Nexus 7 Review: First Impressions Are Out

By Khurram Aziz | Nov 26, 2012 01:18 PM EST

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Google's first serious tablet offering to challenge Apple's iPad came in the way of its 7-inch tablet - the Nexus 7.

Available at a rock-bottom price and launched shortly before the 10-inch Nexus 10, the device sold out within hours of its release on Google Play. However, a few lucky customers have already got their hands on the mini-tablet and reviews are coming in thick and fast.

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The price of the Nexus 7 is significantly cheaper than the iPad Mini - available, like the Kindle Fire HD, from only $199 compared to Apple's offering priced at $329. What's more, the Google tablet has a significantly better display than the iPad Mini, producing 1200 x 800pixels compared to the former device at 1024 x 768pixels.

Additionally, the difference between the three leading 7-inch tablets is marginal, with the Nexus 7 running a 1.3GHZ quad-core processor with1GB RAM, just as snappy as the iPad Mini's Apple A5 processor.

On Amazon the tablet has received an impressive four stars from reviewers, with some lauding it as "The 7-inch tablet to get right now, it blows the competitors clean out of the water in terms of equipment and customization." 

Another reviewer, who gave the device four stars on Amazon, said "This is hands down the best Android tablet available. It's incredibly fast, has a really good front camera, the screen looks beautiful, and the features of Jellybean (Android 4.2) are great."

However, one Amazon reviewer complained about the tablets encryption technology, writing, "There is an option that allows you to encrypt the entire tablet. Once you've done this, every time you turn it on, you have to enter the same password you entered when you encrypted it - and encryption is NOT UNDOABLE!" 

The reviewer complains that the encryption not only maxes out the memory but is only undoable with a factory reset. Users on CNET have been equally enthusiastic about Google's 7-inch tablet device, also giving it an average four-star rating. One reviewer said of the tablet "This little sucker packs a big punch!" Hailing, it as a "discreet" device with a seamless interface allowing multiple hardware intensive applications to run at the same time, the reviewer's one reservation is lack of 4G support, but "besides that," that tablet is "an excellent buy for the money," he writes.

The story all round is positive with many preferring it over not only the bigger 10-inch devices, but also the similar 7-inch Kindle Fire HD.

A total of 22 reviewers on The Verge have given the device an enviable 9.4 out of 10 rating, with the only real downside being the lack of a rear camera. 

"Amazing tablet: Only possible downside is no rear camera but I never use that anyways," said one reviewer on The Verge. "I've had the N7 since it launched and I also have an iPad 3. From the day I got the N7 I haven't used my iPad much since," said another.

Scanning reviews across the Internet, the device seems an unqualified hit among customers whose only real complaint so far has been dealing with only one camera and lack of 4G support. However, priced at $199 for a 16GB model it's difficult to beat.

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