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Hands-on with the Nexus 7 Tablet (Video)

Here’s a quick hands-on demo with the brand new Tegra 3-powered Nexus 7 tablet. It may not change the world, but it puts Google in a great position to take on the Kindle Fire and other low-cost tablets and man, oh man, is it faster than any $200 tablet released previously.

The 1280×800 resolution display looks amazing — it seems that Asus did not skimp on quality components to get the price to $199 USD, but for us Canadians it will be $209 (8GB version). The lack of a back camera doesn’t bother us either — why use a camera on a tablet unless you’re video conferencing? — and the ergonomics are excellent.

We saw the new Magazines hub, as well as the updated Google Play Movies with movie and television show purchases (no longer just rentals) which is going to be huge for a lot of people. The overall performance of the new Nexus 7 is astounding — Jellybean may look the same as Ice Cream Sandwich but underneath it is the equivalent of going from Froyo to Gingerbread. We’re looking at OS-wide GPU acceleration at 60fps… no more slowdown, period.

The device will appeal to content consumers — the same ones who purchased low-cost 7-inch tablets like the Kindle Fire and Kobo Vox in droves — but right from the get-go you can tell Google added something pretty special here. They’re augmenting their television, video, music and reading offerings, and providing some pretty special functionality with Google Maps and Google+ right inside Jellybean.

And the potential for Google Now is fantastic, as the Knowledge Graph is something we’ve been following very closely since its announcement.

Check after the break for a hands-on video and some photos from the event. We’ll have an in-depth video coming shortly.

  • astudent

    With the large bezel and the extremely glossy screen, I think I rather just buy a mirror. Please tablet makers, give me a matte screen display :(

    • BaconTelevision

      Throw a matte/anti-glare finished screen protector on it. Problem solved.

    • Tom

      Agree about the large bezel (Sammie is best at reducing the bezel).

      But I love the fact that the front has no branding – it really annoys me to pay for something and then have the companies branding in my face.

    • astudent

      Its not the same Mr. BaconTelevsion :(, they only make it glossy for durability I am just being insanely picky lol. Its a great device, I know I’ll be getting it purely for NFC.

    • Mangufbat

      rip rim.

  • Aiden

    I really wish I had bought this instead of my Samsung 10.1 tab

  • Vineet

    Awesome

  • beuh_dave

    I made jelly in my pants. I want.

  • Theywillbepissed

    Why is it running the phone version of android? For the most part it looks fine but the notification menu doesn’t scale to the screen, the exact same problem I have with the ipads awful notification menu

    • KC

      Was about to absent-mindedly flame this one, until I noticed that, indeed, the notification bar is at the top and the soft buttons are at the centre of the bottom, instead of the tablet layout of everything at the bottom. Bizarre!

    • Manbo

      Probably because it appears to be designed to use portrait more than landscape.

      but other than that, I dunno O_o

  • EddieWinslow

    This mighe be finally a tablet worth buying, I just want something I can hold easily with 1 hand to browse the web while watching TV

  • Josh

    I wish something like this would have been available a couple of years ago when i spend just over $300 on my damn Sony Ereader…

  • chulamin

    I sat through seminar with my iPad standing on a table recording the whole thing. That’s why a rear camera is needed. At least for me.

  • jbarns

    I prefer the other tablet notification menu, but I guess they are trying to make it consistent. Seems like they’re following iPad on that one.. unfortunately.

  • Tom

    I’m loving all the stuff that they can do with USB (or micro-USB) port these days. Apparently the one thing that wasn’t covered before was USB audio and that has been added in Jellybean. It seeems to do everything except video output.

    Not much opportunity for Google/ASUS to rake us on proprietary accessories, but great for consumers.

  • KyleD

    Will be buying. 100%…. It’ll fit in nicely between my GS3 and iPad… lol.

  • vn33

    Oh man … why can’t this be available last year when I buy the Nook Color ?

  • Sai

    I’ve been waiting within my cave ever since they announced this.. I’ll be patiently watching over the stores until this comes out.

  • JC Denton

    Absolutely hilarious how none of the hands-on videos posted thus far confirm the lack of an SD card slot. Did Google have you guys sign an NDA to avoid pressing the Storage settings button at 0:45?

    People are going to find out eventually–might as well have done everyone a favour and “accidentally” press that button, lol

  • Ryan

    I guess this is a given but I can run Netflix on one of these right?

  • Claudiu

    No SD card makes is obsolete. 8 GB and not even 16 GB is enough. I am not sure, but probably a SD Card reader would have added 10$ to the overall cost. I would have gladly paid it….

    • Manbo

      Fair enough, SD card slot would be nice, BUT… Find me a $200 tablet that runs like this with a good SOC/GPU and has expandable memory.

      If you can, then there is no reason to get the Nexus 7.

      If you can’t, then use Google drive and/or Dropbox.

    • Matt

      Google does not like external sd for security and piracy reasons. Doubt that see will see nexus devices with such a slot. add-on would be fine for me.

  • human

    can’t go wrong with $200

  • Thomson

    Not enough storage. 16GB should have been the minimum and 64GB the max. I really wish they had added a memory card slot. Even just for media, like music, video and pictures.

  • vineet

    How about audio Jack 3.5MM??

  • HTCman

    Well I sold my 16gb playbook and pre-ordered this little bad boy. I am hoping that there will be more free apps in google’s play store. It was a little pricey 310.00 bucks after tax and shipping for the 16gb version. However I will get that $25 store credit so its ok i guess.

  • \gIan/

    doesn’t the 25$gift card make its butter

  • sicsicpuppy

    Playbook ………..Kindle Fire ………..same

  • wdwdwd

    I just realized it doesn’t support dual-view settings menu, what the hell?

  • Dave

    “why use a camera on a tablet unless you’re video conferencing? ”
    That’s is the main reason and most important thing why most people buy a tablet … for IM . total failure Google.

    • Acco

      … Wait, so because this only has a front facing camera, you’re saying it’s a failure? How many people *actually* use the back facing camera on their tablet? I certainly don’t. It’s too bloody big.

  • MB

    No Jelly Bean on the new 7″ Samsung Tab 2 but a much better value with the SD slot…

  • Acco

    And people: You forget that this tablet is supposed to tie into Google’s cloud storage. They *want* people to buy content over loading it onto the device, because it furthers the success of the Google Play marketplace.

  • Josh

    Got my Galaxy S3 today.. and now I know what my plan is for next month LOL.

  • josh

    is there no headphone jack??? yes thumbs up, no thumbs down please

  • John Player

    Can you use a wireless internet stick in the USB slot of this tablet?

  • Nick

    For those of you complaining about the SD slot, Grab the Acer A110 when it comes out this summer. from the display models shown (not finished product.. but..) Sub 200$ price point. Quad core, 1024 x 600 resolution, 1GB ram, Expandable slot +8gb internal. Also its running vanilla android (ICS not JB) with no overlay. A good alternative.

  • Tom

    Its gotta be saying something when id rather pay 600$ for an iPad than 200$ for yet another Android tablet. And for those of you in the know, i rather dislike Apple products.

    • Smee

      Why?

      Honestly?

  • abc123

    Honest question. Can I hook this up to my TV or not? Either through an HDMI port or micro-usb with MHL adaptor?

    I see conflicting or incomplete information on the internet. Even the google play store doesn’t have this information.

    • Vineet

      @abc123 it does not have HDMI port that is 100% sure and as far as i know the micro usb only has audio capabilities not video but can not assure you on that.

    • JOE

      -according to engadget, no mhl supported. i hope its a mistake, but no way to know until others confirm it or someone posts a vid
      -anandtech said they heard usb host/otg works, but they did not have chance to try or confirm yet

      -maybe the dock connectors will lead to a cheap dock that can support HD video out & usb host, etc. Otherwise, my interest in the nexus7 is getting slim.

  • JOE

    -anandtech also said no MHL! They say otg works for mouse/keyboard/ethernet, but NOT for flash storage! I hope its a mistake, like maybe it supports fat32, but not ntfs?

    no usb flash, no mhl, no microsd is overkill. They need to make a 32gb version, or a dock with ports. I hope other companies bring out their 7inch KAI tabs soon

  • JOE

    i guess i could get a wireless storage hard drive? if that works, it would solve storage problem. Though even if it does work, still doesn’t solve the video out problem =|

  • tones

    groovy

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