First Jellybean deviceby Ravi Sinha, on 23 July 2012
Budget tablets have always been an urgency and a hot topic, but never more so than in India. When a majority of your population is middle-class, it makes sense to create a tablet they can afford. However, this has ultimately produced some of the shabbiest tablets to exist. Yes, they’re affordable and can do the most basic of things, but they don’t live up to what a tablet can do. So the real question is: What is a real budget tablet meant to do?
Google, in partnership with Asus, has seemingly answered that question and so much more with the Nexus 7. It’s unbelievable that a tablet like this could be so affordable, but here it is. It’s a very unassuming device, and doesn’t stand out immediately but still sleek and well-made. A rubber back casing helps when getting a grip, while the build quality is suitably sturdy. It may be 0.41 inches thick but still weighs a decent 340 grams.
Would you expect a budget tablet with powerful specs? The Google Nexus 7 thinks you would and comes with a Tegra 3 quad core 1.3 GHz CPU, with 1 GB of RAM and between 8-16 GB of internal storage, depending on the configuration you go for (microSD support is lacking). Talking performance, the tablet certainly bypasses all the dual-core hardware we’ve been seeing, and measures up admirably to the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity TF700. The display, a continuous point of contention with budget tablets, is fantastic here. A 1280x800 resolution across 7 inches, IPS technology, great viewing angles, amazing brightness - how Google and Asus got it right when so many others struggle is a mystery. But a blessing all the same. Some may look upon the lack of 3G and 4G as a problem, but WiFi is still supported. Honestly, if it becomes big enough, we’re sure a 3G/4G update will be incoming.
There is no rear camera, but a 1.2 megapixel camera on the front can be used for video conferencing. Google must have listened to all the complaints about the practicality of taking pictures using a tablet. But either way, if it means they could make the good even greater, than all the better.
For example, look at the battery life. It measures a good 10 hours, almost as close as the iPad 2012, but more than the Infinity TF700. That’s a quality battery, that competes with the big boys, at more than half the price.
Finally, if all that weren’t enough, the Google Nexus 7 ships with the new Android 4.1 Jellybean UI. If you haven’t checked out it’s features, simply know that it is phenomenal, and utilizes quad-core technology better than ICS. Google has certainly pulled off a major coup with this.
So the Google Nexus 7 is not only one of the best tablets around, or the first Jellybean device, but also a budget tablet. If that doesn’t automatically make it a must-buy, what else possibly will?