Recently, el Goog outed it’s first bespoke tablet, the Nexus 7. From the number you can infer that this is a 7 inch tablet, so the form factor is great. After watching the keynote presentation I came away from it a bit two minded.
One the one hand, if I looked at this as a device for ME, it sucks. It might be pretty and have a cool name, but there are things I want that it just doesn’t have.
On the other hand, when I looked at from the perspective of say, my sister or my girlfriend (i.e less obsessive geek), then it’s GREAT. Now it does everything it should.
Here’s what I mean.
Why The Google Nexus 7 Sucks
1. No 3G, Wifi Only
1. No 3G, Wifi Only
I use my current tablet when I’m on the go, and I use it a lot. I find it immensely helpful to be able to email, use skype or edit blog posts while I’m having a cuppa at the local coffee shop. Not being able to connect while on the go effectively rules this out as an option for me.
2. No expandable storage
Being able to carry (lots of) my content with me is a big deal. I want my movies, documents, books, games and especially music with me. I don’t like having to delete stuff because I hit a storage limit. The Nexus 7 comes in two flavours – the skinny version at 8GB and the not-so-supersized 16GB.
On my phone, 16GB is just fine, but my phone is still primarily a communication device, whereas a tablet is geared at media consumption. I simply don’t think that this would be enough space for me.
Google’s argument is that I can store my content on my Google Drive and access it in the cloud. If I’m at home. Or the coffee shop has wifi. But I can’t stream music in the train (see point 1).
So, the Nexus 7 doesn’t do two things I think are really important. So it kinda sucks, at least if you’re me.
Google Nexus 7 Introduction Video
Why The Google Nexus 7 Rocks
1. Form Factor
The size is great. For something that’s made for reading books and magazines and playing music, this is a very good size. A 10″ tablet can feel a little wobbly when you fire up the Kindle app, but 7 is just right. It’s small, light and it looks like a book.
If you’re the kind of person mainly accesses your content at home when you’re relaxing (read: most people), then even the lack of 3G is no problem. In fact, if you’re that person you probably didn’t even consider it a problem in the first place. It’s like your computer – that doesn’t have 3G now does it…
2. Looks and performance and updatability
From what I’ve seen, this thing is very pretty.From screen to back, it’s a nice slab of industrial design. My sister likes pretty things, this is a major consideration for her. I think Google has her covered in this department. All they need to do is make the screensaver a pair of shoes.
It’s fast (Quad Core Tegra 3 with lots of GPU cores), which is kind of important and very importantly, there’s no work needed to maintain it. The Android OS has many flaws and many strengths, one of these strengths (imho) is that you don’t ever REALLY need to upgrade it. Some of us might want to, but you don’t need to. Most people are fine with the version they got when they bought their robot thing.
3. The Price
The Nexus 7 starts at $199. This is still a fair bit of green, but compared to what you pay for other tablets (yes Apple, I’m looking at you) this is a steal. The Tegra 3 chipset and the dedicated GPU means it shoudl be fast enough to give most of the bigger contenders a run for their pixels when it comes to playing games and watching movies.
I simply can’t think of anything else this good you can get for $200. Period. But who knows, I might think it’s a cow pie once I get my hands on.
In closing, I think that the Nexus 7 is a good device, depeding on what you need. The tech set will bemoan it’s shortcomings, much like they did when the Kindle Fire was launched, but most will simply see this is a good looking, (very) fast device with a bright screen and a phenomenal price, so it should do very well.
And it’s made by a company that almost every person in the world knows, uses and probably trusts, which is a very big thing. Get more information on the official Nexus 7 site
P.S.The fact that they’ve gone to the trouble of pointing out that this is the Nexus 7 (i.e. 7inch) leads me to believe that there will be Nexuses (Nexi?) in other sizes as well, probably a 10″ in they follow the trend.