The Nexus 7 lasted an astounding 10 hours, 10 minutes in our video playback test, with brightness set to 200 cd/m2 (candelas per square meter). That's just 36 minutes shy of the Apple iPad, and it tops all competing 7-inch tablets by a mile. Amazon's Kindle Fire lasted 6 hours, 54 minutes; Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 lasted 6 hours, 20 minutes; the Toshiba Excite 7.7 lasted 7 hours, 32 minutes; and the Sprint ZTE Optik lasted 5 hours, 51 minutes. That figure is also competitive with 10.1-inch Android tablets; Acer's Iconia Tab A700 lasted 8 hours, 11 minutes; Toshiba's Excite 10 lasted 7 hours, 5 minutes; the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 lasted 11 hours, 41 minutes; and the Asus Transformer Pad Infinity lasted 7 hours, 58 minutes.
Unfortunately, the Nexus 7 also took the longest of any 7-inch class tablets to recharge, requiring 3 hours, 49 minutes to fully juice up, compared with the Galaxy Tab 2's 3 hours, 32 minutes and the Toshiba Excite 7.7's 3 hours, 21 minutes. This result might reflect the fact that the Nexus 7 charges via its MicroUSB port.
The Nexus 7 excelled on our benchmarks. It was the best performer of any of our 7-inch class tablets; and was competitive on some tests with the top 10.1-inch Android tablets. Its performance on Geekbench, for example, was nearly four times better than that of the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0; and it bested Toshiba's Excite 7.7, too. Interestingly, though it was close to the Acer Iconia Tab A700 on this test, it outperformed the Acer on some of our metrics and fared worse on others. Both tablets run an Nvidia Tegra 3 at the same clock speed, so these variances could be due to tweaks in the Tegra 3 chip or other unknown variables.
On our two GLBenchmark 2.1.4 tests, the Nexus 7 was an average performer. It logged the sixth-highest score we've seen on Egypt Offscreen, at 63 frames per second; by comparison, Asus Transformer Pad Infinity logged 74 fps, and iPad logged 139 fps. On the Pro Offscreen test, the Nexus 7 was fifth highest, at 82 fps, as compared with 96 fps for the Infinity and 139 fps for the iPad. For perspective, the Kindle Fire lagged far behind, scoring just 23 fps and 31 fps, respectively, on Egypt Offscreen and Pro Offscreen.
The Nexus 7's performance on our Web browser-based tests was mixed. It was the fastest performer of our field on Sunspider, requiring just 1.71 seconds to complete that benchmark; but it was among the slower performers on a custom, media-heavy Web page load test.
In use, I found the Nexus 7 fast and responsive. I especially liked the dramatically improved keyboard, which seemed better able to keep up with my flying fingers.
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