Nexus 7: Australian Hands-On

After a tense wait and plenty of pining, we finally have our hands on the new Nexus 7 tablet from Google and Asus. So what’s it like?

We’ve only had it a few hours and haven’t been able to do extensive testing on it yet, but so far, this thing is one of the best tablets I’ve ever used.

The problem with so many tablets is that they feel like big versions of their smartphone siblings. Look at the iPad for example. When it first came out, everyone was calling it a big iPhone, and I know a lot of people who still do. I’ve even heard some people refer to their iPhones as iPad Nanos. The oversized phone feeling is persistent with the Nexus 7, but Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, coupled with the nifty design makes it ok.

The rubberised back of the Nexus fits into your hand perfectly, and the 7-inch form factor is portable enough to be usable anywhere, but big enough to be pleasant when you want to sit down and use it for reading, watching, listening and browsing.

The improvements in Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean really make the device feel like a step up against the competition. While you can’t see them with the naked eye, you feel them screens and bolt from one app to the other.


Through all this good, though, a few problems are beginning to emerge with the screen. Despite the fact that it’s pumped up to full brightness, colours look washed out and the display looks a little dull.

The other problem emerges with the Google Play store. It’s not that it’s significantly worse than any other Android device we’ve tested, it’s that it doesn’t have a lot of the content that the Nexus 7 was created to view. It’s disappointing.

The front-facing camera is also pretty average, but that’s no huge surprise.

We’ll have a more detailed review of the device up tomorrow, but for now, get into our hands-on photos.

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