Nexus 7 Review

I've been using the new Nexus 7 Google tablet for a couple of months now and in a nutshell -- I really, really like it. It’s primarily an entertainment device and does that job well.  Don’t expect to get a lot of serious work done on it.  It’s not a laptop replacement.

I follow tech news closely but have never been an early adopter when new gadgets come out. But I pre-ordered the Nexus 7 8GB model and got one of the first ones when it was released in August.

Here are the short list of stats on the Nexus 7:

  • It runs the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) operating system
  • 7 inch 1200 X 800 HD display
  • 1.2 MP front-facing camera
  • Volume control
  • Mini headphone jack
  • Small but adequate speakers on the back
  • Small pinholes on the side for the microphone
  • Micro USB port for charging and docking to a PC where you can load and unload data.
  • Power button: press it quickly to put the device to sleep and press and hold to power it off.

It’s fast fun and capable. It has great battery life. I can get eight hours of continuous use.  I use it in the evenings so I get  few days of use before needed to charge it.  It’s a wi-fi device.  There’s no 3G or LTE service for right now but there is internal circuitry for that feature to be added in the future.

Although it’s plastic and glass It feels like a it has high build quality. Not cheap feeling.  It really works for me because I’m already so heavily invested in the Google ecosystem.  I use Gmail, Chrome, Maps,  Analytics, Picasa, You Tube, Calendar, Google + and many others.  It’s really good for posting to Twitter and Facebook.

It has tons of both free and pay apps. Google calls it’s app store Google Play. There’s limited availability to music and books.  Amazon has Google beat when it comes to music and books. I've abandoned my Kindle Touch because I can read all my books with the Kindle android app.  I got a $25 credit to use in Google Play. I’m not sure if that credit is still being offered.

There’s a few minuses but nothing that’s a deal breaker for me. It’s not a device to do serious work on.  If you have to type anything longer than an email forget it. You can view, create and edit Word docs but it’s slow and there’s not really enough screen real estate to be productive when writing.  I’ll have to use a full-blown laptop for true productivity. I’m not a tablet power user.  I’m happy to use it in the evenings while watching TV, while cooking, reading or listening to music.

Conclusion: I’m not sorry I got the 8GB version.  Most videos and radio are streamed so you don’t need that much storage. I have Google Drive and Dropbox so I have lots of cloud storage.  After using it for a couple of months it’s held up well and just keeps working great.  It’s not an iPad but it didn't cost $500 either.  Definitely worth the $199.  I give it 5 stars.