Nexus 7 review: the best $200 tablet you can buy

DNP Nexus 7 review

In 2008, when the Eee PC was revolutionizing the computing world and driving every manufacturer to make cheaper and smaller laptops, Sony washed its hands of the whole thing. The “race to the bottom,” the company said, would profoundly impact the industry, killing profit margins and flooding the market with cheap, terrible machines. Sony was wrong, its stance lasting about a year before joining the competition with its own VAIO W.

Four years on we’re buying better laptops than ever before and, with the netbook class now more or less dead, that downward competition seems to have shifted to the tablet front. A flood of cheap, truly awful slates preceded Amazon’s Kindle Fire, the $200 tablet from a major brand that looks to have been the proper catalyst in plunging prices. The latest challenger to enter the competition is ASUS, partnering with Google to create the first Nexus tablet, a device that not only will amaze with its MSRP, but with its quality. It’s called the Nexus 7, it too is $200, and it’s better than Amazon’s offering in every way but one.

Hardware

Though that low cost is the big talking point about this tablet, you’d certainly never know it just by holding the thing. Okay, so there’s more polycarbonate than panache here, but the design of the Nexus 7 feels reasonably high-end, starting with that rubberized back. Yes, it is rubber, but it’s very nicely textured, nice enough to fool one tech journalist into thinking it was leather.

Though the cost is the big talking point about this tablet, you’d certainly never know it just by holding the thing.

No cow shed its skin to cover the back of this tablet, of that we can assure you, but the dimpled pattern here is not unlike the sort you might find on leather-wrapped racecar steering wheels. While there’s no MOMO logo to be found, the feel is much the same and, we presume, rather more durable. There are two other logos to be found, though, starting with the Nexus branding embossed in big letters on the top, with a much smaller ASUS graphic on the bottom. That’s it, though: understated and sophisticated. Just how we like it. (Even the FCC logo and other noise are on a piece of plastic you can easily peel off.) There’s also no camera lens poking out here, as the 1.2-megapixel shooter up front is all you get.

Move further down toward the bottom of the back and you’ll find the device’s single speaker. It’s a slit that runs roughly two-thirds of the way across the back, centered and sitting about a half-inch above the bottom — which is, by the way, where you’ll find the tablet’s only ports. Centered down there is a micro-USB connector and, to the far right side when looking at the display, the 3.5mm headphone jack. That’s it. Thankfully, ASUS’s proprietary connector found on the Transformer tablets doesn’t make an appearance here, but neither do we get a dedicated HDMI output, which is a bit of a bummer. (You can, of course, use an MHL adapter if you like.)

Nexus 7 review

On the left edge of the device, similar dock contacts to those found on the Galaxy Nexus can be found, presumably waiting to be tickled by some future accessory, while up top you’ll find … nothing. Just the silvery ring that runs around the full device. It looks like brushed metal, but feels more like plastic. Even so, the tablet has a very sturdy, strong feel to it — but that’s partly thanks to it being just a little bit chunky.

It measures 10.45mm (0.41 inches) thick, which is just half a millimeter thinner than the Kindle Fire — itself no slender belle. But, crucially, it weighs much less: 340g (12 ounces) versus 413g (14.6 ounces) for the Fire. That’s a very noticeable difference and it makes the Nexus 7 much nicer to carry around. Its curved edges, too, make it far more comfortable.

On the inside is an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor running at 1.2GHz (though it can step up to 1.3GHz when it wants to) and paired with 1GB of RAM with either eight or 16 gigs of flash storage (doubling the capacity will cost you a $50 premium). As there’s no microSD expansion here, you’ll probably want to pay the extra cash. WiFi (802.11b/g/n) is your only option for data connectivity, though there’s naturally Bluetooth and NFC, not to mention GPS, an accelerometer, a digital compass and a gyroscope, too.

Display and sound

Nexus 7 review

Budget tablets typically make the biggest sacrifices on the display front, and certainly the 1,024 x 600 resolution on the Kindle Fire feels a bit constricting at this point. Not so with the Nexus 7, which is fronted by a very nice 1,280 x 800 IPS panel rated at 400 nits of brightness. While more pixels is always better — the new iPad and its Retina display having made us yearn for ridiculously high resolutions in all our devices — WXGA feels perfectly adequate here. Text is rendered very well and 720p videos look great.

Much of that, though, is thanks to the other, less quantifiable aspects of the screen. Viewing angles are top-notch, with contrast staying strong regardless of which side you’re coming from. And, it’s plenty bright, too, a properly nice screen that, like everything else here, is just a little nicer than you’d expect given the cost.

Audio, however, isn’t exactly fighting above its class. The speakers integrated in the back and peeking out through a slender slit toward the bottom deliver a decent amount of sound that isn’t too unpleasant to listen to. It passes the “loud enough to fill a hotel room” test but the quality at those levels will leave you reaching for your earbuds.

Performance and battery life

Nexus 7 review

When Jen-Hsun Huang teased Tegra 3-powered tablets would drop under $200 this summer he obviously knew what was coming, but what we didn’t know was just how far back those tablets would have to be scaled to make that price point. If you’ve been reading all the way through to here (and we love you for it) you’ll know we haven’t yet found a real compromise made to achieve that price. Compromises will not be found in this section, either.

Okay, so a 35-second boot time does leave a little bit to be desired, but once you’re inside the OS, applications load quickly and respond briskly, even graphics-heavy ones like the Google Play magazine app. Webpages are rendered promptly and swiping through them is snappy. Sure, there are the occasional stutters and hiccups here that even a coating of Butter doesn’t completely eliminate, but we’ve experienced those with even the top-shelf tablets, like the recent Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 with its 1.7GHz version of the Tegra 3 processor.

If benchmarks are to be believed, this little guy actually performs better than its bigger brothers.

In fact, if benchmarks are to be believed, this little guy actually performs better than its bigger brothers. SunSpider tests, which look at JavaScript rendering speeds in the new Chrome browser, were completed on average in a relatively speedy 1,785ms. The tablet burned through Vellamo with an average score of 1,650 and notched 11,713 in CF-Bench. Only the Quadrant score was on the low side compared to the much higher-priced competition, coming in at 3,501.

Nexus 7 ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 ASUS Transformer Prime
Quadrant 3,501 4,685 4,137
Vellamo 1,650 1,475 1,418
AnTuTu Would not run 12,027 10,269
SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms) 1,785 2,012 1,861
GLBenchmark Egypt Offscreen (fps) 63 fps 75 fps 68 fps
CF-Bench 11,807 7,874 11,861
SunSpider: lower scores are better

Since there were plenty of people freaking out about the new iPad getting warm when gaming and doing other intensive tasks we’ll point out briefly that the Nexus 7 was noticeably increasing in temperature as these benchmarks cooked away. But, at no point did it become disconcertingly hot. Just a little toasty.

Tablet Battery Life
Nexus 7 9:49
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 12:01
Apple iPad 2 10:26
Acer Iconia Tab A510 10:23
ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime 10:17 / 16:34 (keyboard dock)
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 9:55
Apple iPad (2012) 9:52 (HSPA) / 9:37 (LTE)
Apple iPad (2011) 9:33
ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity TF700 9:25 / 14:43 (keyboard dock)
Toshiba Excite 10 9:24
Motorola Xoom 2 8:57
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 8:56
HP TouchPad 8:33
ASUS Transformer Pad TF300 8:29 / 12:04 (keyboard dock)

And of course a tablet is only good for as long as you can use the thing, and we were quite impressed by the longevity here. We came within spitting distance of 10 hours on a charge using out standard rundown test, which has the tablet connected on WiFi and looping a video endlessly. That’s very, very good for a budget 7-incher and bests many bigger, more expensive slates.

Software

The Nexus 7 is the first device shipping with Android 4.1. We’ll defer to our full review of Jelly Bean for full impressions, as it’s far too much to get into here, but there are a few aspects of the latest additions to Android that are worth pointing out.

Like those magazine subscriptions we mentioned above, for example. The Play Magazines app is a perfectly respectable reader that has a great selection of content and very smooth performance. While pinch-to-zoom is quite fluid, thanks to the reasonably high-res screen you won’t necessarily have to do so as often as you might on the Fire. That’s because text is clear and readable if you still have the eyesight to match — though should you want something a bit easier to parse there’s a handy text view.

In terms of pricing, though, we found many magazines to be slightly more expensive here than they are on the Fire. Music, too, tends to cost a dollar or two more per album than what Amazon offers in its MP3 download store. Thankfully, since all that music is DRM-free, there’s nothing stopping you from loading up your tablet with what you’ve bought elsewhere. Nothing, at least, other than the somewhat limited amount of internal storage.

You can finally uninstall that ancient Chrome to Phone plugin.

And then, of course, there’s the new stock browser, Chrome. Not a lot has changed since our first impressions a few months ago, so it’s still a nice step up from the boring, old Browser app on previous versions of Android. Rendering performance is generally good, and the ability to import open tabs from a desktop browsing session is very handy, indeed. You can finally uninstall that ancient Chrome to Phone plugin.

Wrap-up

Nexus 7 review

The Nexus 7 is an amazing package for something that costs a penny less than $200. It feels like something that could sell for much more. It has a great screen, solid performance and a clean, clear, uncluttered version of Google’s latest operating system, Jelly Bean. From a pure hardware standpoint it beats the Kindle in every way possible — except for content. Amazon’s selection almost always trumps that of Google’s, both in terms of variety and cost, but that’s one wonderful problem to have, because almost all of that content is just as available on the Nexus 7 as it is on the Fire. The only major exception is Amazon Instant Video, and with Netflix, we can live with that.

So, while we tend to prefer larger tablets that better differentiate themselves from phones, if you’ve been toying with the idea of getting a real Android slate but didn’t want to spend big bucks for a big device, this is what you’ve been waiting for. This is the best Android tablet for less than $200 and the best budget 7-inch tablet on the market. For the moment. The race to the bottom in the tablet space is, after all, just getting started and, if the Nexus 7 is any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for a very good ride.

Update: We received some bogus information on the MHL. We’ve now confirmed that the Nexus 7 does not support MHL, meaning there’s no way to connect this over HDMI to get video output.

 

Courtesy : engadget

 

 

Top 10 Cheapest Computers In The World

During the PC era in the 1980s, you had to spend $3,000 or more for a computer. Today, you can buy a notebook that’s hundreds of times more powerful than the original IBM PC for well under $400, but many people around the world cannot afford it. A new generation of low-cost tablets, USB-sized computers and miniature motherboards can put an entire world of computing power in the palm of your hand for as little as $25. This is a major step towards equipping students with computers and creating a whole new generation of programmers in developing countries.

Raspberry Pi ($25)

Raspberry Pi flaunts high-performance video and graphics on a single-board computer. It can even run popular video game Quake III and play back full HD video using HDMI. Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation with the intention of stimulating the teaching of basic computer science in schools. The Foundation offers two versions, priced at 25 and 35US$.

Aakash 2 ($40)

The Aakash 2 tablet, the improved version of the original Aakash slate, will be updated with the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system within six to eight weeks after the device is shipped .Aakash 2 is a more ramped up version with a 7-inch capacitive touch screen, a 700 MHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor and a 3200 mAh battery — notably, specs that are almost twice as good as the original project blueprint. It gives users access to the Android Market apps ecosystem. Connection methods include WiFi and GPRS. Picking up this slate will cost you either $40 or $60

VIA APC 8750 ($49)

VIA APC 8750 is the answer to the Raspberry Pi: an ARM-based neo-ITX system running Google’s Android operating system. This tiny, bare-bones PC measures 17 x 8.5 cm and can be plugged directly into a TV or monitor, or stuffed into the undersized chassis of your choice (a standard Mini-ITX or microATX, for instance).

The device runs Google Android 2.3 (for mouse and keyboard input), and is powered by an 800MHz clock processor with 512MB of RAM and 2GB of NAND Flash graphics. You also get VGA and HDMI display ports, HDTV support, four USB 2.0 ports and a microSD slot for expandable storage on the undersized device.

DataWind Ubislate 7 ($60)

Late last year,Indiaannounced a noble project to the world: The country would create the “world’s cheapest tablet computer,” intended for students and offered at the lowered price of $35, and later on in stores for $60. Available as of October 2011, the Aakash — eventually called the Datawind Ubislate 7 on retail availability — features a 366 MHz Connexant CPU, 256 MB of RAM and 2GB of storage (expandable via microSD).

Instead of a capacitive touch screen, however, the tablet has a 7-inch resistive LCD display, runs on the Android 2.2 operating system and has access to the Getjar market instead of the traditional Android Market. Though it notches a rather short battery life of three hours — and even shorter when you’re playing HD video — the endeavor is still an altogether laudable one for a population where most commercial tablets have simply been out of reach.

Mele A1000 ($70)

The Raspberry Pi folks have been getting a lot of attention for their $35 PC with an ARM-based processor and support for some open source software. But as the cost of computer components continues to drop, the Raspberry Pi is hardly the only inexpensive PC capable of running Linux.

The Mele A1000 is a system that sells for $70 and up and which features a number of components that the Raspberry Pi lacks — including a SATA port, a case, and a faster processor. It is an ARM PC that runs Android 2.3 originally, but can be tweaked to run Ubuntu Linux as well. It’s powered by the ARM-based Allwinner A10 chip and a 1.2 GHz Cortex A8 ARM core processor. Graphics-wise, a MALI400MP OpenGL ES 2.0 GPU is onboard, and if you ever get the itch to run apps on a TV, the Mele A1000 can handle this task with aplomb. The device also features an SD card slot and USB ports for additional attachments, along with an external SATA port and Ethernet. Computer tweakers, start using your imagination.

MK802 ($74)

The MK802 is an inexpensive device with an Allwinner A10 processor, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of storage. It looks like a USB flash drive, but it’s basically got all the workings of a tiny computer designed to run Google Android — including a USB port which you can use for a keyboard or mouse and an HDMI port for a TV. The MK802 supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi and has an ARM Cortex-A8 single core processor with support for HD video playback in a variety of formats including MP4, H.264, and WMV.

Intel NUC (>$100)

A diminutive new computer platform has been unveiled by Intel, they call it the “Next Unit of Computing” (NUC). Whether it’s a mini Mac Mini or a big Raspberry Pi depends on your own perspective but it does seem to slot somewhere between those systems in size and pricing. The NUC will feature Thunderbolt connectivity, 2 x mini PCIe headers, 2 x SODIMM slots, HDMI and USB 3.0. Initially, the engine of the NUC will be a SandyBridgei3 or i5 combined with Intel HD 3000 graphics. Without looking at any benchmarks you can see that the NUC will be very powerful compared to the significantly smaller 700MHz Raspberry Pi. The bare board also looks a lot more complicated. When buying a NUC box you will have to pay multiples of the RasPi’s price, a bare NUC is estimated to retail in the region of $100. The first NUC computers are expected in the second half of this year, said to be aimed at kiosks and under TV applications.

Aionol Novo 7 ($120)

Aionol Novo 7 is a $120 Android tablet. The slate features a 1024×600 IPS display, 8GB of Flash memory (expandable up to 16GB via microSD) and 802.11 b/g/n WiFi. Even better, it’s run by a 1.2-GHz ARM Cortex processor and comes dripping in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, so you should be able to watch movies, play popular casual games and surf the Internet with ease — up to its rated battery life of 8 hours, to boot.

CuBox ($135)

With 1080p video playback and infrared remote-control compatibility, the tiny CuBox is crying out for a place in the living room. Unsurprisingly, the typical use for the $135 box is as a media centre or set-top box. But the CuBox, which supports various Linux distributions including Ubuntu and Debian, has more tricks up its sleeve – able to function as a thin-client device, software development platform or as part of network-attached storage setup. The CuBox is no bigger than two inches in any direction and draws no more than three watts of power from its 5V power supply.

BeagleBoard-xM ($149)

Striking a nice balance between price and power, the $149 Beagleboard-xM is the platform of choice for many home-brew electronics and robotics projects. Powered by USB, the BeagleBoard-xM is open-source hardware designed to offer laptop-grade performance and expandability packed into a device just over three inches across.

The board – which supports a range of operating systems including Linux, Risc OS and Windows CE – is suited for use as a low-cost PC or a development platform, with 512MB allowing for software multitasking and compilation of large bundles of code. BeagleBoard can support equipment ranging from sensors to electric motors, making it well suited to controlling electronics and robotics. The devices are being used as a processing unit in projects to develop an autonomous ground vehicle, unmanned aerial vehicles and even a robot postman.

OTHER OPTIONS

There are many other amazing computers which can give a stiff competition specification wise to those in the top 10 but I have not included them in the top 10 since they are priced a little higher than those in the top 10 list. Now let us have a close look at some of these options.

PandaBoard ES ($180)

Like the Pi but with a bit more grunt under the hood and a higher price tag, the $180 PandaBoard ES is suited to both PC user and developer. The diminutive board is based on an open-source hardware design, and can run several flavours of Linux, such as Ubuntu and the Android OS. Support for a range of add-on boards allows the device to drive motors, run sensors and power LEDs, or anything else an electronics or robotics enthusiast might want to do. Among other things, PandaBoards have been used as media centres streaming 1080p, as control units for robots, as a wearable computer, to run a gesture-control interface, and as a general-purpose Android dev tool. Hobbyists and new users will benefit from the active online community collaborating on PandaBoard projects and sharing tips on its use through wikis, mailings, videos and chat channels.

Cotton Candy ($199)

If you thought the Raspberry Pi was tiny, then check out the Cotton Candy, a computer that fits onto a USB stick. Billed as the smallest computer in the world, the Cotton Candy is designed to be a computer you can carry in your pocket. The $199 Linux-powered machine is simple and only needs a USB port for power and a HDMI-compatible display to operate. It can be plugged into any computer or device with a USB port, hooked to a display and paired with a mouse and keyboard and it’s ready to go. Cotton Candy’s manufacturers describe it as providing a secure way for people to access cloud services and apps on the move.

Gumstix Overo ($115 – $229)

The Overo boards are the chameleons of computing – just as happy controlling a smartphone-sized touchscreen as they are tracking locations via GPS. The Overo are boards that provide the guts of a computer – such as the CPU and memory – and are then mounted on different expansion boards to change their abilities, allowing them to connect to and control different hardware. However, don’t expect them to do everything a computer can out of the box, as they need to be mounted on expansion boards to add abilities such as hooking up to a display or connecting to Ethernet.

The small size and customizable nature of the hardware has led to Gumstix’s use in a wide range of applications – such as helping control mini-satellites and humanoid robots, as well as being clustered into a supercomputer to track botnets online. Ongoing projects are using Gumstixs to develop real-time computer-vision processing in a wearable system and an e-reader with a flexible display. A community provides wikis and how-tos to bring new users up to speed. Gumstix Overo boards range in feature and price – from the $115 Overo Sand to the $229 Overo FE COM – with expansion boards ranging from $27 to $129.

Apple iPad 3 [Rumors]

Apple iPad 3 may be released on February 24th, 2012 which is of course the date of Steve Jobs Birth Anniversary. There are unconfirmed news started to spread around the web, that iPad 3 with Retina Display and some more powerful hardware upgrade where we also like to mention SIRI may be featured on iPad 3, to be released during February.

apple ipad3 retina

After the arrival of iPad, many tablet companies have copied the design and tried their best to bring much changes similar to iOS and iPad Design. But always it stands out from the crowd as an amazing tablet that gives you more responsive touch experience with Surfing, Gaming without saying no to Productivity related tasks. Dont miss iPad 3 Features and Specification here.

Apple iPad 3 Launch Date

There is no official confirmation from any valid sources, still there are rumors that relates the possibility of Steve Jobs Birth Anniversary as the iPad 3 release date. It will be really great if that is true, because many are waiting to see the drastic changes (positively) that Apple iPad 3 gonna bring. iPad is best for Gaming and Business Applications as well. It never let you down when you work with your business apps, surf the web or sending an email.

 

iPad 3 Features and Specification Based on Rumors

iPad 3 Hardware Specification

Lets start with the hardware changes that iPad 3 will have.

Processor

ipad 3 processor

Currently, iPad 2 have an A5 Chipset and PowerVr SGX543MP2 GPU that delivers great graphics for Gaming and Video. So it may be A6 Processor that has Quad Core feature can change the way once again that iPad works with improved Processing power and GPU capabilities very much.

Camera

iPad 3 Camera may come with 8 Megapixel to record 1080p HD video with excellent clarity. Where there is also a chance for bringing LED FLash facility to capture great pictures at night also. iPhone 4S has that notable change compare to iPhone 4 where the picture quality got lots of improvements and the Flash really makes the picture good at night-time photo shoot as well.

Fingerproof Technology

Apple has recently got its patent to fingerproof technology and we can experience the same with upcoming apple devices without doubt.

iCloud and More Storage

One of the amazing feature is iCloud, where it syncs all your iOS devices with the photos, contacts, notes, and documents that you save on one device. The movie service is also expected to be launched through iCloud where you can download and watch it at your convenience. The advancement in iCloud also gives an option to see increased storage space for apple devices where iPad 3 64GB Model may become basic version and iPad 3 128 GB, iPad 3 256 GB Storage can possibly arrive to let users store more music, more videos and data.

In this way Apple can start selling its iCloud extra storage space plans to the users where they will buy icloud storage apart from the free 5GB, to store more contents on iCloud and access it from other devices.

SIRI on iPad 3

siri ipad3

Another most expected feature that Apple may consider bringing SIRI the virtual assistant featured on iPhone 4S (A5 Processor) device on iPad 3 as well. In the recent meet the Apple spokesperson have clearly mentioned that apple has no plans to port Siri on iPhone 4, iPod Touch and iPad 2 so far. So in future there are chances to get SIRI on other devices officially.

HDMI Port on iPad 3

This is another possible feature where you will not require any additional converter cables to share the iPad screen with TV for presentation purposes.

iPad 3D Display

iPad 3 may also support 3D Technology to watch 3D videos on your iPad itself. They may also provide a 3D glass as an accessory or along with the iPad to once again show the difference from its competitors.

[Image shows a Kenya brand tablet with 3D feature]

Retina Display on iPad 3

Retina Display gives ultimate 960 x 640 screen resolution on iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S to see the texts and picture more crisp and sharper than any other smartphones. That means 326 pixels per inch that totally lets human eyes to not differentiate what they see on the phone. iPad 3 display may come up with 2048 x 1536 pixel to feature that Retina Display to an amazing big size screen.

 

source : http://www.dailytut.com/

Aakash Tablet PC

India, which has released the World’s Cheapest Car, The Tata Nano has also released the World’s Cheapest Tablet PC, the Aakash Tablet PC which was earlier known as Sakshat Tablet. It comes with Android v2.2 (Froyo) with 7 Inch display. The expected price in India is Rs. 1100. Isn’t that shocking?

 

 

Let us have a look at the specifications of this cheapest Tablet.

  1. Display: 7-inch with resistive touch screen (800×480 resolution)
  2. OS: Android* v2.2 (Froyo)
  3. Weight: Around 360 gms
  4. Keyboard: Built In
  5. RAM: 256MB
  6. Connectivity: USB port, WiFi**, 3.5mm Jack
  7. Internal Memory: 2GB
  8. Expandable Memory: 32GB
  9. Battery: 3 hours (2100mAh Battery)
  10. Supported File Formats: DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS, XLSX, ODT, ODP
  11. Processor: 366 Mhz. Connexant with Graphics accelerator and HD Video processor
  12. Supported Image Formats: PNG, JPG, BMP and GIF
  13. Supported Audio Formats: MP3, AAC, AC3, WAV, WMA
  14. Supported Video Formats: MPEG2, MPEG4, AVI, FLV
  15. Applications: PDF Viewer, Text Editor

* Android Market cannot be accessed.

** WiFi will be available after 3 months which will change the price of Aakash Tablet PC to Rs. 3000.

This phone is mainly launched for educational purpose.