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Google Nexus 7 Tablet Review

The Google Nexus 7 is here, and it's impressive even before you look at the pricetag.

July 17, 2012
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Screen

The Google Nexus 7 is built around a 6" x 3.75" backlit IPS LCD display with a capacitive touch screen that is not only responsive, but quite beautiful. Because its pixel density is quite high for its size, it creates a fantastic image that makes individual pixels extremely difficult to see. Strangely enough, it does have some contrast errors that lead to some bizarre artifacting in gradients.

Front Image

Indoor & Outdoor Use

Due to the somewhat lower peak brightness and the high reflectivity of the tablet, we don't recommend using it in brightly-lit areas, as the Google Nexus 7 is very annoying to use outdoors. With those two issues combined, you'll find that the picture will be difficult to see in direct sunlight.

indoor-outdoor.jpg

NOTE: The images above are shot with a variety of lighting sources, which may cause some color shift.

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Legibility

The Google Nexus7 ‘s impressively high DPI allows for an extremely legible, crisp image in just about everything you look at. While it’s not quite as good as the iPad, it’s far more attractive than, say, a Kindle Fire.

legibility.jpg

Reflectance

Like most tablets with an LCD screen, the Google Nexus7 is highly reflective. Sending back 11.65% of all light back at the user, the Google Nexus7 doesn’t reflect as much light as other tablets, but the ill effects of bright light are worsened by a sharp reflection pattern, and the tablet’s average peak brightness.

Screen Size & DPI

Google gave its Nexus7 a 6″ × 3.75″ display with a resolution of 1280 × 800, netting it a pixel density (per inch) of 213 PPI, which is very dense for a tablet that will most commonly be used at a fair distance away from your eyeballs. Not only that, but due to its size, if held at the correct distance, the Google Nexus7 ’s pixels cannot be seen to the naked eye (unless you have “better than perfect” vision). Absolutely fantastic, Google and Asus!

Blacks and Whites

Even though the peak brightness isn’t all that fantastic, it should be bright enough for most home use. Coupled with the fact that it has a decently low black level, the Google Nexus7 has a fairly good contrast ratio in comparison to most tablets.

Blacks and Whites Chart

Color Gamut

The Google Nexus7 has the best color gamut of all Android devices tested to date by a huge margin. While it does have the usual shifting of blues and reds, the color error is much, much lower than it is on 99% of all other Android tablets. If you’re looking for an Android tablet with the best screen, here it is.

Color Gamut Chart

Battery Life

We apologize for taking so long with the battery tests, but it happened that way because it takes a really long time for the battery to discharge even at full brightness. In our tests, the Google Nexus7 was able to last 11 hours and 8 minutes playing a video on repeat, and it was able to read an War and Peace for 8 hours, 15 minutes before dying. As usual, we tested the tablet with all wireless turned off and the backlight cranked, so your mileage will probably vary if you keep WiFi on, tether a device, or lower your backlight.

As it sits right now, this is the best battery life of any tablet on the market so far, including the iPad with that behemoth inside. It seems that the 4325mAh battery is very big for a 7" tablet, and consequently, it allows you to take this tablet anywhere. You could even take this on an intercontinental flight to Europe from North America, and chances are good that it would last most of the way, if not the whole time. Asus and Google really loaded this thing for bear.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Email & Web Browsing
  8. Internet Apps
  9. Amazon Kindle Fire Comparison
  10. Apple iPad 3rd Gen Comparison
  11. Motorola Xyboard Comparison
  12. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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