• Samsung Galaxy Nexus with Ice Cream Sandwich hands-on (video)

    The Galaxy Nexus (formerly referred to as the Nexus Prime) carries on the Nexus torch in spectacular fashion, and we've just spent a few quality moments with one here at the launch event. Design-wise, it's clear that the Nexus S DNA is here, though the rear reminds us most of the Galaxy S II. Those who abhor physical buttons will also be delighted, and while we'd gotten used to the whole Power + Home for a screenshot on the GSII, Power + Volume Down works just fine on this fellow.......

    read-more
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich now official, tons of enhancements

    PSHax member - Google has taken the stage in Hong Kong to make the next version of Android OS, nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich, a thing of reality. Better known as Android 4.0, the update offers a massive redesign to the user interface and adds a plethora of new features. Some of the highlights include an NFC-enabled feature called Android Beam, offline search in Gmail, new lock screen features and a fancy unlocking method called "Face Unlock," which uses facial recognition to ensure strangers can't use your phone without permission. Ice Cream Sandwich also includes enhancements in.....

    read-more
  • Motorola RAZR to get updated to Ice Cream Sandwich in early 2012

    Mutricy mentioned that while the company's new flagship device was designed for Gingerbread, plans have been set to introduce the latest version of Android in the start of 2012, with a more precise date naturally on its way. Given past experience, however, it's probable that the unbranded version of the device will get the refresh ahead of the Droid RAZR on Verizon, so US users may need to exercise a wee bit of patience here. Regardless, it's time for the competition to step up......

    read-more
  • HTC Rezound render resoundingly revealed- wait next November 10th

    Hark! The first renders of the HTC Rezound have appeared online, thanks to some of the device's cases going up for pre-order. You can see that, like the Sensation XE, the phone has red-glowing soft keys -- a bit of a departure from HTC's traditionally conservative design language. If you recall, the phone formerly called Vigor is said to have a 4.3-inch screen, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB RAM, Beats Audio and an 8MP rear camera.....

    read-more
Previous Next

Nexus 7 review: Powerfull and the best $200 tablet you can buy

Posted by Mohd Khairun Nasir Saadi On - - 0 comments



In 2008, when the Eee PC was revolutionizing the computing world and driving every manufacturer to make cheaper and smaller laptops, Sony washed its hands of the whole thing. The "race to the bottom," the company said, would profoundly impact the industry, killing profit margins and flooding the market with cheap, terrible machines. Sony was wrong, its stance lasting about a year before joining the competition with its own VAIO W.

Four years on we're buying better laptops than ever before and, with the netbook class now more or less dead, that downward competition seems to have shifted to the tablet front. A flood of cheap, truly awful slates preceded Amazon's Kindle Fire, the $200 tablet from a major brand that looks to have been the proper catalyst in plunging prices. The latest challenger to enter the competition is ASUS, partnering with Google to create the first Nexus tablet, a device that not only will amaze with its MSRP, but with its quality. It's called the Nexus 7, it too is $200, and it's better than Amazon's offering in every way but one.

Though that low cost is the big talking point about this tablet, you'd certainly never know it just by holding the thing. Okay, so there's more polycarbonate than panache here, but the design of the Nexus 7 feels reasonably high-end, starting with that rubberized back. Yes, it is rubber, but it's very nicely textured, nice enough to fool one tech journalist into thinking it was leather.

No cow shed its skin to cover the back of this tablet, of that we can assure you, but the dimpled pattern here is not unlike the sort you might find on leather-wrapped racecar steering wheels. While there's no MOMO logo to be found, the feel is much the same and, we presume, rather more durable. There are two other logos to be found, though, starting with the Nexus branding embossed in big letters on the top, with a much smaller ASUS graphic on the bottom. That's it, though: understated and sophisticated. Just how we like it. (Even the FCC logo and other noise are on a piece of plastic you can easily peel off.) There's also no camera lens poking out here, as the 1.2-megapixel shooter up front is all you get.
Nexus 7 vs. Galaxy Tab 7.7 vs. Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Move further down toward the bottom of the back and you'll find the device's single speaker. It's a slit that runs roughly two-thirds of the way across the back, centered and sitting about a half-inch above the bottom -- which is, by the way, where you'll find the tablet's only ports. Centered down there is a micro-USB connector and, to the far right side when looking at the display, the 3.5mm headphone jack. That's it. Thankfully, ASUS's proprietary connector found on the Transformer tablets doesn't make an appearance here, but neither do we get a dedicated HDMI output, which is a bit of a bummer.

Display and sound


Budget tablets typically make the biggest sacrifices on the display front, and certainly the 1,024 x 600 resolution on the Kindle Fire feels a bit constricting at this point. Not so with the Nexus 7, which is fronted by a very nice 1,280 x 800 IPS panel rated at 400 nits of brightness. While more pixels is always better -- the new iPad and its Retina display having made us yearn for ridiculously high resolutions in all our devices -- WXGA feels perfectly adequate here. Text is rendered very well and 720p videos look great.

Much of that, though, is thanks to the other, less quantifiable aspects of the screen. Viewing angles are top-notch, with contrast staying strong regardless of which side you're coming from. And, it's plenty bright, too, a properly nice screen that, like everything else here, is just a little nicer than you'd expect given the cost.

Audio, however, isn't exactly fighting above its class. The speakers integrated in the back and peeking out through a slender slit toward the bottom deliver a decent amount of sound that isn't too unpleasant to listen to. It passes the "loud enough to fill a hotel room" test but the quality at those levels will leave you reaching for your earbuds.

Performance and battery life


When Jen-Hsun Huang teased Tegra 3-powered tablets would drop under $200 this summer he obviously knew what was coming, but what we didn't know was just how far back those tablets would have to be scaled to make that price point. If you've been reading all the way through to here (and we love you for it) you'll know we haven't yet found a real compromise made to achieve that price. Compromises will not be found in this section, either.

Okay, so a 35-second boot time does leave a little bit to be desired, but once you're inside the OS, applications load quickly and respond briskly, even graphics-heavy ones like the Google Play magazine app. Webpages are rendered promptly and swiping through them is snappy. Sure, there are the occasional stutters and hiccups here that even a coating of Butter doesn't completely eliminate, but we've experienced those with even the top-shelf tablets, like the recent Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 with its 1.7GHz version of the Tegra 3 processor.

In fact, if benchmarks are to be believed, this little guy actually performs better than its bigger brothers. SunSpider tests, which look at JavaScript rendering speeds in the new Chrome browser, were completed on average in a relatively speedy 1,785ms. The tablet burned through Vellamo with an average score of 1,650 and notched 11,713 in CF-Bench. Only the Quadrant score was on the low side compared to the much higher-priced competition, coming in at 3,501. Since there were plenty of people freaking out about the new iPad getting warm when gaming and doing other intensive tasks we'll point out briefly that the Nexus 7 was noticeably increasing in temperature as these benchmarks cooked away. But, at no point did it become disconcertingly hot. Just a little toasty. And of course a tablet is only good for as long as you can use the thing, and we were quite impressed by the longevity here. We came within spitting distance of 10 hours on a charge using out standard rundown test, which has the tablet connected on WiFi and looping a video endlessly. That's very, very good for a budget 7-incher and bests many bigger, more expensive slates.

Software


The Nexus 7 is the first device shipping with Android 4.1. We'll defer to our full review of Jelly Bean for full impressions, as it's far too much to get into here, but there are a few aspects of the latest additions to Android that are worth pointing out.

Like those magazine subscriptions we mentioned above, for example. The Play Magazines app is a perfectly respectable reader that has a great selection of content and very smooth performance. While pinch-to-zoom is quite fluid, thanks to the reasonably high-res screen you won't necessarily have to do so as often as you might on the Fire. That's because text is clear and readable if you still have the eyesight to match -- though should you want something a bit easier to parse there's a handy text view.

In terms of pricing, though, we found many magazines to be slightly more expensive here than they are on the Fire. Music, too, tends to cost a dollar or two more per album than what Amazon offers in its MP3 download store. Thankfully, since all that music is DRM-free, there's nothing stopping you from loading up your tablet with what you've bought elsewhere. Nothing, at least, other than the somewhat limited amount of internal storage.

And then, of course, there's the new stock browser, Chrome. Not a lot has changed since our first impressions a few months ago, so it's still a nice step up from the boring, old Browser app on previous versions of Android. Rendering performance is generally good, and the ability to import open tabs from a desktop browsing session is very handy, indeed. You can finally uninstall that ancient Chrome to Phone plugin.

Source



Categories: ,

Leave a Reply

Followers

GeostigmaShop Hot Items

[close]