Google Nexus 7 Tablet Just Made the Kindle Fire Obsolete

Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Google finally unveiled their first tablet, and for the most part it lives up to the hype that has been surrounding it all year. It’s called the Google Nexus 7 and it is being made by Asus, who is no stranger to Android tablets with their popular Transformer line.

What makes the Google Nexus 7 stand out among the gazillion other Android tablets is the fact it has a 1.2GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor (that means it’s blazing fast) and a 7″ IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 800. Oh, and the price starts at $199. That’s a pretty big selling point too.

Tablets like the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet that also sell for $199 have slower processors, 1024 x 600 resolution screens, and run Android 2.3 whereas the Google Nexus 7 runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the latest version of Android.

Other 7-inch budget tablets in the sub-$200 range have even slower single-core processors and lower resolution screens in the 800 x 480 and 800 x 600 range. Plus most don’t come with support for Google’s app store.

The Google Nexus 7 is definitely going to take a good portion of the 7-inch tablet market with its combination of high-end specs and a starting price of $199. It’s pretty much a souped up version of the Kindle Fire, complete with a higher resolution screen that should be among the best when it comes to ereading.

Other features for the Nexus 7 tablet include a 1.2MP front-facing camera, scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, 1GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, GPS, a microphone, NFC support (Android Beam), Bluetooth, and an array of sensors: a magnetometer, gyroscope, and accelerometer. The battery life is said to be up to 8 hours for video and 10 hours for ereading.

Unfortunately there are a couple of details that keep the Google Nexus 7 from being the ultimate 7-inch tablet. First and foremost, it has no memory card slots. It also lacks an HDMI port for connecting to a TV. It doesn’t have a rear camera either. They had to cut costs somewhere and unfortunately those are the features that got axed. The lack of an SD card slot is going to be a big negative for a lot of people.

There are two models. One comes with 8GB of internal storage—it sells for $199—and the other comes with 16GB of storage space and it sells for $249.

Both are available for pre-order from Google right now and are expected to ship in 2-3 weeks. The Nexus tablet is being sold in the United States, Canada, and the UK, with additional countries getting added soon.

Google is also giving away a $25 credit for the Play Store with the purchase of a Nexus tablet and a free copy of Transformers: Dark Moon, along with some other free content too. That at least helps defer the annoying $13.99 shipping fee for ordering the tablet.

Google’s Nexus 7 Video Promo

38 Responses to “Google Nexus 7 Tablet Just Made the Kindle Fire Obsolete”

  1. Darn, lack of memory expansion and connectivity options is a downer for me. Still, it beats Kindle Fore in every way. It also poses problems for the Nook Tablet which has a lot more restrictions at the same price. B&N is going to have to loosen up those restrictions soon or lower their price dramatically.

    • Lack of Flash drive is a big I am supposed to do with 30 GB of books and video? But the processor is great!!!

  2. Robert Bitzer June 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I love my GT 7.7, but I’m excited to see a high-quality $200 tablet. I can’t seem to find out if it has a headphone jack or not…looks like it MIGHT have one at the bottom but its not mentioned. I watch movies on my tab quite often and having the headphones is a must if for privacy…

    • Good catch. I didn’t even notice and now I’ve looked everywhere and there’s no mention of a headphone jack at all. I’ve never seen a tablet without one. Maybe they expect everyone to fork over more $$$ for Bluetooth headphones and speakers. Kind of like they make everyone shell out an extra $13.99 for shipping. I can’t remember the last time having to pay shipping on an ereader or tablet. It’s almost always free unless you want to get it faster.

    • Don’t worry there is a headphone jack on the bottom. Right of the tablet but it doesn’t come with headphones…:(

      • Bluetooth headphones are much better anyway. Trust me. No wires so you don’t have to carry the Nexus everywhere you go. The range is pretty good too.

  3. Good point, Nathan. That shipping cost is a bit outrageous. Let’s hope it includes guaranteed 2 day shipping and an extra sturdy box.

    It looks like you have to buy a wall charger as well for $24.99. At least the case is reasonable priced at $19.99.

    I must admit, the lack of an SD card is disappointing. Apps, libraries, and music will take up a lot of space. Still, the screen, the play store, and the design will be amazing.

  4. And there is a headphone jack. From the case description:

    “The Nexus 7 cover allows simultaneous charging and headphone port access while keeping your device secure.”

  5. Yes.

  6. Barnes & Noble is now offering a free $30 gift card with the purchase of a Nook Tablet 16GB. If you are a B&N member you will already get a $25 discount on top of that, making the total value $194 before sales tax (free shipping). Looks like they are attempting to counter the publicity of the Nexus 7, which, although it is aimed more at taking sales away from the Kindle Fire, will undoubtedly hurt B&N the most, in my opinion. The Nook Tablet was the obvious second choice for people who wanted a 7″ tablet, but now the Nexus 7 has arrived and B&N is going to quickly find itself in third place. I wonder how things will play out between these three tablets in the coming months?

    • I would like to get a Nook Tablet…but I hope, either they reduce the price or come up with a quad core processor and better graphics.

  7. Let’s not forget the other “wild card”. Does anyone think that Apple might offer a 7 inch iPad and stir things up by jumping into this space? Or is this part of the tablet market too comoditized for them? Is 1280 by 800 in 7 inch “Retina Quality”?

    • I don’t know what defines “Retina Quality” exactly. I thought it was supposed to be like 300 ppi and up but then the iPad 3 has 264 ppi and Apple’s explanation was you hold the iPad farther away from the eyes so that was good enough. The Nexus 7 has 216 ppi so that’s not too far off of the iPad 3. By comparison the Kindle Fire has 170 ppi and cheap 800 x 480 7-inch tablets have 133 ppi. Typical computer monitors only have like 100 ppi. Speaking of which, the new iPad has really made me hate my computer monitor….

      Numbers via:

  8. I have a lot of music and books on Amazon’s cloud and personal document archive. Could I access these from a Google Nexus 7, or would I have to transfer them? Also, does the Android Kindle app really work as well as the Kindle Fire? I’m considering switching to the Nexus 7 for the camera and speed.

    • You can get all your ebooks and personal documents through the Kindle for Android app. It doesn’t have all the features the Fire has, like a choice of fonts types, but it’s pretty close. You can get your music through Amazon’s MP3 app. I think the only things you won’t be able to get is Amazon’s Instant Video and access to a free ebook per month through the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.

  9. Andrew Fujita June 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Remember that the hardware isn’t much without the content. The Kindle Fire is the portal into the Amazon ecosystem. It’s what you DO with the hardware and what you LEARN with the help of that hardware that is important. How you leave your mark on this world is what counts.

    The Nexus 7 tablet looks amazing. But the content Amazon has is more amazing to me. I’ll be happily productive on my Kindle Fire while all the sparkle of the Nexus 7 makes people part with their money. Then they will be left looking for something meaningful to actually do with their new toy. I can do and learn a lot with Amazon and my Amazon Prime membership. And the Kindle Fire helps me do that.

    I can’t just consider the hardware when making my purchasing decisions. The content is more important to me. Since I can’t use Amazon video streaming or ebook lending on the Nexus 7 I will sadly have to pass on the Nexus 7.

  10. The lack of a memory slot is a killer for me. I was totally ready to spring for this tablet. I have a Prime and was thinking that a mini-Prime would be really cool. I probably wouldn’t miss the camera and some of the other items but no memory slot! Good grief it like an Apple device!

    So. I have given up totally on the Asus/Google tablet. Instead I went out today and bought a Nook Simple Touch with the Glowlight. I evaluated why I wanted a 7 inch tablet and realized that it was primarily so that I could read books. The Prime is just a bit too unwieldy for reading. Movies, games, Pulse, web browsing, email, etc – the Prime is perfect. So I guess I wanted a book reader. Had a Color Nook with CM7 but gave it to my daughter. Had a Galaxy 7 but sold it to my niece. Love the size of NST. Glowlight is great for reading in bed. And, in a week or two, I will be hacking the poor thing. Or tired of it and I will return it.

  11. Andrew Fujita June 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    The Kindle apps for the various hardware has a limitation. Video streaming and ebook lending are only available on Kindle hardware and therefore are not available using the Kindle app on different hardware.

    The Kindle Fire is more tightly integrated into Amazon’s ecosystem. This better user experience and a full and rich ecosystem for content are 2 major reasons for Apple’s success and a major advantage for Amazon as well.

    A lot of the profit and success of a company will come from the sale of content, not from the profit of their tablet so not may companies will be around selling tablets in a few years.

  12. Andrew Fujita June 28, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    With Amazon I can buy an ebook. I also have the option of purchasing a hardcopy book instead. And with my Amazon Prime membership the 2 day shipping is free. I can also choose to purchase a used copy of the book for a fraction of the price. I don’t have as many choices with Google Play.

    I like having all my content on one device so I won’t have Amazon + Kindle Fire and a Barnes and Noble Tablet and a Nexus 7 + Google Play. I’m pretty much locked into Amazon and happy about it. Now if the Kindle Fire 2 had a better resolution screen, faster processor, and more memory to store all my content I’d buy that.

  13. @Andrew & Denny – excellent points.

  14. For those concerned about the lack of a memory slot the Nexus 7 apparently supports the “USB on the go” aka USB otg protocol that lets the microUSB slot read thumbdrives and SD cards through an adapter. It would be cool if somebody made a case with a built in adapter…

    I think this device is going to be very popular.

  15. Also unless I am misinformed, all the content that you can get on your Amazon devices you should also be able to access on the Nexus 7 via various apps, although the Amazon Prime stuff might be Fire specific, although I can view Ama prime stuff on my mac.

  16. USB on the go? It has a micro USB plug, and there are adapters that connect a micro USB to a full-size USB 2.0 plug. Not to mention all the add-on devices that plug into USB 2.0, including splitters and hubs.

    My gripe is, why can’t Nook and Sony readers have USB on the go?

    • Nook uses MicroSD and I am happy with that. I can also download books in the Micro USB. But because of that scenarios, I am not sure if I can set up a flash drive to Micro USB to Nexus 7. Any one tested it?

  17. On the subject of connectivity, Nexus 7 has Wifi and Bluetooth as well as that micro USB. Does it give you the option to access the internet by USB only, as well as by Bluetooth only if you prefer? Or is Wifi its only way? Do all its other features work without internet access? Or does all its promised magic depend on it?

    I bought and returned a Samsung because of the Wifi stumbling block. I bought an Archos Turbo, but I don’t want to give up on it and return it. If I could find someone to walk me through it I’d be grateful.

    We could use something like a ten-point test for all these new tablets, to see what works or doesn’t. Some tutorials in a choice of formats, like video or text, that’d be good. One thing in common that Nexus 7, iPad 3 and the rest have, each tablet makes a terrific conversation piece.

    • I really want to get the Nexus 7 but need to know if I can use my flash drive as external device for Videos, Music and Books. May be the Office Depot people will know soon…

  18. Does that mean a USB card reader with an adapter will not work on a Nexus 7? If so, it must have alternative ways to transfer files, like Bluetooth, right?

  19. I’m sure you can side-load files through the USB (from computer to device) just like any other tablet or reader.

  20. I don’t understand the lack of a memory card reader. I’m holding a memory card reader/usb adapter in my hand right now (or at least I was before I started typing). We’re talking about, at most, 50 cents worth of material.

  21. Yeah it seems almost inexcusable for a tablet not to have a MicroSD card slot. The idea behind it is that if customers want more memory, they will have to pay $50 – $200 more for larger capacity devices. The 64GB iPad is $699, whereas the 16GB entry level model is $499. So if I had a 32GB iPad and bought a 32GB MicroSD card, it would only cost me an extra $20 (depending on class), but Apple wants you to pay $100 more for memory.

    • I hope Apple will change the process. Otherwise, I will set up a personal cloud network to put my files and use Apple to get it…that would be expensive though…

  22. There will be other options for expanding memory too, like cloud storage, wireless hard drives, and there are apps that let you connect to your computer remotely. I wrote an article for the Kindle Fire awhile back and it applies to the Nexus 7 too.

    Three Ways to Expand Limited Storage Space

  23. Nathan, I’m sure there are other alternatives for expanding memory, but none are as cheap and ubiquitous as a micro sd slot. You’re really trying to like the Nexus too much 🙂 Just kidding. But not really. Andrew’s point is true, google wants you to buy something extra, whether it’s a memory upgrade or cloud storage. I don’t want to have to carry an external disc or make sure I have wi-fi access in order to carry a few movies on board.

    • I couldn’t agree more actually, not including a cheap microSD card slot is just stupid. After system files, the Nexus will probably only have like 6GB of open space. That’s downright pathetic if you want to use it as a portable video player. Google really dropped the ball on that. Unless Amazon or someone else comes out with something just as good in the next couple of months, the Nexus will sell like hotcakes, but I guarantee they could have sold more if they included a microSD card slot.

  24. any idea how to easily transfer ebooks from my harddrive to the nexus?