ASUS Nexus 7 Featuring Google Play: An Unboxing and Hands-On Experience
The Nexus 7 is a game changer. I usually don’t start off articles with such a bold statement, but after tossing a few ideas around as to how I should kick this thing off, this is what I kept coming back to. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as the buzz that was built on June 27th during the Google I/O keynote in San Francisco, California has been immense. The Nexus 7 is more than just the latest entry into an already crowded market, it is the near perfection of the market at a price that is accessible to all and at a size that just feels right.
Below you will find a nearly one hour video of me unboxing my 16GB Nexus 7 and taking it for a spin. After the break, you will find some more thoughts on the Nexus 7, as well as screen shots of some of the features in the device.
Needless to say, I am thrilled with my purchase. I was able to score mine at Sam’s Club at a price point of $246.98. Because I am not a member of Sam’s Club, I did have to pay a 10% surcharge, but when you consider the $19 charge for shipping and unknown ship-date that is given when ordering through Google Play, I was totally willing to pay essentially six extra dollars to be able to walk in the store and walk out with it. I legitimately called every Gamestop in my area, and if they had them, they were for preorders, and some of them were telling me that they could put in a preorder for August. Yeah, no thanks. Same deal with Office Depot, one of the other stores rumored to have the Nexus 7 in stock. The Sam’s Club I went to in Worcester, Massachusetts had eight of them… and now they have seven.
There are a very small few things I don’t like about the Nexus 7, though. Actually, two specifically come to mind and not much else:
1. The front facing camera: this was a really short sighted, poor decision by ASUS. I realize that after breaking the camera down, the margin profit is fairly slim, but I can’t imagine it would have cost much more to throw a second camera looking the other way. There is not even a camera app loaded on the phone; you have to search “Nexus 7 Camera” in Google Play. If you are like me and like to take pictures or short video with your smart phone, this is an idea of how it will look:
So the resolution comes out 640×480 and I guess that’s about what you should expect from a device like this, but part of me kind of hoped for more. I know when I compare it to my iPhone video, the iPhone kind of wins. With that said, the Nexus 7 is about the price of an iPhone, so I guess I can’t complain too much.
2. This is not the fault of the Nexus 7 itself, but I feel like Google Play and the Music app are a little unorganized. I haven’t had much stick out at me as I blindly search for cool stuff to downoad and I feel like Apple does a much better job with iTunes. I understand Google Play is in it’s infancy, but that doesn’t change my opinion. One area that is pretty terrible, though, is on the Music section of Google Play. I threw up the exact same library as my iTunes library and my Google Play library is an absolute mess. It does not pair my full albums together and all the album artwork is either missing or heavily pixelated. I would really like to see this improved upon moving forward, and I have no doubt that it will, but in fairness, it definitely sticks out and makes it frustrating to use.
Now that I’ve got the bad stuff out of the way, let me just remind you that I spent 54 minutes in the first video speaking glowingly about the Nexus 7, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone and everyone. It is absolutely phenomenal, especially when you consider the $199 pricepoint for the 8 gig and $249 for the 16 gig. On advice, I have downloaded an app called Splashtop and I now have access to my PC desktop from anywhere with a WiFi connection. Phenomenal. If you are looking for something to get you into the tablet market, this is just the device for you. The Nexus 7 is available on the Google Play store now, with select retailers getting them in sporadically until August.