A Nexus Cube is displayed at Google's Developers Conference on June 27, 2012 in San Francisco, California. Mathew Sumner/Getty
Amidst much speculation, Google announced its Nexus 7 tablet computer at the ongoing Google I/O 2012. Powered by the latest generation of Android software 4.1 Jelly Bean, the tablet is being made for Google by Asus. This seven-inch tablet is touted as Google's answer to the Apple iPad and Amazon Kindle Fire.
While detailed reviews are yet to come, the initial responses are positive. The general view is that Nexus 7 might not be an iPad killer but is definitely a notch above Kindle Fire.
Here's what tech reviewers across the world have to say:
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So far, I'm impressed with what I've seen. The screen looks great, feels responsive, and the tablet already does a good job of demonstrating its power in games and movie performance. The lack of expandable memory or a back camera is a bummer, but it's understandable given the dirt-low price for something that feels very well-built.On paper, sure, it’s a Kindle Fire killer, but with sales of that tablet drying up recently, is that saying all that much? That said, I think Google is off to a good start here. The specs are impressive, Android 4.1 feels simplified while retaining its flexibility, and TV shows and purchasable movies are welcome additions to the Google Play store.
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The Nexus 7 is impressive, though: a valuable addition to the tablet market. Google's challenge now is to put some real welly behind getting the device into people's hands, securing more innovative, high-quality apps for its store, and ensuring that its music, films, TV shows, e-books and magazine offering is good around the world, not just in the US. But it's the price that stands out for me with the Nexus 7, at £159 plus shipping for the 8GB version and £199 for the 16GB model. This isn't an iPad-killer, it's looking to establish (together with Kindle Fire) a separate market.
Google has finally unveiled Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and their new tablet, and they didn’t disappoint. The leaks leading up to the announcement took away some of the excitement, but overall I’m still extremely pleased and have enjoyed the device thus far. Is this the best Android tablet ever? No. Maybe. Is it available at an awesome low price of $199 and pretty amazing? Yes!. The only actual con to the Nexus 7 I see is the lack of a micro-SD slot. Everything else was just what I was expecting and more.
Google worked with ASUS and NVIDIA here to bring on a media beast like no other, offered at a price that, sold exclusively through the Google Play store online (for now), is almost undeniable. Even those who want a tablet just to fiddle with should and probably will be considering this device first in the near future – unless they want an iPad.
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With the iPad and the Amazon Kindle Fire being this device’s biggest competitors, you’ll want to know: which one is worth buying? There’s no perfect answer, but if I had a choice between the three and would get the chosen product for free, I’d of course pick the iPad – it costs more than 2 times this device’s base price for a reason. If I had to choose between the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire, I’d not think twice about picking the Google product. Every single feature on this tablet, unless you’re an Amazon junkie, is better than the Fire.
Google’s Nexus 7 tablet feels like the device that might just usurp the Kindle. It does everything that Amazon’s device has done so successfully since it launched in 2007, but with Google you can now also watch videos, browse beautifully rendered magazines and the web and of course check your email. A Kindle costs from just £89, but those extra functions are likely to persuade a huge number of people to part with £159. Google claims the device “just feels right” – they’re not making grand claims, but they’re aiming far beyond the small minority of global web users who are iPad fans. This is a pretty good first shot at that target.
My first impressions are positive. The device is 2.6 ounces lighter than the Amazon Kindle Fire but it feels lighter still — probably because of its sleeker rounded design highlighted by a rubberized back. The 1280 by 800 HD screen looks great when reading and when watching a video.
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Comparing the Nexus 7 with an iPad is a little comparing an orange with a (pardon the pun) Apple. The 7-inch form factor makes the Nexus a lot more portable — it fits easily into a man’s suit coat inside pocket and even in my pants pocket (not sure about women’s fashions). Of course there are some who prefer the larger iPad screen and the iOS apps but, personally, I find myself using my Kindle Fire more often than my iPad and I’m sure that will be even more true with the Nexus 7.