Google Nexus 7 review

The first Google tablet finally takes the Android problem into its own hands

TODO alt text
Great Value

While Google and Asus have checked all the right boxes on the Nexus 7′s HD IPS display and it is indeed bright and rich in colour, we were disappointed to discover the overall contrast was somewhat muted on our review unit. (It's particularly noticeable on the home screens).

Google Nexus 7 review
Starting left, the Kindle Fire HD, Nexus 7 and iPad 2

Maybe the iPad or even Asus's own Transformer has spoiled us, but the Nexus 7 seems to lack the kind of deep, rich black levels you might find on something like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (which admittedly uses a more saturated, contrast-rich Super AMOLED display instead).

Google Nexus 7 review

This quibble aside, viewing photos or other content on the Nexus 7 is quite enjoyable, with overall contrast faring much better while displaying such media. Without a second unit to compare it against, we're left to wonder if the brand-new Android 4.1 might be to blame for the lower contrast levels.

Which brings us to the other star of the show: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google's latest version of its mobile operating system, which makes its debut on the Nexus 7. With Jelly Bean, Google has finally sanded down the rough spots in all the right places this time around.

Despite the modest point version increase from Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean introduces under-the-hood improvements such as "Project Butter," the company's new initiative to streamline the lag and general unresponsiveness Android has been notorious for in the past.

While the Android 4.1 soft keyboard is one of the best around, we were also able to install our second favorite, SwiftKey 3 Tablet, which mostly worked aside from being able to type our Facebook username and password while setting up personalised predictions.

The main star of the Jelly Bean show is Google Now, a card-based information service that uses GPS in an effort to become one step ahead of the user. While the feature may be limited by Wi-Fi only connectivity on the Nexus 7, we've taken a deeper look at Google Now in our Android 4.1 review.

Google Now

Coupled with the Tegra 3 processor and additional headroom afforded by 1GB of RAM, the Google Nexus 7 makes a great initial showcase for Jelly Bean.

Swiping through screens is fast and responsive – even on apps that haven't yet been updated for 4.1 – while flipping through one of the visually rich magazines now available from Google Play doesn't miss a beat. Ridiculous name aside, Project Butter delivers the goods.

Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet
Green CompliantYes
Flash Memory Capacity16 GB
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ModelULP GeForce
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time9.50 Hour
GPSYes
Product FamilyNexus 7
Front Camera/WebcamYes
Operating System PlatformAndroid
Processor ModelT30L
ColourNakasi Brown
Operating SystemAndroid 4.1 Jelly Bean
Brand NameAsus
Form FactorSlate
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Processor TypeTegra 3
Screen Size17.8 cm (7")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory1 GB
Weight (Approximate)340 g
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreQuad-core (4 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS
TouchscreenYes
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyTruVivid Technology, In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Height10.5 mm
Width198.5 mm
Depth120 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product NameNexus 7 Tablet
Product LineNexus 7
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part Number90OK0MI1100560U
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing Information

Simple. Beautiful. Beyond Smart.

The Nexus brand represents a premium Android-based device that delivers the best Google experience available on tablet. It's the confluence of the latest software and state-of-the-art hardware and represents a literal nexus of digital life.

Nexus 7 is Google's latest Nexus experience device and the first tablet to feature Android™ 4.1 Jelly Bean. It combines the best of both Google and ASUS design, with the most advanced software from Google paired with cutting edge ASUS hardware.

Package Contents
  • Nexus 7 Tablet
  • AC Adapter