Top positive review
866 of 903 people found this helpful
Perfect size, perfect tablet, almost!
on 12 September 2013
The screen on this tablet is simply stunning, the 1920x1200 resolution is even crisper than your Full HD 1080p TV. The colours are great, brightness is unmatched and its pixel density is even higher than the iPad with Retina display. I had the old Nexus 7 before for a few months and I can certainly notice the speed boost and the better screen. However if I still had my Nexus 7 (which I sold about 8 months ago as I thought a netbook would be more useful, how wrong was I?!), I wouldn't necessarily sell it immediately for this. Yes the screen is crisper and has a faster processor, however the Nexus 7 is capable of doing the same task being a tad thicker and I wouldn't mind waiting a second or two more for it to load. This is because the old Nexus 7 was stunning at its time and still is. On the other hand, if you don't have a 7" tablet or have something like the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 or Tab 3 7.0 then this would be an amazing buy. I prefer Google Nexus devices because they have the fastest updates by a mile and also they are selling at a thin profit hoping that you would pay for the services on the play store. This means you're getting about £180-190 worth of hardware and paying £200. Compared to Samsung Galaxy tabs where they want immediate profit, you'll be getting £100 hardware and paying £180 for the tab 3. This is something to consider if you want the best bang for buck device.
Now lets talk about the specs. The CPU have been updated to a 1.5Ghz Snapdragon Krait core which is about 1.5-2x faster than the old Tegra 3 A9 cores running at same speed. This is very noticeable when loading webpages and launching apps. The GPU have been upgrade to the Adreno 320 which is 3-4x faster than the old Tegra 3 graphics however the device packs about 2.3x more pixels so you do notice smoother gameplay but due to the resolution its not like its 3-4x smoother than the predecessor. RAM have been upgraded to 2GB so you can store have more background apps running. The screen ofcourse being the most important update, now packs 323ppi 1920x1200 which is much brighter so its perfect for outdoor viewing. They've also added a 5MP rear camera capable of 1080p video capature and upgraded the front camera to 1.2MP and 720P HD video capture. Overall a much expected update, but I found it odd they had to up the pricing so much. Nevertheless, still £70 cheaper than the iPad Mini. Atleast they didn't have some obscure exchange rate and upping the price by $30 only meant a £40 increase.
Now you might ask why did I say its perfect but almost. Well nothing is perfect! Anyhow Android is currently still lacking tablet optimized apps, most of them are enlarged phone apps which is not as intuitive to use compared to the massive number of tablet apps the iPad Mini has. Also even though 7" is pretty much a perfect size, I still feel I could use the extra inch at times when browsing and have an 8". However that would increase the cost due to a larger display and a reduced battery life due to higher power consumption. The immense resolution sort of makes up for this as the text is clear even though being quite small. Its a hard decision. But in the end, there is no tablet on the market that can match the amount of hardware you're getting for your money along with the warranty and support. I can't really knock star off for those cons as I can deal with them and the apps situation will be solved overtime as they are updated. ASUS is truly amazing to be able to build such a device and Google to sell it at such a price. Its a perfect 5/5 star rating however it would be threatened by the iPad Mini 2 if they manage to squeeze a retina display with updated specs and more RAM at the same price. Because overall they still have the edge of better apps. But I wouldn't wait and would just get the Nexus 7 now as its a worthwhile buy definitely, unless you already have the old one then you might want to see how much you get for it first and see for yourself or you have already invest heavily in the Apple ecosystem's apps, iTunes etc you would be better of waiting for the iPad Mini 2. You can't do without a tablet nowadays! Its like must having a PC back 10 years ago in my opinion.
EDIT: A day into using it, I must say the screen is marvelous. After using it all day and looking back at my Galaxy Grand, its like night and day. The pixels become so obvious and just looking at text on the Nexus's screen becomes a joy.
Also I'm going to add a few things that I missed out. The build quality is very good for a plastic device, there is no flex at all and the back isn't slippy and has some grip to it but somehow feels quite smooth. The stereo speakers with one at the top and one at the bottom is amazing, one of the best speakers that I have heard but still can't be compared to front speakers that you see on the Nexus 10 and HTC One but its close. Charge time should be about 3.5-4 hours, I charged it from 50% out of the box to full and it took about 1.5-2 hours (didn't time it exactly). So my advice is: before they run out of stock, go get one now! :)
EDIT 2: (24th Oct 13) After a month and a bit into using this and with the iPad Mini with Retina just announced, I thought I'll just make an update. Tablet is still blazing fast even though I have over 20GB of content on it. No noticeable lag or slowdown which is pretty good for an Android device. A full charge can last 3-4 days depending on use, I tend to use it as a reading/browsing device for 1-2 hours a day before sleeping and about half an hour to an hour in the morning. Screen brightness is quite amazing, the outdoor visibility is just amazing and the screen itself is beautiful. The Rear Camera is pretty bad though, unless its just for quick snaps. But who takes pictures with a tablet anyways. On the other hand, the front facing camera is pretty decent with Skype/Hangout and taking selfies. Still love it after a month, its just such a beautiful device and soo thin! Real Racing 3 and Asphalt 8 runs beautifully on the Nexus 7, you'd forget that its a tablet and you're not on the PS3 or Xbox!
Now that the iPad mini with retina is coming out, I'd have to say my conclusion has to be altered. I would instead only solely recommend the Nexus 7 between the two as they've upped the iPad Minis price too much in my opinion. The screen density is virtually identical to the Nexus 7. The iPads CPU/GPU might be a bit faster, but to be fair you wouldn't notice. The Nexus 7's A15 quad is really blazing fast. So no real good reason to go for the iPad mini unless you have heavily invested into iTunes and the Appstore or REALLY need that extra 1 inch. 7" is really the sweet spot for portability, at 8" its nicer but it would be noticeably bigger in my opinion when travelling. I wouldn't pay £120 more which is 60% more over the Nexus 7 for an iPad Mini with Retina. Do you get 60% more screen area? No. Do you get a 60% faster CPU/GPU? No. Do you get 60% more RAM or storage space? No. So its up to you.