Brief review of Google's Nexus 7 Android Tablet

27-07-2012
Google's Nexus 7 Android Tablet is a big lovely fast smartphone that people can't call you or text you on. Which is no bad thing in my book.



IT IS FLIPPING FANTASTIC.




And now for a slightly longer review.

Slightly Longer Review of Google's Nexus 7 Android Tablet

Seeing as we specialise in mobile app development here at Framework Training, it's only right and proper that we stay up to date with the latest devices. The fact that our eyes light up like we're kids on Christmas Day when a shiny new device appears in no way detracts from our professional approach. Honest.

So when our Nexus arrived, I didn't tear into the box in a fit of pique; I took my time and completely failed to destroy the packaging. Really, it wasn't difficult to get into at all.

Like any good geek, the first thing I did was assume control using the excellent Nexus 7 root toolkit by Wugfresh c/o XDA. This is so we can do full 'Nandroid' backups and restores as we need to be able to load and test different versions of Android.

With that painless operation done, it was time to take the Nexus 7 for a spin.

Playtime.

It's hard to escape the fact Google are pushing the Play platform hard, with large out-of-the-box widgets displaying the freebies that are bundled with your tablet purchase (and whether you like the movie or not, Transformers is a very pretty way to showcase the excellent screen and playback capabilities).

Thanks to Titanium Backup, I was able to quickly get all my apps, tools and settings transferred from my phone, with the aim of trying out productivity apps like Documents To Go. It didn't take long to see that the Nexus 7's powerful CPU, large amount of RAM, decent visual real estate (compared to a smartphone), and ease of multi-tasking would be a huge boon.

So I stopped doing that, and fired up Grand Theft Auto 3 to *ahem* test out the quality of the Tegra 3 chipset. After an hour of exhaustive testing, I came to the conclusion it really is very fast, and definitely does justice to the high-res 1280×768 screen.

That was Then, this is (Google) Now.

One of the new features of the Jelly Bean update is Google Now, a personal search assistant, which aims to know you better than yourself.

So, is this feature any good? Hmmm. Not sure yet. Perhaps the reason it's not responding to me in quite the same way as described by the adverts is because Google are still adding localised data to the platform and the UK hasn't really caught up yet. It only understood about 1 in 5 of things I asked of it but once I'd switched the global Language over to UK English that did improve. It was pretty hit and miss (mostly miss) when I asked it to create calendar entries and suchlike, and in the end just gave me google web search results to most of the things I asked it to do. I'll reserve my judgment on Google Now for the time being, but I doubt it will see much use from me until things improve. Still, it's not what we got the tablet for, so I'm not moaning.

In Summary

It's a big lovely fast smartphone that people can't call you or text you on. Which is no bad thing in my book.



Scribbled by Tom

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