The Nexus 7 is a very cheap, very well specc’d Android tablet. But can it live up to expectations?
When I received my Nexus 7, the first thing that struck me is how Apple has made so many other tech companies take their packaging more seriously. The box looks nice. But it’s a bitch to get open.Once it was open, though, I was awed yet again – it’s insanely awesome (yes.. I’m reading Steve Jobs’ biography at the moment, well worth a read, on your new Nexus 7 perhaps!).
Photos don’t do it justice – it’s a beautiful device, and a great size.Though I’m not a particular fan of iOS, I’ve always really like the iPad hardware – but once you’ve used a Nexus 7, the iPad just seems silly. It feels so much bigger and heavier (it’s almost twice the weight, though for some reason Wired report that the Nexus 7 “feels heavy”), and for little gain. I now feel that once the 7″ mark has been reached, there’s little to gain by increasing screen size to 9-10″. There’s plenty of room for productivity, and at no point does using the device feel cramped.
The software runs silky smooth, though Google might prefer I told you it was ‘buttery’, and you can enjoy a wealth of awesome apps and movies with the £15 Play voucher Google will email you on receipt – as soon as you activate the device in fact, so the first notification you receive is an email with £15 voucher. Nice touch.
I have only two complaints: the first being the slowness of Google, Asus, and any other partners involved, to offer cases and covers for sale. There should have been at least one on sale from day one. I don’t doubt for a second there aren’t many disappointed users who have already scratched their screen, and would’ve bought a case with it, had there been one.
My second complaint is the obvious one, many people are reporting issues with their backlight, leaking through the edge to create a somewhat stage-light-looking feature across one side of the IPS display. It’s not an uncommon complaint in Asus products, and indeed my own unit is flexing at one side where the bezel is slightly loose, though there’s no leakage unless I touch the bezel there, when the colours distort. I have contacted Google for replacement, and received the following response:
We’ve received your information and will be in contact with you as soon as possible. We’re experiencing extremely high volumes at this time, so please expect some delay in response. If you have anything else to tell us in the meantime (additional details or new developments), feel free to reply to this e-mail.
Which suggests that they may have had a fair few requests for returns due to this issue.That aside, it’s an awesome device that is truly a pleasure to use: the ideal form-factor. I expect the units being manufatured now have the bezel/backlight issue sorted, so any orders from now on will be fine – and I hope to join you all with a replacement as soon as possible.For £149, everyone should buy a Nexus 7.