How does Google’s new 7″ tablet compare to the iPad,
Kindle and Samsung tablets?
Google’s first tablet called the Nexus 7 (which is
actually made by ASUS) is a worthy device for anyone
considering a lower cost tablet. It became such a popular
tablet that the larger capacity (16GB) device is was sold
out within the first week of its release (orders are being
At $199 (8GB) & $249 (16GB), they are significantly
cheaper than the larger iPads ($500-$900) or Samsung
Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 ($400) and in my opinion, provides much
more bang for the buck than the comparably priced Kindle
The only similar performing product at the moment is the
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 (8GB $249), which I’ll compare
in more detail later.
The Nexus 7 has been beautifully crafted with beveled
edges as well as a non-slip perforated backing; it’s slim
and light and feels great in your hands (and very easily
used with one hand).
The smaller form factor has some definite advantages over
larger tablets as it easily fits in the back pocket of my
pants or inside a coat pocket making it much more mobile,
meaning you’ll likely use it more.
The ‘IPS’ (In-Plane Switching) LCD screen is super sharp
and was one of the most common things folks remarked about
when I handed it to them to play with. The IPS technology
also provides for a very wide viewing angle, which is
great for those times you want to watch a video with a
friend or two.
The Nvidia quad-core processor combined with the latest
Android operating system called ‘Jellybean’ and the
smaller form factor make this a no-brainer for anyone that
likes to play games on their tablet. The size and weight
also makes it much more suited to game playing than the
larger 10″ tablets.
At $199, Google had to make some decisions about what to
leave out in order to hit the price point, so you won’t
find a rear-facing camera, a memory expansion slot or any
video output ports on the Nexus 7.
If any of those features are important to you, but you
want to stick to the smaller 7″ format, you will want to
give the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 a serious look.
The Galaxy Tab 2 only has a dual-core processor and is
loaded with the previous version of the Android OS (Ice
Cream Sandwich) but if taking pictures and video with your
tablet and having the ability to expand the storage are
more important than playing games, the additional
performance of the Nexus 7 isn’t as important.
From the apps standpoint, the iPad still leads the pack as
far as selection goes, however, the Android platform is
closing the gap quickly. Unless you have a specific app
that will drive your buying decision, you should be fine
with either platform.
The apps available for the Kindle Fire pale in comparison
to the other two platforms, so unless apps don’t matter to
you, I’d steer clear of this modified (& limited) Android
device from Amazon.
For its first attempt at making a tablet, Google has done
an admirable job and many are speculating it’s adding to
the reasons that Apple is going to finally produce a 7″
iPad Mini (some time before the end of the year).
Amazon is also working on the Kindle 2 as a means to keep
up with the pack, so if you aren’t in a big hurry to get a
new tablet, waiting to see what each of these camps come
up with is a pretty smart play.
The sweet spot for buying a tablet this year will likely
be in November as the new product releases combined with
holiday sales will yield some pretty interesting
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