Can there be anything more exciting than the prospective release of a new handset or mobile device? The mobile communications industry has been growing at an incredible rate in recent years and a new release announcement garners acres of press coverage. Consumers are eager to get their hands on the new hardware and companies that enable consumers to sell mobile phones or recycle phones undoubtedly rub their hands in glee at the prospect of all those people looking to upgrade their phone.
It is the turn of Google to bring a new product to market to try to stem the flow of Apple’s sales of iPads. At the Google developer conference it was announced that the latest offering in their Nexus range will be the Nexus 7 by Asus. It is not in any way unusual for a company to use hardware that has been produced by another manufacturer. In this case, as the name gives away, the partner company is Asus who have a reputation for producing top-notch Android tablets. The Nexus 7 by Asus is, whilst a quality piece of kit, not produced with the kind of specs that will challenge Apple’s dominance of the tablet market. Rather, it seems to be aimed at taking the market share of Amazon’s Kindle Fire. This budget tablet has fairly unimpressive specifications so it shouldn’t be hard to improve on that but the Kindle’s price range of around £130 will be hard to match without incurring some kind of loss.
Google have gotten around the problem of choosing between price and specification by simply announcing that they are willing to take a hit in their profit margin. Andy Rubin, Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google, has said that they are selling hardware at cost prices and also throwing in extras like a £15 Google Play credit with a purchase of a Nexus 7.
So is it worth their while? More importantly, is it worth the consumers cash?
Weighing in at just 340 grams the Nexus 7 is an extremely portable, lightweight tablet that has a super thin profile. It boasts a 1280 x 800 HD display and runs on a quadcore CPU with NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset. If you’re into video chatting (or Hangouts as Google call them) then there is a front-facing camera. If you’d rather watch films than your friends faces then the Nexus 7 claims it can go for 9 hours of HD video playback (enough to just about squeeze in the Lord of the Rings trilogy in one sitting!).
As expected there’s WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC. As I said before the Nexus 7 comes with a £15 Google Play voucher as it is designed to be a “serious gaming device”. Google are really hoping that gaming developers make good use of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 chipset which boasts quadcore CPU and 12 core GPU. There’s also pre-installed content such as e-books and ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ to feast your eyes on.
It’s not going to set the world alight but the Nexus 7 looks a good value investment for anyone new to the world of tablets.