Monday, January 21, 2013

ASUS Nexus 7 Review

So I have officially entered the tablet era. I was looking for something cheap yet powerful. After my last bad experience with a cheap android phone, I promised to never compromise on price again. However this time I could due to the amazingly low price of $200 on ASUS and Google's joint venture of the Nexus 7 tablet.

PROS:                                                                            CONS:
Great Price                                                                    No expandable storage option
Durable and comfortable material                             No back camera. Low res front camera
Quad Processor for relatively cheap price
New updates are received in time

Operating System : Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Processor: Quad-Core 1300 MHz  NVIDIA Tegra 3
Display: 7 inches IPS LCD 
Resolution: 1280 x 800 ( 216 ppi )
Memory : Option of Internal 8 GB, 16 GB & 32 GB (No SD Card slot)
Wireless Connectivity: NFC, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

Having a quad core processor I was expecting the Nexus 7 to be blazing fast with zero lags. However I am slightly disappointed by it's performance. It does have a few seconds lag when opening the home screen, and does have those occasional freeze ups. Heavy duty games like NFS Most Wanted perform well if other applications are closed, even then it does freeze up in loading. However it does a great job in multi-tasking and its a joy switching between apps with absolutely no delay. Overall I'd give it's performance a 9/10 rating.

When buying the Nexus 7, I didn't expect it to be my new constant companion because of it's large size. Boy, was I wrong; The 7.8 by 4.7 inches tablet easily fits into all of my purses and thanks to its scratch-less screen and back cover, I didn't feel the need to buy a cover and waste effort to the thought put behind it's superior design. The Gorilla Glass screen is thick, scratch resistant and has a quick touch response. It's back is made of a soft rubberish material which is  comfortable to hold for hours due to its smoothness despite a grainy look. What I like about it is that it doesn't dirty easily or show any signs of wearing out soon.

In cutting down on the price, ASUS has provided only one front-facing camera having 1.2 megapixel. It has a yellowish glow and gives a grainy image indoors. It's only purpose being for video calling, is apparent by the absence of a camera app. However you can easily download a free app to access the camera from the Google Play store here.

1 micro-USB Port
1 3.5mm Headphone Jack
4 pin connector (Meant to be used for the utilization of Nexus 7 accessories; So far only the official dock can be connected through this.)

With intense use (6+ hrs a day), the battery will last for a day. However with moderate use, you can stretch it to two days. As with all other devices, it's battery life depends on the intensity of the apps you use. I can easily squeeze in a half hour of reading after the low battery warning.

After it's initial setup, the Nexus 7 will prompt you to download and install the latest software updates. Currently it is running on Android OS 4.2.1.
Being the flagship device of Google, you will find the unmodified version of Android, saving you from those pesky pre-installed apps or an uncustomizable interface.
A list of new apps that came pre-installed on the Nexus 7 are:

  • Chrome (web browser)
  • Currents (Publications optimized for tablet)
  • Earth
  • Google + & Messenger +
  • Play Books, Magazines, Movies & TV and Music
  • Google Wallet
The Nexus 7 is also the first device to introduce Google Now. It opens up by swiping your finger up from the bottom of the screen, displaying a search bar, and "cards". These cards are based on your Google search. I've really enjoyed this feature while travelling: It displays my upcoming flight and status, and when travelling to a new country, it displays the updated currency exchange rate, the time back home, attractions nearby and local events. A card also appeared notifying me of my amazon delivery and a direct link to track it. On a daily basis it displays the weather and time to work (including traffic). 

I frequently use Google Talk and Skype for video calling. The call quality is pretty bad for some reason, in both apps. At first I blamed it on my internet speed, but after some tests I can confirm that is not the case. The video of the other caller isn't clear, and the audio is a nightmare, you literally can not understand a word, and have to spend half the call making sense of broken words. I'm extremely disappointed by this, as I was looking forward to replace my laptop for calling. I'm not sure if this is a defect in my model, or the entire product line.

This is quite literally the best android device you can get for $200. What it majorly lacks in is a good camera, poor call quality and most importantly no expandable storage. No SD card seems like a huge omission  but I believe the reason for not doing so is because by providing the Play apps, one is able to access their movies and music through cloud storage. However, not everybody wants to buy their media all over again from the Play store.


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Kitkat Droid said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
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