For the last three years, Apple has had the tablet market all to itself, ringing up sales of more than 10 million iPads. No wonder Apple stock recently zoomed past $700 a share.
Now, Google has teamed up with Android to produce the Google Nexus 7, a smart, smaller alternative to the iPad that has tekkies buzzing. Others have tried the 7-inch market, notably Samsung’s Galaxy series, but the Google Android pairing is the first to feature a new entertainment platform, Google Play. This puts the Nexus 7 not only in competition with the iPad, but with Amazon’s Kindle Fire series.
Half the Weight and Price
At about half the weight–and half the price–of the iPad, the Nexus 7 is sure to attract a lot of interest this holiday season. Walmart and other big box retailers were recently selling the Nexus 7 for $249, but Google has a $199 offer on the ‘Net.
Opening an account at Google Play nets a $25 credit toward the purchase of apps, music and other media.
Powered by Jellybean software, the Nexus 7 is an ideal surf the Internet and receive your email device. Still need to carry around a phone too. But, once consumers get used to browsing the ‘Net on a seven-inch screen, reading Websites off a phone screen may become passe.
The screen has a bright, clear 16×9 aspect ratio, which makes watching movies and videos a treat in such a small package. The music player is a beast, though it may seem quite vanilla out of the package. The secret is in the player’s equalizer, which boosts frequencies according to music type–rock, classical,etc.–or by the user’s individual preferences. The speakers on the Nexus 7 are adequate for casual listening, but the output of the Nexus 7 will be best enjoyed through some sort of outboard system. The equalizer in the Nexus 7 makes it a slightly zippier player than itunes.
Since nobody gets the advertised battery life from most any device, the Nexus 7 is advertised to generate enough juice for ten hours of Web browsing or reading. Out of the box, battery life seems to be closer to six or seven hours; charging takes about two hours.
It’s not surprising that the Nexus 7 lags behind both Apple and Amazon in content. Android and Google are obviously new players here, and a look through the Google Play app store looks remarkably like the first offerings for Apple’s iPad three years ago.
One glaring omission is the lack of a recognized word processing program like Word or Pages. The Nexus 7 does offer a number of business software suites which have basic word processors built in such as the Kingsoft Office Suite which comes in a free version. The on screen keyboard is adequate for writing emails and taking casual notes, but writing a novel on the Lexus 7 is probably not in the cards absent a major league word processor.
There are already options on the keyboard front, from USB keyboards built into cases to a full size Logitech model.