Nexus 7 (2013) First Impressions: You Won’t Be Disappointed

Written Aug 26, 2013 at 6:27 pm by
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C

all me a convert, call me traitor, but 8 months ago I jumped ship to Android – the Nexus 4 to be more specific – and aside from my photography woes, I’ve never looked back.  To be completely fair, the Android experience isn’t necessarily better, but just slightly different, more accommodating if you will.  I prefer the complete Google integration and while I’m not one to champion any brand over the next – I believe in each to their own – the Android OS has served me better in a variety of capacities that iOS never could.

First and foremost is Google’s Cloud.  Granted you can leverage this on your iPhone, but you’ll never achieve the same level of seamlessness as you do on an Android.

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Chrome is fast and the search history is mirrored across all of my devices without issue.

The home screen widgets have proven to be vastly useful, decreasing my time spent flipping open apps, especially when it comes to looking for or creating email.

Apps.  They seem to install faster.  Not a big deal, but anything to reduce “drag” is a plus in my book.

Google Voice is accurate, works, and doesn’t feel like I’m hammering down the button on an intercom.  You should know what I’m talking about if you’ve used Siri.

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Google Now.  This one is a bit creepy.  A small caveat to pay for the convenience of NOT having to dig through my email to locate flight times or hotel information.  Plus when I arrive at my destination, or before I head out it tells me when to leave and what my expected commute time is.

So that all in mind I decided it was time for me to take the leap and get an Android tablet.  The idea never appealed to me, at least when I was an Apple devotee (disclaimer: writing this post on a Macbook Air).  Moreover, my iPad, the 1st generation one, is pathetically slow and almost unusable with the exception of occasional web surfing.  The prospect of replacing it with a $500 iPad is just too intimidating, especially when you consider that the Nexus 7 is far less in cost – $229 to be exact.  So I bought one last week.

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Here are my short thoughts on the device: I love it and I have no regrets.

My longer thoughts: the Nexus 7 is an absolutely solid device.  It’s fast, well made, thin, light weight and all the while feels great in the hand thanks to its rubberized back.  The screen is the highest resolution of any tablet in its class – 1920×1200.  It’s of the IPS ilk and while the color saturation isn’t astounding in the same way the Samsung Galaxy S4 is, it’s vastly better than the Nexus 4 as is the viewing angle.  I’ve yet to watch Netflix on it, but Youtube, which now includes some very neat swipe features, looks astoundingly good. Lastly, the brightness of the display is off the charts, so much so I have to turn it down to 20%, or at drag the slider well beyond the half way point.

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Web surfing, Flipboard and video viewing is primarily how I use my Nexus 7.  It’s fast as lighting with no hiccups or signs of sucking wind.  Google said that there is a 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 processor inside paired to 2GB of RAM, but according to an Anadatech article it looks like it’s a Snapdragon 600 processor – the same processor found in the S4 and the One.  This probably explains why it’s so damn zippy.

I’ve yet to use the cameras, and while it’s likely I won’t ever really use the main one (5MP), I’ll probably and very occasionally video chat on Skype using the front facing, 1.2MP camera.

Battery life is exceptional, especially given it’s diminutive size, and while I can’t yet comment on efficiency, it appears to be well suited given the Nexus 7′s intended use and form factor.

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My only frustration is in the volume and lock keys.  They’re tactically difficult to locate as well as activate.  Not what I’d call a deal breaker but a point of frustration no less.

So should get a Nexus 7?  Well, you could wait for Shawn’s full review in the next few weeks.  But I’m confident you’ll be pretty happy.


 


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Christen Costa

 
Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."


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4 Comments


  1.  
    jai

    I have a dead nexus 7 (2012 model) under warranty. Pathetic customer care. No service center, no escalations, wait for Google’s mercy for replacement.




    •  
      gadgetreview

      Hi Jai, that’s odd because Ive had no problems when I had issues with my Nexus 4 and Galaxy S4. But perhaps Google has, since your experience, revamped their customer service. Did you try calling them?




  2.  
    PublicStaticVoicMain

    Siri is creepier. You do know that Apple stores everything you say to Siri and uses them to improve her responses. The problem with Siri is that she is disguised as a more “casual conversation” service, and you are more prone to say riskier things. With Google, you are more formal, and at least they are putting it to good use. I love how I get flight schedule and interview appointments automatically set when I receive e-mails. In the end, all of them do it, nothing’s private anymore. it’s who utilizes it better that counts.




    •  
      gadgetreview

      Too true. You’ve got an interesting point about the formality difference between the two services. I much prefer Google Voice as stated above, but that isn’t to say the search giant doesn’t have some work to do.





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