Google Nexus 7 tablet review: solid, but not revolutionary

The Nexus 7 does well in many areas, but its lack of expandability limits its scope.

By Melissa J. Perenson, PC World |  Hardware, Amazon, Android

Amazon, too, tried to spin its minimal on-board storage by saying you could store media in, and stream content from, its cloud services. That approach is not rooted in consumers' real-world usage patterns, and it doesn't account for the vagaries of Wi-Fi availability and bandwidth. Consumers crave off-line storage; we're still away from a wireless connection often enough that local storage matters. No one wants to have to keep managing their content on and off the tablet just to work around a space limitation.

Given that we're seven months on from when Amazon's first-generation Kindle Fire was introduced, I'm surprised and disappointed that Google didn't push the default memory on Nexus 7 to 16GB in the $199 model. Now that would have gotten our collective attention, and rightly so. With Nexus 7 you're going to be downloading movies and television shows in high-definition, plus using apps optimized for high-definition displays and loading up your high-resolution images for use in the gallery, so 8GB just won't go very far. That amount of storage, with just 5.62GB of user accessible space when you first start the tablet--is just too parsimonious to make the Nexus 7 a truly solid recommendation. That's unfortunate, because the Nexus 7 actually gets a lot right--far more than most of its Android competition.

Nexus--Light and Comfy

When you pick up the Nexus 7, it's immediately apparent that it is not like other inexpensive tablets. Its construction has a high-quality look and feel; it doesn't have that inexpensive vibe you get from handling other "value" tablets in the market. The side bezel is plastic, with a textured, rubberized finish on the back that feels comfortable in-hand, and yet won't attract dust or particles as some rubberized backs we've seen (though it does seem to scratch fairly easily).

Another thing you'll notice right away: this tablet is light enough that you can hold it in one hand for extended periods. At 0.75 pounds, the tablet is still about 0.2 pounds too heavy for no-thought-required one-handed operation, as you find with the dedicated E Ink-based e-readers that now weigh under half a pound. Still, the Nexus 7 is among the lightest tablets we've seen, and more notably, it's 18 percent lighter than Amazon's 0.91-pound Kindle Fire. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 weighs about the same, at 0.76 pounds, and the Toshiba Excite 7.7 weighs 0.77 pound (with its 0.7-inch larger display).


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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