by Sean Devlin, Front Rush
Another $200 tablet came out recently, this one by Google: The Google Nexus 7.
We decided to review it since we hear a lot of coaches being rejected by their respective university for the $499 iPad. Since this one is a lot less, the question we wanted to answer was “is it worth the investment, or better to save up for the more popular iPad?
Well first and foremost, the device does not have cellular access so if that is a requirement, you can scratch this off of your list. If that is not a requirement, then read further.
The device is seven inches as opposed to the iPad’s 9.7 inches. Many have argued about this and it really comes down to feel. Walking around with the Nexus and consuming content seems very natural (arguably more natural then the larger iPad). This could definitely come into play while on the field or on the court, using your tablet to help you with note-taking or other scouting duties.
The Nexus 7 uses Google’s latest Android OS which is Jelly Bean, and let me tell you that Jelly Bean is much better than the OS most Android users are using which is Gingerbread. It is much cleaner, and much crisper than Gingerbread in the instances I personally have tested it. It’s almost like Google put in an effort to have a nice looking interface, which is going to be great for the coaches who use it. With that said, it is not as “silky” as the iPad. Putting the two devices side by side, the iPad is clearly much smoother with interactions.
The Nexus 7 uses the Chrome browser and for some reason, we have noticed that many pages don’t load properly. We even tested Chrome on the Nexus 7 vs Chrome on the iPad and iPhone and pages show up properly on the iPad and iPhone that don’t on the Nexus 7. We found this kind of annoying.
We did find that many popular apps which are optimized for the Nexus 7 are quite nice, and great to use relative to their phone counterparts. Of course, we only have a small sample pool but apps like Instapaper, Flipboard, and Evernote work well. With that said, you do get full access to the Play Store.
So what is the overall impression? Well overall its a great device for he money. We will keep it around and use it to read articles and books from Amazon. But with all of the rumors an iPad mini about to be launched, keep in mind that you may have even more options to choose from in the ever-expanding tablet market.
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