Yesterday, Google announced their first ever self-branded android tablet, in association with Asus, called the Nexus 7. There was hardly any surprise when the announcement was made, as almost everything (including the specs & prices) were leaked out just before the Google I/O keynote started. But it did manage to evoke some interest from those following the event, and a few also claimed to buy Nexus 7 right away.
Not so fast!
What’s good about Nexus 7?
- Nexus 7 is the only tablet shipping with the brand new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. Codenamed, Project Butter, Jelly Bean brings in some much needed refinement to Android 4.0 ICS and packs in some cool features like Google Now & revamped Notification center.
- It is the first tablet to boast a quad-core 1.3GHz Tegra 3 CPU & a 12-core GPU as well.
- With 4325mAh battery, Google promises that the Nexus 7 will last 8 hours on active usage & 9 hours of continuous video playback.
- The 7-inch scratch-resistant corning display comes with 178-degree viewing angle, perfect to watch movies or read books.
- At just around 340g (12 ounces), Nexus 7 is thinner and lighter than Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
- Google Play got a major update, with options to buy movies and watch episodes of popular TV shows from Disney, ABC, NBC Universal, Sony & others. Google Play will now features several new magazines including Hearst, Conde Nast and Meredith. Nexus 7 tightly integrates with Google Play to provide you with amazing content, which can never run out of, be it the books, magazines, songs, movies or TV shows.
- The pricing is its USP. Nexus 7 starts at just $199, much like Amazon’s Kindle Fire. For the hardware specs like quad core CPU, 1280×800 IPS display, 1GB RAM, NFC and 4235mAh battery, it sounds like a killer deal.
But wait. It’s not all hunky-dory with this device.
What’s not so good about Nexus 7?
I’ve seen many people complaining about the looks of Nexus 7, particularly the big bezel around the screen. But looks are personal preferences and cannot be a compelling enough factor. There are other major reasons to consider:
- Nexus 7 is available for sale only in US, UK, Canada & Australia, to start with. What if you are not from these four countries? Even if you manage to import a Nexus 7 somehow, you will be left with lesser options, when it comes to content. This is because, much of Google Play’s contents like Google Books, Google Music, Google Movies, Magazines & TV shows are available only in these countries. So what will you use Nexus 7 for? Web browsing? Games?
- Unlike iOS & iPad, Android is not really known to have a lot of tablet optimized apps. Considering that the first android tablet came out almost 2 years back, this is a sorry state of affairs. Most of the 600,000+ apps on Google Play look yuck on Nexus 7 as they are not optimized for bigger screens.
- Nexus 7 comes in two versions. An 8GB version (for $199) and a 16GB version (for $249). In fact, the total usable space in a 8GB Nexus 7 is just 5.52GB! Considering Nexus 7 to be primarily a content consumption device, it’s a serious handicap.
- What’s worse? Unlike most android devices, there is no microSD slot available on Nexus 7. You’ll be seriously cramped for storage space.
- Absence of cellular connectivity like 3G/4G can hamper the usefulness of Nexus 7 when it comes to mobile productivity. Availability of offline maps & ability to download content can neutralize this aspect a bit, but then, remember the storage crunch.
- And last, but not the least, Amazon’s Kindle Fire 2 is expected to be announced sometime later this year, and is expected to boast much better hardware & software at similar price-points. Moreover Amazon’s content offering is considered to be the best in the world.
I understand that all the points (positives & negatives) will not be relevant to all the people looking to buy Nexus 7. The aim of this post is to educate users about what they should expect from the device, which would help them make a proper judgement. Let me know your views on Nexus 7 in the comment section below.
Photo credit: @nerdtalker