The highly anticipated UK release of the new Google (and ASUS) Nexus 7 Android tablet has finally arrived. We pre-ordered and the shiny new slab arrived this afternoon in the office. We let Rikki have a play around with it first since he’s the one that uses tablets the most around here so he can fill in the rest of this blog posting…
“My first tablet was the iPad 3. I didn’t think I needed one but once I got it I found it was far easier than using my phone to check websites or mail and quicker than using a PC for Facebook and Twitter. Since last April the iPad has been a very useful gadget and a big time saver – the only problem is it’s just a little too bulky and that’s why I had my eye on the Nexus 7.
Ok, maybe saying the iPad was my first is a bit of a white lie. I actually bought an ASUS Transformer a good few years ago but after trying in vain to get it to play some of our clients video at even 720p it was returned to Amazon post-haste. Then again at the start of last year I opted for a Lenovo A1 which unfortunately proved to be equally uninspiring, again failing to live up the claims of HD video playback even trying a multitude of third-party codec packs and media players from the App Store.
So I ended up walking into the Apple store last year and just bought an iPad, mainly due to the retina screen and just how well it shows photos and video with almost zero pixellation. The problem was always the size of the unit and the improved tech specs of the new Nexus looked like it was a winner on paper. Getting my mits on the launch day delivery from our friends at eBuyer I was keen to see how Android has matured over the past couple of years and since this new Nexus is preloaded with Jelly Bean 4.3 I was expecting great things.
What I wasnt expecting was to have to enter the wi-fi password 3 times, have the new device randomly reboot itself twice while I was playing with it and then requiring an immediate OS upgrade. Minor annoyances dealt with I was looking forward to seeing the new display in action (with better pixel density than my iPad 3) plus the benefit of twice the RAM, twice the CPU core density and all the general improvements you would expect in a tech gadget a year and a half newer than the one I was used to using. Unfortunately having played around with the 7 Mk2 for the best part of the night (I write this at 2am) it looks like the good old 7 day distance selling regulation will be getting invoked and the Nexus will be going back to eBuyer. Why? Well its just not as good an experience. Here’s a breakdown …
Scrolling up and down apps and web pages is nowhere near as responsive as the iPad or my iPhone 5. Grab the screen on the iPad and slide your finger and the motion on screen is instant. With the Nexus 7 you drag your finger up and down and there is noticeable delay as the device plays catch up. It’s not horrible but its like going from a funky flat screen plasma back to the CRT telly you had as a kid – it works but it’s just not as good.
Loading up some apps and again the Nexus falls down. Facebook on IOS is fairly snappy, when it’s not crashing, but on the 7 its slow, scrolling chugs along and just doesn’t feel as refined. Even Chrome is a bit of a slouch.
Moving on to media and loading up the same image on both devices and putting them side by side shows the Nexus 7 to be slightly desaturated and with less red and a touch more green on show. It’s not horrible at all and is very good but just seems a touch too bright and washed out. It’s a million miles better than the Samsung OLED mess as seen on the S3 and S4 but I’m comparing it against what I was hoping it would replace the Ipad 3.
What I’m really saying is that the new 7 is the tablet I wanted to own. Its got the spec down, its got the screen size and weight Id like to carry around but even with its doubling of RAM and core count it just doesn’t match the year and a half old iPad I’m writing this quick review on. Sorry droid fanboys, I’m staying IOS for a while yet!”
Just as an aside, Rikki is in no way an Apple lover. Everything he uses is PC based on either Windows or Linux and has been meddling with computers since his 386 on MS-DOS 5.0