Published in Notebooks
Nexus 7 gets positive initial reviews
Could do with a bit more storage, but it’s a bargain
Google’s decision to hand out free Nexus tablets to all I/O participants and flood the press core with review samples seems to be paying off.
Social networks are abuzz with Nexus 7 gossip and early impressions, and many tech sites and bloggers managed to get their hands on samples. The sheer abundance of review samples also brought a rather interesting twist to the story, as many publications that don’t usually pay too much attention to geeky gadgets had a go at the Nexus. In this case, their take on the Nexus could be quite important, as it’s basically a device aimed at the average Joe, not an enthusiast.
In any case reviewers praised Google’s Jelly Bean and Project Butter UI. Transitions and basic UI interaction seem to have been vastly improved over ICS, which is pretty good in its own right. Surprisingly, all seem to agree that build quality is excellent despite the $199 price tag. Corning glass and the 1280x800 panel behind it also got plenty of praise, as did the new content-oriented UI approach.
However, the Nexus 7 is not without its foibles. Google opted for 8GB or 16GB of internal storage, with no microSD expansion. While 16GB sounds like a fair amount of storage for a tablet, 8GB is a bit too cramped. Google believes the future is in the cloud, or in streaming, but why didn’t it bundle some free Google Drive storage with the Nexus 7 then? HTC, Samsung, LG and Sony are more than happy to throw in some Dropbox or Box freebies with their phones and Google could have done the same. Well it is never too late and Google could offer some free cloud storage later on, to prop up sales or make the Nexus 7 a bit more competitive.
Of course, there is no 4G, that would be too much to ask for in a $199 device. Google believes in a tethered approach, you will have to use your phone to access the net outdoors, no big deal given the target audience and price. Most reviewers didn’t miss the rear-facing camera, either. Most tablet cameras are just gimmicks anyway and with just 8GB of storage, space is at a premium.
As for the design, not everybody likes it. Some believe the Nexus logo is just too darn big, but other than that the Nexus 7 is a pretty nice slab of soft plastics and Corning glass. At $199 we really couldn’t ask for more. However, proving that the internet is full of unintelligent people, numerous readers moaned about the size of the bezel, obviously failing to comprehend the difference between a phone and a tablet.
Here's a few early reviews worth taking a look at.