New compact tablet exceeds the $199 price-point in terms of apps, fails to reach an adequate level of internet connectivity.
PSFK recently had the chance to play with the new low-cost HD tablet powered by Google, the Nexus 7. The sleek 7 inch on-the-go tablet was designed to match the size of a paperback book, while less than a half inch thick and weighs about the same as a pint glass. The quad-core processor powers the new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean platform to allow it to quickly switch between surfing the internet and playing crystal clear videos.
The 1280×800 HD screen showcases all of visual quality in the movies, apps and media found in the Google Play market. The Nexus also comes preloaded with the most popular Google apps like Gmail, Chrome, Google+, YouTube and Google Now, and is easily customized by dragging and dropping your apps and widgets.
The new Google Now feature leverages all of the information that helps to inform your day, showing the weather, traffic and calendar meetings. It also offers a voice search that finds the answers to your queries, similar to that of Apple’s Siri but without the snarky riposte. The new tablet seem to support the range of apps that developers can throw at it and serves to further connect the Google mobile environment.
Many of the apps allow users to pin content and download it for offline use, but much of the functionality hinges on a very strong and stable internet connection. While we applaud the break neck speed with which Asus and Google were able to partner and create a compact, powerful and visually sharp sold-out tablet in under 6 months, which will clearly put them at pace with other tablet competitors, we wonder if customers in the $199 tablet market have a consistent enough Wi-fi signal to power the apps and power the tablet, since the US ranks below the top 25 for connectivity with less than a third of the US population using high-speed broadband and many americans still borrowing Wifi from their neighbors. While Google says “Nexus 7 was built to bring you the best of Google” we think they can do better and await connectivity options that will bring the power of Google to this tablet and push it well beyond any of its price-point competitors.