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.
I've had my new Nexus 7 32GB tablet for a while now, having picked one up from a Bestbuy in the USA. My impressions of it are hugely positive.
Firstly the size: it is a little narrower than the old Nexus 7 (which I also own, with a smashed screen, oops) and is all the better for it. The bezel is narrower, not the screen. It is a delight to pick up and use, being both lighter and (to my eyes) better looking than the older version. Actually the new shape makes it resemble a large phone rather than a small tablet.
The display: it is HD. 1920 lines versus the 1280 of the older model. Can you notice it? Not really. The screen is too small to really see any difference. The benefits are probably all in marketing, or for someone with keener eyes than mine. However the screen is certainly more colourful than the old Nexus 7 which I felt was washed out compared to products such as the iPad and my phone (an HTC One). One downside on the glass: it smudges much more easily than an ipad. New owners (myself included) will be slightly obsessive with their screen cleaning.
The cover: the back of the device is a matt rubbery/plastic and is great to touch and hold.
The sound: this is (from external speaker) a vast improvement on the old model. Obviously its not super hi-fi, but it is fine for casual use.
Apps: Most of my apps copied across. Two didn't: BBC iPlayer and EA Tiger Woods 2012. Both of these play happily on my old Nexus 7 (also running Android 4.3) I think the issue is that neither can be installed on 4.3. I installed them on my old Nexus on Android 4.2, then upgraded. Presumably that is supported! BBC iPlayer is a big issue for me. When BBC upgrade this app to be installable on 4.3 I hope they add downloads. Still waiting.....
Price: I got mine for £172 which is substantially cheaper (approx £70?) then the UK RRP. That's a lot. Obviously not worth flying to America for but does raise the question of WHY.
Camera: hmm...possibly not my first use of a tablet, but it has one on the back and on the front, and it takes pictures. Do not throw away your DSLR yet.
Battery life: I am catching up on old TV series during my commute. Twin Peaks, The Sopranos, West Wing...I would say I am getting up to 10 hours of video playback, which is superb.
eReader: The Kindle app works fine. Obviously reading on a backlit screen like this is inferior to a real Kindle as it is more of an eyestrain, but it is perfectly OK for the purpose in shorter bursts.
Conclusion: in our house we have a variety of touch screens: iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, HTC One, Nexus 7 (both models now) and a Samsung Galaxy S2. It is absolutely still true that the slicker user experience is with the Apple devices. However the gap is narrowing, and for a user who tinkers a bit more than necessary the Android platform is superb. I like the fact I can just load any video files onto the device and find an app that will play them. So far I am really enjoying this tablet, and honestly the decision on this vs the ipad mini could come down to price alone (assuming the BBC get their act together soon). There isn't any measurable way the iPad mini is superior (yet). And this doesn't just beat the ipad mini on price, it murders the ipad mini on price.
EDIT: hurrah! As of today 5th Sept the BBC app is not only now available to download on 4.3, but program downloads work too and look amazing. And that, ladies and gentlemen, makes the experience complete.
on 13 September 2013
Full disclosure; I've been an Apple guy since 2006. I currently own 3 iMacs, 2 MacBook Pros and a MacBook Air.
I've also been an iOS guy since 2008. I've owned the iPhone 3, 4, 4S and I bought a 64Gb iPhone 5 the day it was released. I've had the iPad 1, and I own a retina iPad, and an iPad Mini, as does my daughter.
However, over the past several months I've become disillusioned with the iOS platform. And after using a developer version of iOS7 that feeling didn't go away.
So a month or so ago I bought the HTC One phone and fell in love with Android.
And it was Android that led me to the Nexus 7.
Logging into the Google Play store I saw the advert for the Nexus 7 and was smitten by it. I already knew how superior Android is to iOS and I was getting tired of my iPad Mini's lack of a retina - or HD - display. The iPad Mini was my most used device and it was running iOS 7.
Researching the Nexus 7 2nd edition further, I realised that it IS the best small tablet on the market, so I took the plunge and purchase the 32Gb version.
Obviously I can compare it to the full suite of Apple mobile devices, so I'm talking from a position of having "been there, done that" with Apple.
No, the overall build quality isn't as 1st class as the iPad Mini.
But the Nexus 7 *feels* more comfortable, more tactile...just BETTER in the hand. The screen is incredible. It's almost uncomfortable to use the display at full brightness, and text on websites, books, Flipboard, Twitter, Facebook etc, is crisp and sharp thanks to the tablet's incredibly high pixel count.
Netflix is soooo good on it, a much better viewing experience than the iPad Mini.
The screen smudges up much more easily than Apple tablets, however, so bear that in mind. And you'll definitely want to get a case and/or screen protector.
Android 4.3 is a joy to use, and the tablet's processing power and RAM mean that it snaps between apps. Much faster, more capable than any of my iPads.
The camera isn't brilliant, and this is one area where - in my opinion - the iPad Mini trumps it. But if you're planning to use your tablet as a camera, you probably want to reassess that strategy...
Overall, I can't recommend the Nexus 7 2 highly enough. The price point is fantastic, the screen is incredible, the user experience of Android 4.3 is fantastic, the device is just right in the hand.
on 12 June 2014
This is my 4th tablet, after a few excursions into the cheap Chinese tablet market (unsuccessfully, 2 failed with battery issues and too expensive to return to China). I have the previous series 1 Nexus 7, which I was also impressed with and has now been commandeered by my 10 year old son for gaming apps.
So in comparison to the series 1 Nexus 7, you immediately notice the improved screen resolution on power up. The slight improvement in performance from the additional RAM and processing power is again noticeable (slightly). So everything I liked about the series 1 with more of everything, there doesn't appear to be a downside.
Setting up took less than an hour, which included an operating system update from Android. This is where having a Google branded tablet is a bonus, you get the updates as soon as they're released. I entered my Gmail ID and was instantly presented with a list of Apps I'd previously downloaded and given a choice of downloading them again, the browser has also transferred my bookmarks and saved my passwords, nice!
I'm a fan of the Android OS, simple and intuitive to use and I always seem to be able to find a solution to any issues, few that there are. Apps are plentiful and cheap, if not free! Anyone looking for an alternative to an iPad with similar levels of quality wouldn't be disappointed here.
Only issue I've encountered in the week of use is a slight stuttering in playback of downloaded BBC iPlayer programmes, I can't see any options for changing between hardware and software decoding but I'll keep looking for a solution.
I also purchased the MoKo Google New Nexus 7 FHD 2nd Gen Case - Ultra Slim Lightweight Smart-shell Stand Case, which lives up to its name and I would also recommend. Could only purchase in black though.
Third purchase was a Expower(R) QI standard Wireless Charger for Google Nexus 5 and Goole Nexus 7 II FHD Tablet, again a great piece of kit and works through the above case. I've had issues before with damaging devices by the constant plugging and unplugging of the micro USB for charging, so hopefully this should help with that.
If you buy the tablet I would recommend the above accessories.
on 31 March 2015
Bought this Xmas 2013. Last week the device would not charge from any of the USB cables, not without pushing down on the charging cable to an insane angle. It turns out this is a common problem with Nexus units and that Asus and Google do not feel that the integral USB port which provides charging and data sharing within the unit should not be covered by any warranty.
Here's the thing, the port that we had problems with is common to ALL nexus versions and other Asus products too. So after 18 months or so, you won't be able to manually charge your Nexus or get any photos or videos off it. When considering buying this, factor in the extra £10-£40 for a wireless QI charger that you will need in future and fire up your bluetooth on a regular basis.
Having owned the Nexus 7 (2013 edition) since the release date, I have thoroughly gone through every nook and cranny of this little gem, and believe that this is still the best 7" tablet to date!!
Google has really nailed it... and the competition, when it comes to practicality and affordability. Now I own various tablets, including the iPad mini, yet I have spent far more time using the Nexus 7 than any other.
The form factor and slim, lightweight design means that it still is the most portable tablet on the market. The stunning display and a speedy quad core processor make for a very pleasant user experience.
Compatibility with third party hardware and pricing should serve as a wakeup call for Apple!!
There are many other android tablets hitting the market on a daily basis, but what sets this particular tablet apart are:
- Responsive 7.02inch, 1920X1200 IPS screen (323 ppi), delivering stunning image quality
- Zippy Qualcomm Snapdragon(tm) S4 Pro processor clocked at 1.5GHz with an Adreno 320 graphics processor which handles gaming seamlessly. (Major upgrades to the older Nexus)
- 2GB RAM which is more than enough to handle the most demanding of applications
- Long battery life. Up to 9 hours of continuous use
- Near field communication (NFC): Enables NFC devices to establish radio communication with each other by bringing them into close proximity. No entering of codes is required
- Wireless Charging support via any Qi charger
- Portability and form factor
- Aggressive pricing
I will not delve further into the full specifications, as these can be easily viewed on various websites. After all specs mean nothing unless they translate into a user friendly experience.
All I can say is that the Nexus 7 is a pleasure to use, with very fast loading webpages and applications. It definitely is a premium tablet and will win the hearts of many.
It has definitely won mine!!!
on 13 February 2014
When I was looking for a tablet, I aimed for something that was more capable then most phones, and could run small games which provided fun and relaxing apps. My prime test was if this tablet could run twitch (a live video streaming site) then it would pass, and earn at least 3 stars, but because this not only fulfilled and passed, it extended my expectations of tablets.
I purchased the 32GB Nexus. I did this: because im a new one to tablets, and thought that 16GB may not be enough. When i first received this through the post (which I may add, I feel amazon has slacked on their postage) it came in a bright blue background box, which covered a plain white thick bx. Once removing this nicely finished box, the tablet was the first thing in my sights.
It had a lovely shine to the screen, and a nice matt black feel on the back. As I turned it on with excitement, I found: It already had apps installed like : Youtube, Google Chrome and Google Drive. This means I could "muck" around on this tablet for about 1 Hour before I felt I'd explored all of its features. Once I had opened the Google Store, I was bombarded with many choices, by clicking one tab from "Music, Movies, Games, Apps, News Stand, Books" you are instantly immersed in thousands of suggestions, and most popular, and "ones to watch for" indicating that you should watch these become popular. I loved this interface it had, as I filled my tablet with apps and games, I did not even know existed, and what improves that, is its 2GB RAM, which enables every game I played to run smoothly and with lovely graphics. I have played games like "Injustice: Gods Among Us" which seems to be a high powered game, and yet their is no lag, and no problems with it.
When it comes to music and video's, its compatibility is fine, but could be improved. When uploading video's to my gallery (for reasons I shall explain at the end) it takes a little longer to find them,as they are not obvious, unless you open your menu, find the gallery tab, and then open videos, and it should be there. This took me about a second to understand, compared to the ease of the rest, was a long time!
The music is lovely, as you can upload your own music to it, and it plays nicely out of its great speakers. And if that isn't your thing, then plug in your headphones, and BAM! you got yourself immersed.
When using this with my family, It becomes wonderful! I have used when cooking and needing to stay in touch with the Winter Olympics, and therefore, went straight into the BBC Sport app, clicked on the "Winter Olympics" tab, clicked live, and suddenly, its full screen, streaming without glitches or buffering, and I can enjoy it while producing my dinner. I have also bought an external "micro USB to HDMI" cable which enables me to connect my tablet to the TV, to show my family in full screen photos, videos, and listen to music. I have also uploaded apps like notepads, so I can keep my family up to date with things, as well as using the calendar to remind my family of things. We have used it with internet surfing, which is lovely to use. It is fast, smooth and simple, especially with a personal love of the microphone search. Where I can just speak into the tablet, from the home screen, and it opens up the Google search, and searches for what you want, straight away. It also knows where you are on the Google maps, without even plugging it in to anything, and even knows which way you are facing!
So for family, it is brilliant.
The only problem it has had with me, is its prices on the Google Store, like movies and episodes, as well as music, is as I feel over priced. Like I wanted to purchase an Arrow Episode (1 of 23, and an on-going series) and it was asking for £1.89. I was willing to forgive and forget, as I found a sale on for "Inception" where they wanted £2.49, I thought "great, nice to watch on a car journey" but I then read "Rent" and found it was £4.99 for the standard version, where the HD version for a film which would be shrunk down to 7" was asking for £6.99, where comparing this to the two disc DVD version at £4.10 from amazon, it doesn't do very well. I also feel its volume is good, but not loud enough for me sometimes, but I do feel I can forgive that because it might be to keep its sound quality at a high constant.
Overall I love this product, and was not expecting this much out of it (even now, I am watching "Would I Lie To You" on BBC iPlayer on it), even though I have an Xbox and a Computer, I seem to find myself on this tablet more often, with my family being able to see me downstairs, as well as their kind comment "its nice to see you haven't died up there, even though something is still in your hand". I have thoroughly enjoyed this product, and haven't found anything disappointing, and if I have, there has always been a way around.
This products display is impressive HD, its sound quality is incredible, and its interface and ease of use is wonderful. I feel it could match if not over throw an iPad's disgusting price and performance.
Thank you, and sorry for the long review, just wanted to make sure you knew enough before you buy.
on 1 April 2016
The Nexus 7 built by ASUS might be getting on a bit now but it is a faultless Android tablet. In my opinion nothing has come close to beating it especially at the price. It still gets full Android support with the latest Android versions and security patches sent as regular updates.
If you want a good, reliable Android tablet then you really can't beat this. The price is a true bargain and you don't get many of those these day.
The Nexus 7 doesn't have the most premium-looking design, but it does have is a warm and comfortable form that's a pleasure to use. It feels as light as a feather when first picked it up. When you wrap your fingers around its smooth soft-touch edges, you will realise that it has a good grip.
The tablet's 7-in. size makes it small enough to hold comfortably in a single hand, or your pocket. It is a nice balance of screen space and comfort. Even with the advances in mobile processing technology, it remains one of the smoothest and snappiest devices around. With its 323-pixel-per-inch 1080p display, for a device this size the tablet is a treat for the eyes. The colours are vivid, and it also offers excellent viewing angles unlike any run-of-the-mill laptop. Its speakers also pack a punch and watching videos is a great experience.
Being a Nexus device, the Nexus 7 runs an unmodified version of Google's Android software, which means it's clean, simple, and intuitive. And beyond that, it actually gets updates fast and frequently.
on 14 April 2014
The tablet itself is great but the charging/USB socket is weak and deteriorated until, after 6 months us, it didn't work at all. Asus refused to accept that this was a warranty issue, although I read on the web that it's quite a common problem. They wanted me to send the unit back, at my own cost, and then to charge for the repair. Con artists.