Review

Google unveiled it’s new tablet computer, the Nexus 7 based on its Android operating system today. Google is the latest challenger to Apple, maker of the popular iPad. The new tablet will also compete directly with Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle Fire since it’s priced pretty low and similar to Kindle.

The 7-inch tablet will come pre-loaded with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Google’s latest operating system. Available in black or white, an 8GB version will be priced at $199, with 16GB for $249. A quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1280 x 800 IPS display, 1.2-megapixel camera, 1GB of RAM, and a 4,325mAh battery are also included, consistent with previous leaks. It’s also got NFC, so you’ll be able to transfer things to other Android 4.0 NFC devices with Android Beam.

There’s no microSD card slot nor a rear-facing camera.

It fits nicely into the hand, and although the back is encased in plastic it still doesn’t feel as cheap as the price tag would suggest. Oddly the headphone port is placed at the bottom of the Google Nexus 7 rather than at the top or the side – this creates something of a lop-sided feel when you’re playing with the tablet, and we can see wireless headphones being a real boon here.

The battery life is a big talking point too, with a very decent nine hours of video playback or up to 300 hours of standby if you promise to be really lean with your tablet.

It’s rocking Android 4.1, the latest version of the OS (codenamed Jellybean) which adds in a few minor updates to the OS – namely better voice recogntion and the likes of Google Now, which will display cards in a contextual manner when you ask questions of the tablet.

Availability : The Nexus 7 will be available next month and the Surface this fall.

 

Google’s Nexus 7  Vs  Amazon’s Kindle Fire  Vs  Apple’s new iPad  Vs  Others

Google Inc.’s Nexus 7

  • Price: $199 for 8 gigabytes of storage, $249 for 16 GB.
  • Screen size: 7 inches diagonally
  • Screen resolution: 1280 x 800 pixels
  • Weight: 0.75 pounds
  • Cameras: Front-facing, 1.2 megapixel camera
  • Battery life: 9.5 hours
  • Operating system: Google’s Android
Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle Fire

  • Price: $199 for 6 gigabytes of storage
  • Screen size: 7 inches diagonally
  • Screen resolution: 1024 by 600 pixels
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
  • Cameras: none
  • Battery life: 8 hours.
  • Operating system: Modified version of Google’s Android
  • Pros: Cheap and portable. Convenient access to Amazon store.
  • Cons: No-frills tablet lacks camera and microphone. Small selection of third-party applications available from Amazon. Data storage cannot be expanded with memory cards. No option for cellular wireless broadband.
Apple Inc.’s iPad

  • Price: Starts at $499 for 16 gigabytes of storage, goes up to $699 for 64 gigabytes, more for versions with cellular data access. (Apple still sells the older, iPad 2 for $399.)
  • Screen size: 9.7 inches diagonally
  • Screen resolution: 2048 by 1536 pixels
  • Weight: 1.44 pounds
  • Cameras: 5-megapixel camera on back and a low-resolution camera on front, for videoconferencing
  • Battery life: 10 hours.
  • Operating system: Apple’s iOS
  • Pros: Unmatched access to third-party applications, high-quality Apple software and the iTunes store. High-resolution screen. Widest range of cases and accessories available. Available with access to fast 4G wireless broadband networks.
  • Cons: Relatively expensive. Data storage cannot be expanded with memory cards.
Samsung Electronic Co.’s Galaxy Tab 2 10.1

  • Price: $400 for 16 gigabytes of storage
  • Screen size: 10.1 inches diagonally
  • Screen resolution: 1280 by 800 pixels
  • Weight: 1.24 pounds
  • Cameras: low-resolution front camera, 3-megapixel back.
  • Battery life: 11 hours.
  • Operating system: Google’s Android
  • Pros: Lighter, thinner and cheaper than iPad. Longer, narrower screen better suited to movies. Also with 7-inch screen for $250. Storage is expandable with microSD memory cards. Can act as a universal remote control for an entertainment center.
  • Cons: Selection of third-party applications not as good as iPad’s, but wider than Kindle’s. Screen resolution lower than iPad’s. No option yet for wireless broadband, but likely to come.
Barnes & Noble Inc.’s Nook Tablet

  • Price: $199 for 8 gigabytes of storage, $249 for 16 gigabytes
  • Screen size: 7 inches diagonally
  • Screen resolution: 1024 by 600 pixels
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
  • Cameras: None.
  • Battery life: 11.5 hours.
  • Operating system: Modified version of Google’s Android
  • Pros: Cheap and portable. Storage is expandable with microSD memory cards. Easy access to Barnes & Noble book store.
  • Cons: Selection of third-party applications is small. Barnes & Noble lacks wide range of content. Lacks cameras and option for wireless broadband.
Microsoft Corp.’s Surface

  • Price: Not yet announced. Storage options will range from 32 to 128 GB
  • Screen size: 10.6 inches diagonally
  • Screen resolution: Not yet announced.
  • Weight: About 1.5 pounds for low-power version, 2 pounds for version running PC-style Intel processor.
  • Cameras: Front and back cameras
  • Battery life: Not yet announced.
  • Operating system: Microsoft’s Windows
  • Pros: Runs upcoming version of Windows. Compatibility with programs available for traditional Windows computers. Storage can be expanded with microSD memory cards.
  • Cons: Runs upcoming version of Windows. Operating system lacks good track record on tablets, and selection of third-party applications is small.


About the Author

arunenigma
Computer Science Graduate Student @ Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA