Here is why we think the Google Nexus 7 is the best seven-inch tablet out there.
Thankfully, the Nexus 7 does not come in fancy packaging; you know, the kind that would require you to solve a Rubik’s Cube before you can lay your hands on the device. Moreover, you cannot always figure out from which end of the box should the unboxing be done.
I remember a store assistant once using her nail extensions – as forceps – to unbox my current phone. The box had such tiny crevices that made it almost impossible to pull the flaps out without tearing off the cover. It had very little wiggle room for even a newborn’s finger to coax the box to open.
Unboxing the Nexus 7 is a breeze compared to the stress that the store assistant’s nails went through. Push your hand through the Nexus front cover and the box slides out of its pocket, like a turtle poking its head out from a shell. Now, lift the second cover to access the contents inside. See, It is simple.
I did not beat my chest and jump around the Nexus 7 like the apes in Stanley Kubrik’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Though, it does look like a miniature version of the mysterious monolith that falls out of the sky in the film.
I, however, was intrigued by its size; for I have never seen or held a seven-inch tablet before. Yes, tech geeks, this is your cue to close the browser window and trawl the internet for updates from the Mobile World Congress, which is currently underway in Barcelona, Spain.
The Nexus 7 felt light as a feather when I first picked it up. When you wrap your fingers around its smooth edges, you will realise that it has a good grip; props to its semi-rubbery backside with the word Nexus elegantly stenciled on it. It is, definitely, not something that you would put down immediately without toying with for a while.
I powered up the Nexus 7 and then deferentially synced my Google account, since it is standard procedure for first-time boot ups. If you do not have a Google ID I think it insists that you create one, like Microsoft eggs you on to create a Windows Live account for devices powered with Windows 8.
Once you are sorted with the sign-in process, your tablet will be up and running within seconds the next time you use it. Readwhere was, probably, the first app that I installed from the Google Play Store. For the uninitiated, it is digital newsstand that provides access to e-papers, magazines and books. The Indian Express e-paper was a joy to read on the Nexus 7. The images were sharp, the text was crisp, and I must begrudgingly accept that it felt better than the print version.
To test the responsiveness of the screen, I installed two of the most popular games on the Play Store. Subway Surfers and Temple Run 2 are rated highly for their gameplay. Both games require quick swipe gestures, and I could not think of anything better that would set a high benchmark for the screen’s responsiveness.
Display & Sound
Moving on, the Nexus 7’s speakers pack a punch. I used a single composed by the English indie rock band Alt-J to test the bass and treble. Needless to say, Fitzpleasure (single) hit all the right notes. The voice was clear, and so was the guitar riff and drum beats.
Watching videos on the Nexus is a great experience. The colours are vivid thanks to its superior resolution. It also offers excellent viewing angles unlike any run-of-the-mill laptop with a LCD screen.
I am going to hit the +1 button for its on-board graphics. This time I used the game Injustice: Gods Among Us, to test the graphics; and the result was excellent for a game which emphasizes a lot on graphic detail.
My only complaint about the Nexus 7 is that it does not come with a three-axis accelerometer. The screen alternates between landscape and portrait mode without any glitch. But when you are reading an eBook or scrolling an article under your bed sheets, it can get a bit cumbersome when you are lying on your side. The tablet does not quite know which viewing angle to use and it keeps alternating at the slightest of movements.
Furthermore, it takes a long time to charge. I would not be surprised if I completed watching the extended edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy before the tablet reaches its full charge. And it is only fair to say that the Nexus 7 has a good battery life.
The bottom line is, the Nexus 7 is the king in the seven-inch tablet segment. I wouldn’t judge you, if you would place it on a velvet cushion and drape it with fine woolens.
Rs 20,999 for 16 GB version. Rs 23,999 for 32GB.