Thursday, March 28, 2013

Google Nexus 7 available in India


Officially Google has declared the availability of its Nexus 7 tablet in India. The 16 GB version of the tablet is available at Google Play store for Rs 15,999. Users can pre book the tablet right now which will then be shipped starting April 5. Many Indian retailers are also offering imported version of the Nexus 7 tablet for some time but does not provide any sort of warranty. Users will get 1 year of warranty from the date of purchase if they buy officially unveiled Nexus 7 tablet. Users have the option to link their device to their Google account as well. The advantage is that users will no longer have to wait to link their device.

The first of Google's new batch of devices that we've got our hands on is a seven-inch tablet that will be joined by the larger Nexus 10 and the Nexus 4 smartphone. Google's name may be on the front by the Nexus 7 is actually made by Asus, which has already established some form in the tablet market. With its seven-inch screen it's positioned against the likes of the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad Mini but has the specs and price to surpass them.

The 32GB version is on sale now for around £199, or there's the 16GB version for around £159 -- there's no microSD card slot to expand your memory, so what you buy is what you've got. There's also a 3G version with 32GB for £239.

Design

The Nexus 7 is a sleek black slab, slim at 11mm if not particularly lightweight at 340g but it feels very sturdily put together. There's a micro USB power/sync port and 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom, with power/sleep and volume buttons on the side. The back is made from a non-slip rubberised plastic that seems to cling well to tabletops.

The seven-inch backlit IPS display delivers an HD resolution of 1,200x800 which is plenty sharp, and even if it's not quite up there with the ten-inch iPad's Retina display, or even the 1,440x900 of the Nook HD, but it's comfortably ahead of the iPad Mini's 1,024x768. It sits snugly behind a layer of Corning Glass, which promises to be even tougher than that company's Gorilla Glass.

Features and performance

The quad-core 1.2GHz processor is backed by 1GB RAM -- a powerful combination that seems very quick off the mark in use. Flicking between apps is seamless and swift, as is web browsing and movie watching. It delivered an Antutu performance benchmark score of 13,210, which puts it up there with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and comfortably ahead of its quad-core rival the Toshiba AT300.

It's running the latest 4.2 Jelly Bean version of Android, so it's right up to date for patches and tweaks to the OS. There's now more info available on the lock screen, like messages and your calendar, plus you can set up multiple user profiles so all the family can have their own piece of the Nexus 7. Switching between them is a little bit of a palaver though -- the new Nook HD's process is more obvious and intuitive.

You'll also get Google Now, the clever, intuitive service that learns from your searches and prompts you with weather, travel and other info depending on where you are, without the need to search. It's nice, and genuinely useful, but admittedly it works better with 3G, since you tend to use it when you're out and about. This being a Google handset, it's also likely to get an upgrade to the next iteration of the OS before anyone else.

There's no pretence that you'll be using the Nexus 7 as a camera with a rear-facing lens, but there is a 1.2-megapixel camera on the front for video calling which, let's face it, is really what you want a camera on a tablet for. There's no dedicated camera app though, so you'll need to install one from Google Play or use it with a video calling app like Google Talk or Skype.Battery life held up pretty well too, and it delivered a good day and a half's worth of steady use.

Conclusion

The Google Nexus 7 makes a good place for itself in the increasingly crowded seven-inch tablet market. With pressure from not just the usuals (Apple) but also hyped-up ebooks like the Kindle and Nook, it delivers a high-quality spec with the very latest version of Android (and the full, untempered joy of Google Play) at an attractive price.

Specifications

Price :                £199 (32GB), £159 (16GB), £239 (32GB and 3G)
Software :          Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
Processor :         Quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A9
Memory slot :     No
Display :             7in 1280x800 pixels
Connectivity :      Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth
Ports :                 microUSB, 3.5mm headphone jack
Camera :             3 megapixel with auto focus, 1.9 megapixel front-facingcamera
Video playback : MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA
Audio playback : MP4/H.264
Radio :                Yes
Battery :              Li-Ion 4325mAh
Size :                  199x120x11mm

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