The Google Nexus by Asus breaks new ground in the tablet market in several ways, being the first ever tablet to carry the premier Nexus brand and the first device period to run using the company's latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.
Additionally, with the Amazon Kindle Fire remaining safely stateside, the device's sub-£200 price tag also debatably makes the Nexus 7 the first tablet to really make an attempt on the UK's budget market.
But the question is, has Google waited too long to launch its tablet and will its modest price tag be enough to draw customers' attention away from the higher end Apple iPad? To answer these questions V3 puts the Nexus 7 to the test, seeing if the device really is the Jelly Bean-flavoured hope Android fans have been waiting for.
Design and build
The most noticeable aspect of the Nexus 7 is its size. Measuring in at 197x120x10.5mm and weighing 340g, the device is incredibly light and friendly for smaller hands, even when compared to other similarly sized Android tablets like the Galaxy Tab 2 7in, which measures in at 194x122x10.5mm and weighs 344g.
This is largely due to the fact that outside of the metal outer rim covering the Nexus 7's edges, the device is largely made of plastic. The entire external face of the Nexus 7's rear is made of a rubberised, textured plastic, while its front is coated in scratch-resistant Corning glass. The textured back, combined with the device's small size, mean that the Nexus 7 is very comfortable in-hand, with us easily navigating the user interface one handed.
Additionally, despite its modest price, we were seriously impressed with the unit's build quality. Having used the device on the go and accidentally throwing the tablet into a satchel full of keys, a compass and all manner of other potential scratchers, the device came out completely unscathed. The unit's metal outer lining gave us an overarching sense of sturdiness, and we're fairly sure the device is capable of surviving a few accidental knocks and drops.
In terms of inputs, the device features a micro-USB and headphone jack, both of which sit along the tablet's bottom, along with physical volume and power buttons along its right-hand side. The configuration is fairly similar to most other 7in devices, meaning users familiar with other Android tablets will be right at home using the Nexus 7.