With the release of Google’s Nexus 7 tablet last month there is a true rival to the iPad on the table. Google are proving that they aren’t just good at selling mobile phones, they are producing great all round mobile devices. At only £199 for the Nexus 7 16GB model (and just £159 for the 8GB version), it is half the price of an iPad and is proving to be a remarkably high quality. It’s powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3CPU (which is twice as powerful as an iPad 3) and a 12 core CPU, which makes multi tasking games and apps runs smoothly and speedily with no stuttering or long loads. A few corners have been cut to achieve the bargain pricetag- there’s noSD card slot so you can’t expand its storage and no has rear camera. It also only connects to data through WiFi, not 3G- something you would need to be aware of if you are keen to connect when out and about.
Tablets are becoming more and more popular with gamers as their excellent quality touchscreens and bright, colourful displays make game play fun and open to innovation. The Nexus 7 sports a pixel packed 1280x800 7” screen which, although not as high res at the iPad 3, is powered by a very similar graphics chip and looks pretty great. The fact that the tablet is a smaller than the iPad actually works in its favour for gaming as its easier to hold and lighter so it doesn’t make your wrists ache! It’s about half the size and weight, similar to a Kindle and has a rubber rear side which makes it non-slip and pleasurable to hold! Where gaming is concerned it obviously doesn’t have any buttons or analogue sticks like a PS Vita, but you can connect an exterior gaming pad if you feel the need.
Android allows for customisation and you can run emulators on it which gives you lots of options. However, whilst the device has all the capabilities to be an excellent gaming device that can easily rival Apple, where it falls down is the availability of games on Android. Apple is still streets ahead in its game development and offers a far superior and more comprehensive library of games to choose from. Google Play offers all the obvious choices like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope and Shoot the Apple but has little to innovate games or offer anything original. Console games are available to download like Shadowgun, Grand Theft Auto 3 or Football Manager 2012 and a real bonus is that they only cost a few pounds to acquire from Google Play, whereas buying them in a shop for a console could easily set you back £15-£20 pounds. If Google Android can take the initiative to develop some high quality and original games that push its games library to another level, then we could see tablets like the Nexus 7 speeding ahead in the game play stakes and really could become a first-class first choice for gamers, with a reasonable price tag to boot.