When news broke that internet giants Google were readying themselves to release their own tablet device many people in the industry questioned whether Google’s own-brand technology could cut it in a market so utterly dominated by Apple. Few of Google’s previous products had made much of a dent in the mass-market place with the 2008’s G1 handset being the one relative success in a line of damp squibs.
Google’s latest product, the Nexus 7 tablet, gives Apple’s iPad a wide berth and is looking set to be going after Amazon’s Kindle device ; trying to persuade its users to watch films and read books on a smaller screen and on a more compact device.
This Google Nexus is functional and easy to use. Google look to be trying to mop up the mid-range tablet users: those who don’t yearn for the latest technology but feel hurried along to get the gadget everyone’s talking about. Its screen is excellent (1280×800 is passable HD), its battery life is also exceptional lasting a marathon nine hours. The Nexus is powered by an advanced quad-core 1.3GHz processor which responds instinctively to the touch, something which has not always been true of Google devices.
The software is also the best Google has ever made, but this is a media feeding device more than anything else. So yes, Jelly Bean offers a host of features that utilise Google’s search capabilities to provide signed-in users to instant access on, for instance, the time back home if they’re travelling, or the weather and local sport scores if they’re not. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen brings up this ‘Google Now’ stack of cards, but in fact it’s renting films or buying books that the firm hopes will happen most.
Shuffling around the all-important apps and widgets has been made easier than ever on this new Google Nexus, although it’s fairly safe to say that this tablet is not aimed at the serial tinkerers and tech enthusiasts, it’s much more likely that this device will appeal to those making their first tentative forays into the tablet market. That being said, it does still have a few nifty tricks up its sleeve: there’s a front-facing camera for video calls and also an improved dictation and voice activation system.
Software : Android 4.1 Jellybean
Processor : 1.3GHz quad-core NVidia Tegra 3
Storage: 8GB/16GB; no expansion slots
Display : 7″ backlit IPS capacitive touchscreen, 1280×800 pixels
Connectivity : Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0
Ports : Micro USB, 3.5mm headphone jack
Camera : 1.2 megapixel front-facing
Battery : Li-ion 4325mAh
Size : 199x120x10mm
Weight : 340g