First look at the Google Nexus 7 tablet
The Russian office of Google kindly provided us with this tablet for testing, however, it was impossible to take it out of the office, but we tried to capture all its most interesting features in this text.
With the release of this tablet, Google pursues several goals at once. First: set a new price and technical framework for budget devices. Judge for yourself: how many budget tablets with an HD screen and a quad-core processor are now priced at $200? I can't name one. The second goal is to release a kind of technical platform for demonstrating Jelly Bean and other new versions of Android on tablets. The third is the sale of content, at the last presentation at Google, they focused on the possibility of buying magazines, videos and music.
Appearance, materials, assembly
Nexus 7 has a nice and calm appearance. There are no eye-catching design elements here, but at the same time there are no irritants. In general, it looks like most seven-inch tablets, especially from the front.
The back is made of matte plastic with soft-touch coating. The use of such material has a positive effect on tactile sensations and appearance. The tablet is pleasant to hold in hands, and there are practically no prints and scratches on the back.
There are no complaints about the assembly, all the parts are tightly fitted to each other, nothing creaks, does not play and does not stagger. However, it is important to remember that we tested the tablet for about two hours, so the final conclusions about its assembly will only be in the final review.
On the right side are the power button and volume rocker. The decision to place them on the same side is not the best, because in order to take a screenshot, you need to rotate the tablet horizontally (remember, the combination for taking a screenshot, starting with Android 4.0, is to simultaneously press on + decrease the volume). Taking a screenshot in a vertical position is very problematic.
On the bottom you can see the microUSB and 3.5 mm headphone jacks.
The speaker is located at the bottom of the back, and the front camera is traditionally located above the screen.
Also on the left side there are contacts for the docking station (as far as I understand it for it).
The Nexus 7 has standard dimensions for a seven-inch tablet. It feels close to the dimensions of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, but the numbers speak for themselves.
- Nexus 7 - 198.5 x 120 x 10.45 mm, weight 340 grams
- Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 - 194 x 122 x 11 mm, weight 344 grams
It is convenient to hold the tablet with both one and two hands, you can only find fault with the thickness, of course, I would like it to be at the level of Galaxy Tab 7.7.
The Nexus 7 uses a seven-inch IPS-matrix with a resolution of 1280x800 pixels. The screen is covered with Gorilla Glass. Despite the fact that IPS-matrices have already begun to appear in budget devices (for example, in IconBIT Matrix), they have a lower resolution (1024x600 pixels or 1024x768 pixels). It's also in full HD resolution. However, despite such impressive performance, the display looks weaker than other screens with IPS-matrix. It has average viewing angles and not the highest brightness. And, nevertheless, it is important to remember that we have a budget device and the very presence of HD-resolution and IPS-matrix is a big plus. The screen supports up to ten simultaneous taps.
Roman's comment: I got the impression, purely subjective, that the screen does not have a high response speed, because when scrolling, for example, desktops, the icons on it are slightly blurred. The viewing angles of the display are large, but the brightness drops slightly when tilted. The clarity of the Nexus 7 matrix, in my opinion, is somewhat worse than on the Huawei Mediapad matrix.
This is the first seven-inch tablet powered by NVIDIA Tegra 3, which gives it many advantages at once. I propose to briefly walk through the already known advantages of Tegra 3:
- Tegra Zone with several exclusive games.
- PRISM technology - at low brightness, individual pixels are illuminated brighter, resulting in a visually higher overall brightness and lower power consumption.
- Support for various peripherals (although the USB Host function is not available in Nexus 7, there are always bluetooth devices)
- The fifth power-saving core that works for undemanding tasks.
Comment from Evgeny: I am very impressed with the use of Tegra 3 in this tablet, primarily because of the games. At the moment, only a few games have been released for it, but their number is gradually increasing. If we consider a gaming tablet on Android, then it is worth looking in the direction of models on Tegra. I would also like to note that playing on a seven-inch tablet is much more convenient than on a ten-inch one, which is why Nexus 7 is also interesting for fans of games on a tablet.
The processor itself operates at a frequency of up to 1.3 GHz, the amount of RAM is 1 GB, the amount of internal memory is 8 or 16 GB. There is no memory card slot. It is the impossibility of expanding the memory that is one of the main drawbacks of the tablet, it is not clear what prevented this slot from being installed in it.
We ran some synthetic benchmarks and the results are pretty impressive. We invite you to familiarize yourself with them below.
As mentioned, the Nexus 7 is the first tablet to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. We have two materials on the site devoted to innovations in this version, I suggest that you familiarize yourself with them at the links below:
In this section, I want to talk about the innovations in the tablet version.
Interface. The Nexus 7 (like all other tablets that will run on Android 4.1) uses a smartphone version of the interface. For example, a bottom panel with shortcuts appeared, and the status bar moved to the top. In addition, now you cannot switch the built-in launcher to landscape mode.
Status bar. By moving it to the top of the screen, all applications that use full screen mode can finally use the entire screen for their own purposes. Let me remind you that in Android 4.0, even if full-screen mode was enabled, the application could not use the place of the status bar and on-screen buttons, it simply dimmed. Now the whole screen is used completely, this is an important innovation, since every centimeter of space is important in small seven-inch tablets.
It is also important to note that when the status bar is called, it does not occupy the entire screen, but only part of it (for more details, see Roman's video at the end of the article).
The rest of the innovations are universal, so it makes no sense to describe them again, you can read about them at the links above.
The tablet has a 4250 mAh battery. For Children's Clothing in Nigeria, unfortunately we didn't have a chance to test the battery life, so the exact data will only be in the final review.
Impressions of Evgeny
Google made a great tablet. I liked almost everything about it. Firstly, the decision to move the status bar to the top, this made it possible to use full-screen mode without the black bar at the bottom. Secondly, the presence of Tegra 3 is a very powerful solution for such a budget tablet, which, in addition to performance, also gives access to several exclusive games. Thirdly, IPS-matrix with HD resolution, of course, it is slightly worse than some competitors, but it is important to remember the cost of the tablet. Fourth, timely updates from Google, you will always have the latest version of the OS with all its benefits.
Of the significant shortcomings, it is worth noting the lack of a slot for a memory card and a 3G module. It is clear that there is no 3G because they wanted to save money, but what prevented you from installing a slot for a memory card?
In my opinion, another reason for the release of this tablet is the company's awareness of the inferiority of the current budget tablet market, and there are rumors that an iPad Mini with a Retina display and a minimum price of $300 will appear in the fall. That's why Google gave other manufacturers a blueprint for what a budget and compact tablet should look like, so I wouldn't be surprised if we see similar offerings from Asus, Acer and Samsung soon. And they, most likely, will have both a slot for memory cards and a 3G module, although it is not known how this will all affect the price.
Impressions of Roman
My impression of the tablet is somewhat different, and at the mini-conference in the Russian office of Google, representatives, it seemed to me, were also not very enthusiastic about the Nexus 7. The hardware itself is not bad, but the lack of slots for SIM and a memory card, as well as the inability to work with microUSB as a "host", raise big questions in the positioning of the device.
To find fault with the gadget, I didn't like the quality of the screen - obviously not the best matrix was used: a small response, mediocre color reproduction, although someone would call it natural. In addition, with not very strong pressure on the display, divorces “float” across the screen. By the way, I would like to hope that the device will not heat up in the same way as the HTC One X smartphone. At least, this was not observed when meeting with the Google tablet.
As for the new version of the Android 4.1 operating system, it evokes positive emotions in me: smoothness in the interface is really present, and the speed of work in devices (you can also judge by the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with Jelly Bean) has generally increased. One thing is confusing - developers will have to release updates for their applications, since without modifications the programs will behave similarly in the "old" firmware. True, that's another story.
Unfortunately, the company's managers are not sure that the Nexus 7 will be able to enter the Russian market, however, for some buyers this will not be an obstacle - "gray" deliveries of "nekus" will do their job. I wonder what the price of the question will be?
It is important to understand that, in many ways, the final impressions will depend on the price in Russia. If we take the price in the USA or even Eldar's forecast of 10 thousand rubles as a guideline, then we have an excellent tablet for little money, but if the price in Russia is at the level of 12-15 thousand, then the attractiveness of the Nexus 7 will be significantly lower.