch screen, Gyroscope, Magnetometer, Accelerometer, GPS, microphone.
📶 Connections: NFC, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0.
🚥 OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).
📐 Footprint: Lighter and thinner than any others in the 7" size.
◉ Powerful processor
◉ All connections included (Wifi, Bluetooth, Near Field Communication (NFC).
◉ Standard install of Android means you can customize it as YOU wish to, and all native Android apps are available.
◉ Rich screen density, crisp and bright.
◉ Light, small, thin.
◉ Plenty of RAM for smooth operation.
◎ No MicroSD card slot, so if you need more storage the 16gb model might be better for you, but then there is Google Drive to hold you stuff as well, so it's not that big of a deal. It is a big deal for playing content on the go however, with no 3G/4G you will be stuck with whatever you can fit on that 8 GB, and that can be pretty limited at times.
◎ No 3G/4G option - This is a big deal for some people as referenced above, if you are looking for on-the-go always connected, this one might not be the right one for you.
◎ No rear facing camera - this can be a big deal if you want to use a tablet for taking pictures, or other endeavors like scanning barcodes to compare prices, etc...
◎ No mini HDMI out - well we are talking about a 7" tablet here, and they are trying to make it as slim and small as possible, I've found in my own experience that I never use those but your mileage may vary.
This is the best option in the 7" market right now.
on July 27, 2012
This is hands down the best Android tablet available. It's incredibly fast, has a really good front camera, the screen looks beautiful, and the features of Jellybean (Android 4.1) are great.
-Great size, it's not too big, but you can still easily view movies and use apps made for a big screen like Fruit Ninja.
-Adobe Flash Support (Requires some hacking)
-Very fast, it has a really good quad core processor. There is zero lag.
-Jellybean has a wide range of high quality features including voice recognition that now works offline.
-Google Now is way better than Siri and it's extremely useful
-Android is so much more customizable than iOS.
-It's three virtual buttons on the bottom allow for easy and fast navigation around the device.
-Multitasking is beautiful and much more immersive. Not even comparable to iOS.
-Has good battery life even when using GPS
-Thanks to free apps, this is a very powerful GPS that will work better than any one from the store.
-No rear camera, I don't think tablets really need them, but it would've been a nice feature
-Fragile glass on screen, doesn't scratch easily, but it breaks easily
-Crappy speaker, although all tablets have crappy speakers
-Sometimes I hit the power button instead of the volume rocker because they feel the same and they are right next to each other
-No Micro SD card slot
Nexus 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7 inch model):
The Nexus 7 has a better screen and processor than the Galaxy Tab 2, however it does have some advantages over the Nexus 7.
1. It has a rear camera.
2. It has a built in IR blaster for use as a universal remote.
3. It has a micro SD card slot for a micro SD card up to 32 GB.
A major disadvantage of it though is that it runs the older version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which lacks many features of Jellybean.
Get the Nexus 7 over any other tablet unless you want a tablet with a rear camera and universal remote. In that case buy the Galaxy Tab 2.
Today I spilled about half a glass of water onto my Nexus 7 accidentally and it worked fine afterwards. It is quite durable against water and scratch damage.
Yesterday I received two products. SANOXY Micro USB Host Mode OTG Cable Flash Drive SD T-Flash Card Adapter FOR Samsung GT-i9100 i9100 Galaxy S II 2 GT-N7000 Galaxy Note
3 pcs Aqua Blue/Black/Red Capacitive Stylus/styli Touch Screen Cellphone Tablet Pen for iPhone 4 4s 3 3Gs iPod Touch iPad 2 Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy, BlackBerry Playbook AMM0101US, Barnes and Noble Nook Color, Droid Bionic
The USB OTG adapter works great with the Nexus 7. I can confirm that you can use a wireless or wired mouse, charge the Kindle Keyboard 3G, power a USB massager and/or light, mount a flash drive, and mount an SD card reader. To mount USB storage devices you must root your device and download Stickmount. It is surely worth $0.65 to buy this.
The styluses are also good and they work without a problem on the Nexus 7. They are a must have as well.
on September 23, 2012
Competing tablets that I considered:
* Kindle Fire HD
* Mini iPad (expected)
I had a first-gen Fire and got sick of the walled garden. I hoped the new Fire (Fire HD) would have been more open, but it seems as closed off as ever. The device also didn't seem to have any exciting upgrades. Sure, the screen and speakers are better, but the screen was just catching up to the Nexus 7 and I use headphones for audio, so the hardware upgrades were irrelevant. I also didn't like the larger size (but same screen size) of the Fire HD... the bezel is huge on the new Fire. I also didn't like that I would have to pay to get rid of ads and also pay to get a wall charger. Basically, after the first-gen Fire, I was looking for a more grown-up tablet, and the new Fire didn't offer that, and I felt like Amazon was being deceptive in how they marketed the device... based on the backlash after the launch, I wasn't the only one.
The mini iPad is probably going to be amazing, but it will fail for me in two regards: (1) very expensive and (2) maps/navigation. I don't want to pay 50-100% more than a good competitor, and I don't want to pay for a 4G device and data plan if I want portable maps. I also want maps that actually give accurate locations... I want Google Maps, not Apple's #iLost apps.
I use a prepaid dumb phone and pay 100 USD each year for 1000 minutes (T-Mobile, if you're curious). I'm also fundamentally against paying a bunch of money to get a small amount of cellular data service. However, I've been running into substantial issues with not having maps on the go, and this is where Nexus 7 really shines for me. The Nexus 7 offers offline maps with GPS for navigation. So even when you're in the middle of nowhere (e.g. on a hike), provided you've planned ahead and downloaded the map, you can use highly detailed maps with the GPS on the Nexus 7. Even when your phone gives out in the middle of nowhere, the Nexus 7 would work perfectly since the maps are saved on the device and the GPS service is free (it's just an antenna that uses free satellite signals). I uploaded a few screenshots on my Nexus 7 in the customer images to show how this works.
Relative to the Fire's software, I also feel much more free on the Nexus 7. I can access Google Play (Google's large app / movie / music / magazine / etc store), something that cannot be done on the Fire HD... I couldn't even get access to Google Play on my first-gen Fire despite substantial efforts. Basically, when you buy the Fire, you buy in 100% to Amazon, so it's refreshing to breath freely with my new Nexus 7 where I can make media purchases independent of my tablet brand, e.g. I like being able to shop for books and music at any online store with ease on the Nexus 7 rather than be locked into one retailer.
Those are my primary reasons for going with the Nexus 7. So far, after about two weeks, I love it and have started shifting away from my laptop for basic tasks, something I never thought would happen (and never came close with the first-gen Fire).
- - -
After 7 weeks, still happy with the N7, but downgraded to 4 stars. The battery lasts only about a 48 hours [see next update] with light usage (though it is constantly fetching email in the background... so perhaps my expectations are too high). But I've found that playing music with the screen off has almost no drain on the battery. I've also found the glass on the screen to not be as scratch-resistant as I had expected. I scratched the glass, thankfully just on the bezel, and I think this happened only when my N7 rubbed up against a button on a shirt I was wearing.
Having now seen the iPad Mini (both the specs, ads, and in person), I'd still go with a N7, and the N7 still appears to be the best option. The iPad mini doesn't have GPS for any of the devices without 4G. Also, there are even more competitive versions for the Nexus 7 that were recently released (base version now has 16GB, can get 32GB for 50 D more... whereas iPad Mini charges an extra 100 D, and a 32GB version with cellular data option for a further 50 D more).
Maps, email, and general usage of N7 are still going wonderfully!
- - -
My tablet was updated to Android 4.2 several weeks ago (perhaps now over a month ago), and the improvements are appreciated: easy to manage multiple users, better drop-down options, and the battery seems to last longer when the N7 is in standby. Regarding the battery, I haven't charged my tablet in 72 hours (light use), and it still has half of the battery left -- this is about a 3-fold improvement on standby battery life!
Still very happy with my N7!
on September 8, 2012
This is my first tablet although I have played with a Xoom. I found the Xoom to be great product but it did seem rather heavy to hold for long periods. I've had a standard Kindle for some time so I know I like the 7 inch size, which is really easy to hold in one hand. After reading the many reviews of the Nexus 7 and being tempted by the low price I put my order in. Like many others have noted, I was appalled to learn that you cannot play flash embedded videos but being something of a PC geek I quickly learned that with a little effort you can install Flash using a few work abounds. Just run a query about "installing Flash on nexus 7" and you'll find some sites that will walk you through the process. It took me about 20 minutes. Flash will not run on Chrome so you will also have to install a secondary browser but it does work. Other than the Flash issue I have thoroughly enjoyed this device. If you get it from the play store you also get a twenty five dollar gift certificate to purchase apps or books so that is a sweet bonus. Also, pick up one of the aftermarket cases rather than buying the case from the play store. There are some nice cases out there that offer a better price point and work just as well. As others have noted this tablet runs very smooth and has a screen that is very easy on the eyes. You can also adjust the text size under settings so if you have a lot of mileage on your eyeballs larger text may make sense for you. Another thing you may want to adjust in the settings is to remove the default to lock the screen in profile mode. Not sure why they have it set that way by default but the device makes far more sense if you are allowed to shift display to landscape when you prefer.
on August 24, 2012
The key information that I wanted to know about the Google Nexus was how it would feel reading books. I used to have a regular Kindle so I was a little spoiled with e-ink, but I checked out a friend's Kindle Fire and was impressed with the way that it felt reading a page, although it was during the day. I had tried to search for some reviews on this matter but could find very little online. I decided to take the plunge since I currently have some free time and I could not find a Google Nexus anywhere in person.
As a tablet, it's great. Web surfing is smooth and fast. Youtube looks good and the screen turned automatically when I tipped it. There was some annoying magazine stuff on the home page when I turned it on, but I'm sure I can get rid of it. The GPS properly found my location and started giving me directions even though I never left the house (I wanted to test it out) and it impressively gave alternative routes for where my wife was heading. The GPS / Google Maps component will be a big upgrade for us over her iphone. The calendars synced up properly, and the audio web searches were pretty decent. Strangely, the weather seemed to be a little off. So for web, video, and general android apps (the coupon one is really impressive), it seems great.
Now for the Kindle app. After putting the brightness on the lowest possible setting on the device at night, it was still too bright. I even downloaded a screen filter, and while it helped, it was still too bright. Books on Google Play were a little lighter, so part of the issue seems to be with the Kindle app itself. Unfortunately, I have 200 books on the Kindle and Google Play does not the same selection. It's not that the brightness is intolerable, but I found it straining after looking at only a page or two. To give an indicator of how bright the device actually is, now that I have put it on the lowest setting, I am only turning the screen filter on and off because it seems perfectly bright enough at the lowest setting to do everything else.
UPDATE 1: An app called Moon Reader does the trick. Very smooth feel to the text, and many more options. Somehow the screen looks lighter. Also Alkido has slight page turning difficulties and is a little brighter than Moon Reader. I am so glad to have found Moon Reader. It's amazing how much great software is in the world when you really look. So it's not entirely the Google Nexus, but they still could have given us the option to make it dimmer.
UPDATE 2: I figured out how to adjust the dimmer on the screen filter so it really helps with the Kindle app, and it admittedly looks great in the daytime or in light, though awful under the intense sun. So I am quite pleased right now with the device as an e-reader, and PDFs look clean as well which was not the case with e-ink readers. I have also had time to play around with it a little more and can report the following
GPS: It is not full GPS which is somewhat unfortunate. When I map a destination from my house via GPS in Google Maps, it works, but when I try to map a destination back if I am out, it doesn't work if it can't establish a wireless connection. There are ways around this, though. There are other software apps which claim off-line GPS one of which I downloaded (Route 66) which seems to work (I checked with the wireless connection turned off at my house), and there are likely other options as well. One thing I really like about android is the wide range of customization options.
SIZE: I still hear people arguing about the size of these things. I think they are perfect for e-reading. As for pocket size, as a man, I have placed it in what I would call a normal-size pocket, though it's a somewhat tight fit. They fit perfectly into coat and jacket pockets which I wear quite often. They are also great for reading in bed and directing the light away from an SO. I personally find reading on the cell phones much too small. On that same note, a 7-inch device is better for checking mail and web surfing. I can bring this thing discreetly to the theater and read for 20 minutes before the show, whereas a 10-inch is somewhat cumbersome and conspicuous for similar tasks. I really like having something that I can just pull out and read for 10 minutes here and there.
VOICE ACTIVATION: I really like this feature. I used to always set and reset alarms by hand. Now I just press the mic button and say "Set alarm for 8am" and it responds, "Setting alarm for 8am." It can easily check stock, sports scores and facts about famous entertainers (useless but fun) and give you voice responses. It will also search what you want on the web which I find quite useful since I am used to typing on a keyboard and cannot type on this device as quickly, though this keyboard is very user-friendly. I find that the voice activation makes my life a little easier.
EASE OF USE: The device is very slick. I can swipe down from the top of the screen and it will always show me how many new emails I have. Checking email on this thing is easier and faster than on my computer! I can also always swipe up from the bottom up to activate Google Now where the voice activation I mentioned earlier comes into play. I really like the back browser, home screen button, and recent screen buttons that are always accessible on the bottom screen whether you hold it vertically or horizontally. Although I had to work a little to figure out how to set my home page the way I wanted it, once I figured it out, it's really easy to manage. The device is also made so that the apps are supposed to take care of themselves, meaning that you don't have to worry about closing one. Usually when you touch one, it will go straight to the last screen that you were on, and you can back browse to return to a previous screen in that app. If you want to fix/really change something, you can always access the settings by swiping down from the top of the page and touching the appropriate symbol. They really did a good job in having the right amount of buttons.
OTHER CONS: I really don't find many cons with the device. I was getting an annoying message from someone asking me to chat before I figured out that I was logged into chat, which is an app that I never actually use. I may not have set it up properly at the beginning, but this was really annoying and is not the type of thing that should be set up by default. A similar thing occurred with Google Circles. I didn't buy this to socialize, though it has perks if you do.
OTHER PROS: One of the biggest perks are the free apps that come with it. Personally I find the android app market to have more than enough. I use Drop Box, like I do on my computer, and it can easily open word documents, which is important for me. These devices aren't meant to store all of your files, so I would highly suggest using something like Drop Box.
SUMMARY: I honestly don't think I would go back to an ink e-reader. There are lots of options on color e-readers to adjust the settings to be easier on the eyes. If you are doing lots of reading in direct sunlight, however, the ink e-reader is a must. I read occasionally in direct sunlight, but I read more often in the dark where I prefer to have a device that generates its own light. (I went through 4 mini-lamps in the past.) With a great calendar, email and web browser, and useable GPS, the device is a hit.
on August 19, 2012
Admittedly I bought an iPad 1st generation right after release day. I liked it a lot and used it everyday. After all that hard use it started having battery problems. Luckily the iPad 3 had just come out. So I went to the Apple store to try it out. The salesman went on and on about iOS 5 and the new camera optics. The eyeball display, the faster processor. Never asked me what I used my first iPad for. Well for one thing, a rear camera on a tablet is just dumb to me. I own a camera. I stream my music from the cloud using Amazon cloud player so the iPod section means nothing to me. iMessage was never useful to me as I use Yahoo Messenger like a normal person. iCloud back ups were an annoyance and using iTunes was a joke. Overall, the iPad 3 was nothing more than a gigantic iPod, now more so than ever. So I ventured into android.
First I bought a Lenovo. Again with the rear camera and again with nonsense apps that are nothing more than undeletable space takers. Boxed it back up, sent it back. The kids already had Kindle Fire's and I liked it a lot. But with the missing Bluetooth and no Yahoo Messenger app it was out. So I stuck with iPad 3. Then last week, having heard the news of my dying iPad 1 my dad sent me a Nexus 7 as a gift. I set aside my iPad and after a day of working with the Nexus I was hooked. The smaller size is much more comfortable, the casing much easier to hang on to and it is very lightweight. Has everything I was looking for and more. I like the front only camera for Skype. With a rear camera I am always worried about the match head lens getting scratched. Those cameras are so stupid.
I should mention, everything I did not like about the Android OS was addressed in Jellybean. The back button, home button and card button rotate with the device very cleanly. The multi tasking function WORKS properly now. Touching the card button brings up everything running. And when you switch around in apps it saves where you were working.
The display on the Nexus is very crisp. It may not be an eyeball, retina, pupil, whatever but it is so close that your physical eyes will not see a difference. Go ahead. Count the pixels. The iPad 3 with a 10" display has 264 pixels per inch and the Nexus has 216 pixels per inch. 48 more for the twice the price iPad. In contrast, the 1080P on a 19" monitor will have 116 pixels per inch. So retina, tear or whatever displays? Whatever.
So with a Nexus 7 you lose the iPad bulk, weight, price, sluggish performance, fair graphic fluidity, lousy keyboard, non-stop updates for iTunes... You gain a sleek, light and small tablet with a fair price, snappy performance, awesome video, and a full day of battery. Not to mention the cost savings because you are not going to feel the need to buy sterilized Apple iPad accessories.
Nexus 7, Go YOU! You are making the right choice. iPad, uSuck, Nexus 7 made me a believer.
on September 4, 2012
Given how fast things are changing in the tablet market, there is always a better one around the block, but if you've been holding out on a tablet due to prices but have always had an application in mind, the 7 clearly works well, as most reviews attest. Some comments that others have not touched detailed on Amazon.
First, it doesn't get any cheaper. The BOM suggest the Nexus 7 is a loss leader, it costs more to make than its being sold. Despite that, since Android is mostly an open OS, you can obtain data or apps without using the Google Store, and thus aren't tied to Apple or Amazon had you gotten an iPad or Kindle Fire. IMHO, it provides the user with the most control over their machine, at the lowest cost among top rated tablets.
The PSU has a load sensor, and drops charge rate if you use certain microUSB cables. The stock cables and others dedicated to charging, such as the OEM Motorola Droid cables are no problem, but some 3rd party cables I have reduce the current flow.
Wifi supports n protocol, but no 5 GHz radio. Connection is fast, immediate and trouble free.
Complaints on-line speak of production/factory defects, they're churning them out too fast. Given the hassle of returning online purchases, even if vendors are good about it, and that there is no price difference between on-line and retail, buy retail. Local taxes are cheaper than the S&H cost and its easier to return. Staples dot com carries it easily and most reviews are better than Amazon or Google for a similar number of posted reviews, ~ 90. Since deliveries to vendors are often in runs, it may mean Staples has a better batch, one is less likely to get a defective one from them. I had the same issue with quality with the first Tomtom 1 GPS units: more quality reports from Amazon sales stock, but far less from those from Best Buys, back in 2007.
The defects reported so far, FYI:
battery = dies spontaneously, fail to charge after 1 week of use, and shows itself as erratic operation and unexplained shut downs despite a full charge
glass panel separation = unit operates but causes clicking sound with gestures
glass is not Gorilla glass, just 'Corning' glass. Some folks have shattered their screens when dropped yet online reviews show it resists cracking when dropped [ there are youtube videos of iPads vs Nexus 7 being dropped from 3 feet] but will crack if the glass separates from the LCD.
Dead pixels. ASUS has a very clear definition of what constitutes dead pixels in its QC, and its detailed in the warranty card. Given how many LCD panels are made and the pixel density of modern LCDs, and 6 sigma quality is the best available, expect 3 dead pixels per million to pass.
capacitive sensor attachment = loosens, leading to dead spots on the screen when gesturing, squeezing the screen corners can diagnose the issue but that defect is similar to the glass problem, separation of the capacitive sensor layer.
mic failure = fails to receive input after some time. Given how its made, it may likely have pulled loose from its connector, its just pushed fit, not soldered.
Android OS is is 4.1.1 released 7/12 and is glitch free, so far. Upgrade was smooth and effortless. Most all the apps I run are bug free.
In summary: if you need a tablet now, don't throw away the 7 box for at least 12 months, to avail of the warranty. If you do buy one, buy it retail so its easier to return because the prices are actually much higher online. After using several for 2 years but holding out due to issues I find with iPads and the Fire, the Nexus easily wins in usability and software breadth, is cheaper than its competition, and your chance of a dud based on the reviews published here to date is ~ 2-3/10, putting the odds at 70-80% in your favor. I took the bet and have been lucky with my 7 for weeks.
on July 18, 2012
I don't know where to begin.
Being a recent convert to android I thought my galaxy s2 hung the moon but wow, googles vision of software and hardware coalescing in the nexus is a site to behold. Buttered up jellybean runs circles around ics in every way. The voice commands are so precise my days of thumbing away are finished. Absolutely stutter free app and Web use while music is playing and live wallpaper running....tegra3 quad core changes the game. I have read multiple reviews and the biggest joke of the day was comparing it to the fire. A better comparison would have been the Samsung galaxy 2 7in. It's a 200 tab. I've had mine since May and while it has preformed well its not even in the same category as the nexus (example/ sometimes riptide gp would crash and shut the galaxy down, on the nexus it just screams the graphics are killer. If you are in the market for the hottest tech in the world this is for you. As for apple... You had better get some better lawyers
on August 1, 2012
The 7 inch form factor is trendy and cute, the rubbery back is pleasant (particularly after dropping my ipad a few times because of its slippery back) The hardware is great, the quad core processor blazes on the chrome browser (which is simple and efficient), the only thing holding this machine back is the flaws in the Android operating system. I have owned both IOS and Android machines, I purchased the Nexus for my mother, I primarily use my Ipad for tablet computing. My android phones prepared me for the android system. My mom would not have been able to set up the OS on her own. As soon as you start the machine, google bombards you with ads, and services that really have nothing to do with setting up your device. It takes about 15 minutes to get the machine running, I had to reboot twice in order to get the google app store to download pandora.The front facing camera (which is the only camera that matters on a tablet) is a good camera, however it does not come equipped with an app to use the camera. You must download the app from the app store. This makes the device confusing for tech noobs (like my mom). Google recognized the device as a cellphone, which is a bit embarassing since it is a google flagship device. Overall I appreciate the openness of android, (adding emulators, doing whatever you want with it, and not having to worry about the apple overlords) however if you are not comfortable with exploring technology, I do not recommend this device (yet). Google has a bit more work in making android "easy" for the boomer generation and older. However this is by far the best android device. If I did not already own my ipad, I would buy the nexus for myself. My hope is that apple figures out that they need to make the new ipod touch a 7 inch device.