Ladies and Gentlemen, the people at Google and ASUS have done it again! The two technology companies have worked together to create a beautiful synergy sharing research and development opportunities and mountains of meta data trying to come up with not only a developer friendly tablet for the android ecosystem, but one that was also universally easy to navigate and true competitor in the tablet market. Last year’s Nexus 7 concept blew me away. of course I pre-ordered it, waited anxiously, and cherished the day it arrived. The sleek back, the perfect palm size, the sharp screen – oh boy, oh boy!
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. My initial complaints about few tablet specific versions of applications within the android ecosystem caught up to me fast. And just as the Nexus 10 was about to come out, I sold my Nexus 7 because it started to get buggy. It just was’t enough.
A few weeks ago, just before Hugo Barra left for Xiaomi phone in China, he energetically got up on stage and announced the beautiful, lighter, slimmer, yet equally as large in the screen size, Google Nexus 7 second generation developer’s edition tablet. Borrowing all of the specifications from the wildly successful Nexus 4 phone, the nexus 7 tablet packs into it’s thinner bezelled shell the snapdragon s4 pro processor set at 1.5ghz paired with 2gb of RAM and has internal storage options of either 16gb or 32gb. The screen is also a Nexus 4 like IPS display, however, the pixel density here is 323ppi (the highest for any tablet this 7″ size, mind you). The two biggest edition to the tablet is the new rear facing 5 megapixel camera for the rear and the addition of an LTE-radio unlocked for international use. The Nexus 7 is compatible with both At&t and T-Mobile here in the USA.
At the announcement time, Hugo let us know that the LTE-equipped version would be available in “coming weeks” through the Google Play Store, and So I waited. Last Friday, my dreams came true. Never have I been so optimistic and so pleasantly surprised about any electronic device that I have ever owned. With he first installment of the nexus, like I said earlier, using phone apps on the bigger screen looked awkward. Third party developers spent the greater part of the year fixing that with the more popular apps. Things look way more proportional. Because of the added pixel density everything looks high quality and pin sharp. the colors the screen plays back are vibrant and not over saturated. Whether laying in my bad, or skyping to other members in my office, the screen just works and works well.
With the original nexus 7, even things like facebook would crash occaisonally. Not anymore. In the weekend I have used the tablet, none of the applications that I have used have ceased or left me swearing and wanting to hurl the tablet like a discus by Greek Olympiad. When you put it toe to toe with an iPad Mini, applications launch faster on the Nexus, and even Google’s Now cards come up with information faster and often more detailed than Siri. Coincidentally if Google doesn’t understand what you’re looking for it simply “googles” search results instead of giving you some lame automated “I don’t quite understand what you are looking for…” or “that’s not appropriate…” responses that Siri spits out at you.
Google gives you a bonus of 2gb of T-Mobile service for 30 days. In my area, T-Mo doesnt have the greatest coverage, so it will be used on my At&t account at some point, but in the meantime, free data is free data; soak it up, folks.
So what does all this mean for the average consumer? Unless you’re totally over invested in apple, you would be seriously making a poor decision by not considering this tablet. It’s undoubtedly the best value available in the market, again. I can only hope the Google will continue to build upon this ingenious platform. With all that being said, my only major gripe with the device is the camera… I mean 5 megapixels… COME ON! The megapixel race is on folks. Samsung and LG are up 13mp, the HTC has the 4mp Ultrapixel, and the Motorolas have the 10mp clearpixel cameras, but you show up to the party with nothing but a generic 5mp camera….. really? It looks like old nexus one left over cameras. But at the end of the day, you aren’t buying this device for the camera, it’s unlocked video playback and entertainment monster. That’s why you need this tablet.