Google Nexus 7 Tablet Review

The Nexus 7 is the tablet that helped establish the upper limit for Android tablets. Anything over £200 is now deemed expensive, and anything under by even a signifi cant margin can no longer get away with passing off poor build quality and specs under the excuse of an entry-level tag.

The Nexus 7 is the oldest tablet in our group test, but has not dated at all and still has a pleasing design and performance as solid as any of our other test devices. Furthermore it is the only one to be running KitKat at the time of testing, although interestingly it is a somewhat different version of KitKat to the one you’d see on a Nexus 5.

There’s no Google Experience Launcher with built-in Google Now, and even some of the visual fl ourishes like the translucent status and navigation bars are absent. Nonetheless the tablet has benefi ted from the Android 4.4 update, especially in the new OS’s reduced memory requirements. 2GB of RAM was always plenty on the Nexus to begin with but now with an extra couple of hundred megabytes available you’ll be hard pushed to ever use it all.

The Nexus 7 also has a glorious screen, with resolution beating all but the Fire HDX. We were pretty happy with the displays on the other tablets, but when you put the 720p options alongside the 1080p options the difference is extremely noticeable. With its large bezels either end of the screen, the Nexus 7 feels as though it is primarily built to be used in landscape mode, although is comfortable enough upright for reading and similar tasks.

The tablet feels great in the hand. It’s slim and light and the grippy, soft touch rear case makes it secure. Our hands did tend to obscure the speakers that are mounted on the back edges of the device; they were suitably loud otherwise.

The fi ve-megapixel camera on the back was just about average in quality and unlikely to get much use. The front-facing camera was suitable for video chat but rather awkwardly placed off to the side.