So this may be somewhat of another delayed post but I purchased a Google Nexus 7 back in late october for my mother.
She’s had it now since her birthday in late october and overall she’s loving it.
So here’s how it all started.
My mother doesn’t really like buying new tech things if she’s already happy with what she as and if she doesn’t need it. She also lives by the old saying of if it isn’t broken don’t fix it. And it’s a fair point! Why buy something that you do not need or want. So shortly after the release of the Google Nexus 7 I showed her how cheap the Nexus 7 was and how she might make use of a tablet. She was already at this point thinking about purchasing a Kindle or another digital reader of it’s kind. So I suggested (knowing that she won’t go and get one) that I get her one for her birthday. And she accepted my offer.
So I headed over to the official Google Play store about a week before her birthday and placed an order for an 8GB Nexus 7 Tablet for just £159. If you’re a geek, you may be thinking at this point that 8GB is really not that much but remember… It’s my mother, an average user. She’ll never come close to the limit on that thing.
The delivery came within a day or two which I was very pleased with and the box was in surprisingly good condition despite it not being wrapped in cellophane, which more and more manufacturers are doing these days.
Ironically around a week later, the 8GB Nexus 7 was discontinued and the 16GB version took it’s place at the same price.
My impressions: Unboxing and initial Setup
So if you’re a subscriber to my regular videos at youtube.com/jhdmaxx you would likely have came across my unboxing of the Nexus 7 last year, if you haven’t seen it or want to watch it again here is the link to the unboxing. – http://youtu.be/4kgDsSlgk8w
As for the initial setup, all was rather straight forward. We turned it on and instantly Google’s setup wizard appeared to help us set up the device. Fortunately my mother already had an Android phone (Samsung Galaxy S II) so we were able to simply transfer her device settings, apps and data from her Google Account to her new tablet.. After the importing of her data and about 5 minutes of waiting for an update to install the Nexus 7 was ready to go!
Fairly fast. Very straightforward.
My Impressions: Overall Design and Ergonomics
The overall design of the Nexus 7 is very sleek to say the least and despite it’s incredibly tiny price tag the materials used scream quality all over. The back of the tablet is rubberised which helps to minimize it’s slippery nature and adds a more robust feel to the tablet. Another advantage which I quickly noticed is that the rubberised texture also makes the Nexus 7 less prone to scratches when running the device naked and placing it on a hard surface with potentially scratchy particles on it.
My Impressions: The Display
The display on the Nexus 7 is fantastic for what it’s worth, it has a PPI of 216, not quite retina display (264 PPI) but it’s still very sharp measuring 7 inches with a resolution of 1280 x 800. The colours on the display are reproduced vividly and due to IPS technology the viewing angles are fantastic. The colours seem to not be quite as vivid and the contrast is not produced as accurately as some of the other android devices that feature OLED displays, but you really can’t complain for it’s price.
My Impressions: The Speaker(s)
The audio sounds crisp, no distortion was heared when pushing the speakers to maximum whilst playing low bass tones. The speaker(s) seem to be able to somewhat replicate low bass tones but not in an enjoyable way much like I have found on the iPad. As with most small computers the speakers are “tinny” for the most part.
My Impressions: Overall usage
If you were to hand me the Nexus 7 and i didn’t know how much it costed, I would have guessed way over £159. Seriously, for what the Nexus 7 costs, it truly exceeded my expectations. Being a fan of open source software it was also nice to see pure Android for a change instead of all of the crapware that the other companies layer on top to make it more “personal” such as Samsung and their TouchWiz interface which in reality is just slowing down Android and adding half-baked features that haven’t been implemented properly. The device is speedy enough for most tasks but classic Android-flavoured lag starts to set in when scrolling through a document or a web page, however this being said the lag is definitely less pronounced with this tablet on Android 4.2 than any other Android device I’ve seen to date. The Nexus 7 also appears to feature a magnetic sensor in it’s bezel similar to that of the iPad and Blackberry smartphones. Basically if you have a case that has a front cover and has a corresponding magnet under it’s surface, it will allow the device to be woken up or put to sleep if the cover is opened or closed. Although we did have an issue with a third party case unexpectedly locking the device from time-to-time. The Nexus 7 has no back camera which really isn’t much of an issue as there’s a front one which is usually the most commonly used camera on a tablet. The camera is 1.2MP and isn’t too bad for video calling. You can also apparently make the front camera record in 720p with a modification. Oddly enough, it didn’t seem the device came with a dedicated camera app so you’ll need to download one to take and pictures with the camera. There are only a few apps that are truly optimised for the screen on the Nexus 7, but fortunately due to it’s screen size and resolution, problems with unoptimised apps are not as pronounced on the device.
Overall I don’t really think you need to look further for an Android tablet costing under £200 and as I always say (and as people always ask), it’s unfair and invalid to compare this tablet to the iPad. They’re both on two completely different operating systems and are aimed at two completely different price points. Chalk vs Cheese. But if what you’re looking for is somebody to say if you made the right decision, I would say for £159 you definitely did.