2013 Google Nexus 7 from Asus: Mini Review

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Google recently announced the new Nexus 7 and it is really impressive. Apple will have alot of work to do to top this with its iPad Mini. Here we have a mini review on the new Nexus 7 for you. Its a very good review from ITProPortal.com. Have a good read. We apologize for being late.

Balance – that’s the key. Last year’s Nexus 7 set the bar for small tablets with just the right balance of features, size, and price. This year, Google and Asus have done it again, balancing size, performance, and a wallet-friendly price to hit the sweet spot for a compact tablet.

Physical features

The new Nexus 7 is slimmer, lighter, and more comfortable to hold than the original, which was already more comfortable to hold than the oddly wide Apple iPad mini. This model measures 200 x 8.6 x 114mm (WxDxH) and weighs 290 grams, with tapered sides and a soft-touch back that somehow feels a little classier than the weird faux-leather of the original Nexus 7. Asus still understands that narrowness, more than anything else, is key to making a device you might sometimes want to hold in one hand.

There are very few ports here – just microUSB, a headphone jack, and a microphone – and narrower, but not very narrow, side bezels framing a sharp 1,920 x 1,200 screen.

The screen is the big advance here. Asus swapped out the Nexus 7’s original 1,280 x 800 screen with a gorgeous 1,920 x 1,200-pixel IPS LCD panel. At 323 ppi, it’s almost exactly the same density as the iPhone 5’s Retina display and higher than any iPad. It’s bright enough for most circumstances, colours are very true, and the viewing angle is good – but it’s also small enough that the screen doesn’t totally kill battery life. We got 7 hours and 37 minutes of video playback with the screen turned up to max brightness. While that’s definitely shorter than the 10 hours that last year’s model, with its less dense screen, managed, it’s still quite respectable.

The Nexus 7 comes in three models. The first two are Wi-Fi only, with support for 802.11a/b/g/n on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands – the support for faster 5GHz Wi-Fi is another upgrade from last year’s version. The 16GB Wi-Fi model has gone on pre-order for £199 (expected to be RM999), and the 32GB version (which we were sent for review) retails at £239 (possibly RM1199). The third unit packs 4G LTE support and will retail at £299 (RM1499) (with 32GB of storage – there’s no 16GB option with the LTE slate).

All of the models have GPS, which makes this bright little tablet an absolutely killer in-car navigation system. The GPS on my test tablet locked in very quickly. The tablet also has Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, although surprisingly there’s no support for Google Wallet. Maybe Google Wallet is a thing of the past.

Performance, OS and apps

The Nexus 7 is the first Android 4.3 tablet, running a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm S4 Pro APQ8064 processor. Think of it as about two-thirds of the way up the current performance ladder, with the Samsung Galaxy S4 phone at the top. It almost doubles the performance of last year’s Nvidia Tegra 3-based Nexus 7 on pure processor and graphics benchmarks, and positively crushes the iPad mini on the Geekbench system benchmark: The mini scored only 748, while this guy registers 2,643. The Chrome browser beats the iPad mini on the Sunspider browser benchmark by about 30 per cent.

Real-world performance isn’t solely dependent on processor speed: It’s dependent on how many pixels you’re pushing, the OS, and third-party apps. That’s where the Nexus 7, running Android 4.3, runs into a bit of trouble. I run the same bunch of Android apps every time I test a tablet, and some of them either didn’t show up in the market or got buggy on the Nexus.

Need for Speed: Most Wanted, for instance, suffered from weird graphics artifacts. The UI in Netflix was sluggish, although videos played just fine. Asphalt 7: Heat, one of my standard test games, didn’t even show up on a search. Sometimes when searching Google’s own Play store, animations would get jittery or the text entry box would lose focus. The popular video player MX Player quit on launch. I suspect a lot of these problems are Android 4.3 issues which will get solved quickly as the app creators update their work.

I didn’t see any such problems in Google’s other built-in apps, and other apps such as Riptide GP2, Paper Monsters, Dead Trigger, and Photoshop Touch ran just fine. Most importantly, Google’s Chrome browser runs very, very well here, as do Netflix and Amazon’s Kindle app. I’d still recommend e-ink e-readers to many people because of their vast reserves of battery life and sunlight readability, but this will do a great job with children’s books and comics.

This has always been Google’s struggle with Android tablets: Making sure third-party apps are up to speed with the platform. Google has changed the home page of its Play store so only tablet-friendly apps show up, although you can still find “ugly” apps not designed for tablet screens by searching for them. Those apps still don’t look too bad on a 7in screen; it’s really with 10in tablets that you’ll run into problems.

Apple’s iPad mini has a superior app experience, it’s true. You’ll find more and better apps in Apple’s app store, and they’re pretty much all guaranteed to run smoothly. But the Nexus 7’s app situation is good enough for that not to be a deal-breaker.

Android 4.3’s other flagship feature makes this an excellent kids’ tablet. Android 4.2 allowed for the creation of multiple user accounts on your tablet, and now “restricted profiles” have been introduced to let you create accounts that can only use certain apps. I created one and found that the restricted account was locked out of the Google Play store. YouTube threw up an error message but worked anyway; all the other apps I allowed my virtual child to use worked fine.

Multimedia

With no memory card slot, I suggest buying the 32GB Nexus 7 (with 26GB of storage available) over the 16GB unit. The price difference is only £40, and you’ll want the space. The new Nexus 7 adds a 5-megapixel rear camera to the tablet, keeping the 1-megapixel front camera as well.

The new Android 4.3 camera app’s UI is extremely simple, although you still get some options like capture size, a countdown timer, a few scene modes, panorama and Photo Sphere. Photos taken with the main camera were clear enough in good light, although bright areas were washed out and there was some visible colour noise. In low light, the noise really ramped up. Front camera images tended to be very soft, even smeary (but not blurry) in low light. The main camera captured 1080p video at 30 frames per second indoors and out; the front camera captured 720p at 30 frames per second. There’s no image stabilisation, but there is a time-lapse mode.

The front camera is fine for video chatting, and the main camera will do just fine for augmented-reality apps, bar code scanners, language translators, and all the things you really should be using a tablet camera for. People taking snapshots with tablet cameras generally look like idiots – don’t be one.

Asus amped up the volume of the stereo speakers here, and they’re now quite loud, although they’re still tinny. Fraunhofer surround sound gives some real stereo separation in material coded for it, like Google Play movies. Still, the only way you’re going to get bass is with headphones.

The Nexus 7 had no problem playing MPEG4 and H.264 videos in resolutions up to 1080p, as well as streaming Netflix and Google Play movies. There’s no DivX or Xvid support by default.

The Nexus 7 doesn’t come with any wired means to output video to a TV, but it works with Google’s new $35 (£23) Chromecast to play some streaming (not local) media on TVs, and there’s also a SlimPort micro-USB-to-HDMI adapter available that works with this Nexus 7 and last year’s Nexus 4 smartphone.

Verdict

The new Google Nexus 7 will be the right small tablet for most people when it comes across to the UK (hopefully pretty soon, according to Currys it will be September). Regarding rivals, the cheaper £159 Amazon Kindle Fire HD is only the right choice right now if you’re heavily invested in Amazon’s media world, although a new and more competitive model is probably coming soon. If you want to go a lot cheaper, then obviously you’ll be sacrificing a great deal for a really budget Android slate – not the least of which will be the new Nexus 7’s superb screen.

At the higher end, the £269 iPad mini has an unmatched range of apps, but you’ll pay for that heavily in terms of a grainier screen, higher price, and more awkward form factor. And the £339 Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 has a Dirk Diggler-like “one special thing” in terms of its pen support, although you should only commit the cash if you need that pressure-sensitive pen.

Small tablets are most often used for some media, some gaming, some web browsing, and some e-reading. Provided third-party developers update their apps for Android 4.3 – and I think they will, soon – the new Nexus 7 is ideal for all of those, thanks to its sharp screen, comfortable ergonomics, and solid performance at an ideal price. All this means that Google’s latest tablet effort gets one of our Best Buy awards.

Write in to us for any queries!

[Via]

Google announced Nexus 4, 7 and 10 together with a new flavor of Jelly Bean

Despite the cancellation of Google event due to hurricane attack in the US, they finally announced the Nexus 4 smartphone(LG), Nexus 7 32GB variant (ASUS) and Nexus 10 high resolution tablet (Samsung) along with the new version of Jelly Bean called Android 4.2 via online.

“Today, we’re excited to announce three great new Nexus devices … in small, medium and large,” wrote Google in a blog post. “And they all run Android 4.2, a new flavor of Jelly Bean — which includes the latest version of Google Now and other great new features.”

Nexus 10

The Nexus 10 by Samsung, includes a 2560 x 1600 resolution Super AMOLED display with 299ppi making it the highest resolution tablet today. Surpassing the iPad’s 264ppi Retina Display. The Nexus 10 also features Samsung’s new 1.7 GHz Exynos 5 chips, 2GB of RAM, NFC, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a 9,000mAh battery that Google says will deliver five hours of video playback, or 500 hours of up-time on standby. No SD card slot for additional storage and comes with Android 4.2 pre-loaded as expected from a Nexus device. The 16GB version will cost $400, while the 32GB model is priced at $500. Available November 13. Despite of the awesomely high resolution, we think that the Nexus 10 is perhaps on of the ugliest tablet to date. Samsung is not known for making beautiful tablets and this is one of their worst design for tablets.

Nexus 4

Nexus 4 is a smartphone by LG with Quad-core processor, 4.7-inch display (320dpi), wireless charging capabilities, Google Now, and a new feature called Photo Sphere for creating 360-degree, Street View-like panorama shots. The Nexus 4 will go for $300 starting November 13. Nothing breath taking about this device but it look way better than the Nexus 10. But sadly, no LTE support yet. But the pricing will draw alot of attentions to it.

Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 will now only be available in 16GB ($200) and 32GB ($250) models while the 8GB version will be discontinued (if you have one, keep it, remember its limited edition now, might worth alot in the future, or maybe not). Also, Google will now offer 32GB Nexus 7 model with HSPA+ connectivity for $300. Nexus 7 is still the best among the 3. And the pricing of this device is just crazy good. Not the best tablet in the world but certainly the best for its price.

Samsung Galaxy S Advance officially announced

Samsung officially announce the Samsung Galaxy S Advance which is targeted at the mid-range market.

The device looks very typical like how most Samsung devices looks like. Some says it is like a lower-end Galaxy Nexus but to some, it is like a smaller Galaxy Note.

Full specs have been revealed together with the announcement and the Galaxy S Advance comes with:

-4.0″ Super AMOLED display which supports 800×480 resolution
-powered by a dual-core 1.0GHz processor
-768MB of RAM. For storage it comes
-8GB or 16GB built-in which is expandable with microSD
-5MP camera with LED flash
-1.3MP front-facing camera.
-HSPA up to 14.4Mbps
-Android 2.3 Gingerbread (No news on ICS)
-1,500mAh capacity battery

The specs does look good for a mid-range device and form factor are great with just 9.96mm thick and weighs 120g.

 

 

Galaxy Nexus and Android Ice Cream Sandwich Announcement!

OK, enough about the iPhone 4S. It is time for the most anticipated and the most important announcement by
Google and Samsung this year and expect it to be as big as the iPhone 4S announcement. Though the hype for this is not as big as the iPhone event not long ago. Anyway, be the 1st to know the news by following the Samsung and Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich event liveblog so you will not miss any action! There are also some specs of Galaxy Nexus leaked here. Check it out! More leaks here!

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is said to be the best Android phone available beating even the mighty(not really that good) Samsung Galaxy S II.

Before this, the Motorola DROID RAZR will also be unveiled. Click here for more info!

Stay tune for more news on Galaxy Nexus and other tech news!

Samsung Galaxy Nexus announcement postponed

So the next big thing after the iPhone4S announcement incredible Samsung Galaxy Nexus which is supposed to cut all the smartphones out there with its razor sharp thinness! =)

It was said to be announced next week on the 12th of October. All the tech geeks cant sit quietly waiting for it to be announced. But sadly, it was announced today that the big announcement of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich will be postponed to a later date.

But at least we know the rescheduled date of the announcement which is on the 27th of October! That is not too far off. But we will have to wait for another 2 weeks…that is a long time to wait!

Anyway, there are some specs and video leaked for the Nexus. Here they are.

1. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
2. 9mm thin
3. 4.65-inch 1280 x 720-pixel Super AMOLED HD with curved glass
4. TI OMAP 4460 dual-core Cortex A9 processor clocked at 1.2GHz
5. 1GB RAM
6. 32GB of built-in storage
7. 5MP rear camera with 1080p HD video capture, 1.3-megapixel front camera
8. LTE/HSPA depending on carrier
9. Wi-Fi a/b/g/n
10. NFC
11. 1,750 mAh battery

Video:

[Via]