When Google announced the Nexus 7 at Google I/O earlier this summer, I thought it might be a nice way to give Android, the newest version at that, a try. It also allowed me to try out a 7-inch tablet, which I have been skeptical about. The Nexus 7 starts at $200 for an 8 GB tablet and also has a 16 GB version at $249. I decided to get one to give Android a try and see why so many people prefer it to iOS.
The Nexus 7 is a very fast tablet, with a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, and the newest version of the Android operating system, Jellybean, has been optimized for speed through “Project Butter” making the Nexus extremely fast. Another benefit to buying the Nexus 7 is that you get a $25 credit to the Google Play store which has apps, music, movies, TV shows, Magazines and books. I actually have yet to spend most of the credit because so many apps on Android are free, so, I have been using it to buy music.
Android has a lot of nice features like Widgets on the home screens, and the face unlock which I wish would work more reliably to be used regularly. As Android advocates frequently say, Android has a lot more choices as far as apps and customization of the user experience. However, there are still apps that I use regularly that work on iOS but have yet to make a version for Android. Another issue is that because of the way the keyboard is laid out and the smaller size of the screen typing is a bit more difficult than on my iPad and I accidentally close out of apps frequently because the button is directly in the center of the keyboard. This may not be as important to other users who use it for media consumption but for those who need a keyboard regularly, the 7-inch form-factor may not be the best choice.
For anyone interested in a tablet, who isn’t ready to drop $500 on an iPad, or for those like me who are primarily Apple users and want to experiment with the Android environment, the Nexus 7 is a great tablet. It is very affordable and delivers more power for less than other Android tablets on the market. Especially for people have yet to own a tablet, it is a good starter tablet since you get the $25 play store credit to get started with apps. It is also a better choice for those considering the Kindle Fire, since the Fire has older hardware and a specialized version of an older version of Android that has been locked-down and has a limited app selection. Not to mention the $25 play store credit that comes with the Nexus 7.
So, for all those who want to take the leap into the tablet world but, maybe not all the way, the Nexus 7 gives you power and a lot of functionality for a great starter price.