This is my first blog post and it features a device that packs a couple of firsts in itself: it is Google’s first tablet and the first device running the latest Android OS named Jelly bean…..and on a purely subjective side, it is being considered the first successful Android tablet.
Please note that this is not a review, these are just my thoughts about this device. I would definitely post a review as soon as I get my hands on it.
As already mentioned, it is the first tablet launched by Google. Its been manufactured by ASUS. It sports a 7″ IPS LCD display having a resolution of 1280 X 800 and protected by scratch resistant corning glass. It has a Quad core Tegra 3 CPU clocked at 1.3 GHz, 16 Core GPU, 1 GB RAM, and is available in 8 GB and 16 GB memory options. Connectivity options include Wifi, Bluetooth, USB, GPS and NFC. Other features include, accelerometer, gyroscope, megnetometer and 1.2 MP front facing camera for video calling. However, it doesn’t have any memory card slot and rear camera.
It is powered by the latest version of Android OS i.e., Jelly Bean 4.1 out of the box.
- 4 core processor and 16 core GPU: it should mean speedier, snappier and smoother overall performance.
- Nice form factor: it’s a genuine design, is easy to hold even in one hand, slim and light, back cover is apparently scratch-proof and non-slippery
- Jelly bean out of the box: now that’s a BIG plus. Although Ice Cream Sandwich brought most of the useful features with it, Jelly Bean still offers a lot to make us happy about. Some of those features are Google’s very own voice assistant i.e., Google Now, smooth overall performance due to Project Butter, advanced Notifications, better Text-to-speech and better home screen management.
- A reasonable price: it is actually the lowest it could get. 8 GB model is available for $199 and 16 GB for $249. There are articles over internet suggesting that Google is making money only on the 16 GB model, while 8 GB is selling at break even. I just wish it had made some more money by offering a 32 GB model as well.
- Only 16GB maximum on-board memory: that’s the biggest gripe I have. This device is being touted as the best for watching movies and playing games. So how do we do that if we don’t have enough space. HD games and videos take a lot of space. I have a 16 GB iPad and I’m always out of space. In my opinion, there should have been a 32Gb model at least. Google seems to have focused on streaming videos via Google Play Movies which ain’t good enough for countries where this service ain’t yet available.
- No memory card slot: means non expandable memory which due to reasons described above is bad.
- No HDMI out: it would have been nice had there been this option so that one could play movies and games on HDTVs.
- No USB On-The-Go: this is one thing I think every tablet should have especially the ones that don’t have a card slot. It gives u additional removable storage and also makes data sharing a breeze.
- Relatively low Pixel density: now that’s debatable. Here is a brief comparison of Pixel per inch (ppi) found in latest displays. Galaxy Note – 285, The new iPad – 264, Galaxy S III – 306. Nexus 7 falls behind all of these by offering 216 ppi. I will however cover it in more detail in my review.
- 7″ display size seems too small: Having used iPad for over a year now, I believe that 9.7″ is way too big for a tablet which is basically meant for consumption. I have also used Samsung Galaxy tablet 7.7 and that size looked almost exactly what a tablet should be . The phone I’m currently using is Galaxy Note which has a 5.3″ display and 7″ doesn’t seem like a huge difference compared with it. So I have mixed thoughts about this decision of Google. I think 8″ (or somewhere around it) should have been the perfect display size. Let’s see how it actually feels like in real life. On another note, if display size was to be kept at this level, Google could have thrown in Telephony features as well so that one could carry just one gadget around.
With a powerful hardware, a smoother & more efficient software and this huge popularity, this device marks an all new beginning for Android tablets. Due to extremely low price, it will make Android OS popular than ever by making non-tech users and even Android haters wanna try it. I’m eagerly looking forward to the day I get one unit for myself.
It is also worth mentioning that some users are complaining about display issues. Here’s how a display expert explains it. Let’s hope these issues are all specific to a couple of production batches only and Google fixes all of these at the earliest.