Sunday, 29 September 2013

Quick Review: Nexus 7 (2013)

I got this device shortly after it first came out, around mid-August. Having had over a month to get used to it, here are my opinions on it.

I, personally, love this thing. It's really light, the battery life's amazing, and the screen and performance are mind-blowing.

I mostly use it for reading, and the screen size and aspect ratio are perfectly suited for it. I also have a few games on it, although I don't play them too often. I've generally found the device gets a little hot while playing more graphics-intensive games like Real Racing 3. On the other hand, you can turn all the graphics settings up to 11, and it'll still play smooth as silk.

I'm not going to use benchmarks for these kinds of reviews, I've always found that they have very little in common with real-world performance. I've yet to find any situation where the tablet gets bogged down in processes, although I have had a few "deadlocks". These are where the tablet completely stops responding for a few seconds. This, unfortunately, is an issue with the Android firmware on the device, and we'll have to wait for Google to get around to fixing it.

Speaking of the firmware, the Nexus 7 comes with the latest version of Android (4.3), pushed directly by Google. This device being a Nexus means that you're guaranteed to be on the latest firmware within a month of it being released. While this does mean that you lose out on a lot of the gimmicks and features pushed by other manufacturers, the overall experience on the device is way smoother and faster because of the lightweight firmware. Additionally, because this device is a Nexus, there's a huge amount of aftermarket firmware you can download onto it, giving you loads of features, if you want them. Thanks to this, your device will be supported for a very long time, even after Google drops support.

My only issue, and it's a really small one, is that the bezel on the sides of the device when you hold it in portrait are very small. There's nowhere to put your thumb if you hold it by the side in one hand. You get used to it though.

Right, that's my (not so) quick review of the Nexus 7 (2013). I completely recommend it to anyone in the market for a small tablet.

Final score: 4.5/5