Google Nexus 7 review

Google first tablet market is Nexus 7, an Asus-made device which has impressed us no-end

The Nexus 7 has been on the market for a while now; it's been almost a year since it launched. Over that time a number of rival tablets have arrived, most of which have arguably been copycat efforts.

Google Nexus 7 review: Design
As the name suggests the tablet has a 7in screen as is therefore a small tablet. The Nexus 7 is respectably thin at 10.9mm and very light at 336g

It's designed to be held in portrait mode predominantly and we found it very comfortable in one hand, in either orientation. You can easily reach right round the tablet with one hand, like you would with a smartphone. The pint-sized dimensions of 120 x 199mm mean you can also put the tablet in the back pocket of your jeans or the inside pocket of a jacket.

The front is one piece of glass only interrupted by a camera and light sensor surrounded by a silver metal frame. The back of the Nexus 7 is a dark brown, effectively black, textured cover which has a rubbery feel. The finish on the rear cover provides a good amount of grip and feels nice to the touch.

Google Nexus 7 review: Build quality
We've come to expect tablets with a price tag under £200 to offer poor build quality. However, the Nexus 7 throws this trend out of the window. Google's tablet is well made and feels like a premium product, almost making us double check the price.

The scratch resistant Corning glass sits neatly flush with the metal frame and the same is true of the rear cover. The buttons and ports also feel solid, not cheap and nasty like we've come to expect from budget tablets.

One very small quibble we found was rippling on the screen at the top and bottom edges. This is something we saw on the HTC One X and happened when putting pressure on the display. We're not suggesting that everyone will be pushing the screen like it's one giant physical button but it is more worrying in terms of traveling with the Nexus 7 in a bag.

Google Nexus 7 review: Hardware
The Nexus 7 has a surprisingly good line-up of hardware for a tablet with a budget price tag. For starters it uses the same nVidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor found in many high-end tablets. This is backed up by a healthy 1GB of RAM.

In the GeekBench 2 test the Nexus 7 scored highly with an average of 1452 over three runs. This reflects how smooth the tablet runs and performs. In our Egypt HD gaming test, it scored a solid framerate of 14fps.

The highlight for us is the 7in screen which uses a backlit in-plane switching (IPS) panel with a resolution of 1280 x 800. The display has excellent contrast, brightness and viewing angles. The level of detail is high thanks to the 1280 x 800 resolution giving a pixel density of 216ppi. This is higher than the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7.0) which costs more.

Storage is limited at either 8GB or 16GB with the latter costing £199 compared to £159. It's worth noting that the full quoted capacity won't be available since the Android operating system uses around 2GB of the space.

There is 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi so you can tether the Nexus 7 to a smartphone for data on-the-go. Other connectivity includes Bluetooth, GPS and a near-field communications (NFC) chip.

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