Under the hood, the Google Nexus 7 has an Nvidia 1.3GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM, which is impressive considering that the tablet costs so little.
Another good thing about the tablet's Tegra 3 processor is the fact that it comes with access to Nvidia's Tegra Gaming Zone, enabling users of the device to download apps optimised for the device's speedy chip. Although the selection of games is lacking somewhat, this sets the tablet apart from its competition. We saw similarly impressive speeds when carrying out everyday tasks too, be it tapping out an email or loading a web page.
As has been well documented, the Google Nexus 7 arrives without a rear-facing camera, a decision made by Google to keep its price low. While this might get a big red cross in some people's books it didn't bother us at all, as we rarely find a use for a rear-facing camera on a tablet.
Instead, the Nexus 7 features a 1.2MP front-facing camera, enabling users to make use of Google's Hangout service and use the tablet as a makeshift mirror. It's worth noting that there's no dedicated app to fire up the front-facing camera, a detail that slightly confused us at first. Instead, you only need to open an app that makes use of the camera, such as Instagram for example.
Battery and storage
The Nexus 7 touts a 4325mAh battery under the hood, which Google claims will let you watch nine hours of video or browse the web for 10 hours. While we're usually disappointed with the batteries on mobile devices, we found that the Nexus 7 lived up to Google's claims. After a day of moderate to heavy usage, the device still had around half of its power left in the tank, which means you shouldn't have to charge it every night.
Unfortunately, storage on Nexus 7 isn't quite as impressive, as Google is offering the device in 8GB and 16GB models only, with no room for expansion via microSD. We found this a bit annoying, but for those using Google's cloud-based Drive storage service it shouldn't prove too much of an issue.
There's no question about it, the Google Nexus 7 is a true game changer, and will no doubt close the gap between Android and IOS in the tablet marketplace. That doesn't mean it's perfect, however, as even for £159 upfront, we found a lot of small niggles with the Google branded tablet, such as its refusal to turn into landscape mode while on the main home screen and its lack of microSD storage. Overall though, it seems certain that the Google Nexus 7 tablet will give the Ipad a run for its money. µ
It's inexpensive, very speedy thanks to its Nvidia 1.3GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor, has decent battery life, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is the most advanced version of Android yet.
No rear-facing camera, lack of microSD slot.
Android 4.1 Jelly Bean doesn't support landscape mode on the main home screen.