Google Nexus 7 tablet: The specs drill-down

Not long ago, Apple took the full impact of the tech limelight by releasing the iPhone 5 and their next generation iPads. Its competitors, with one such example being Google, had earlier announced a branded 7-inch tablet, the Google Nexus 7.

In the making of the $200 tablet, Google knew that they had to beat the redefined hardware specification set by the iPad and the Amazon-made Kindle Fire. Other than worrying about specifications, they also had to redeem the tarnished reputation of Android OS as a tablet operating system.

To offset the hardware struggle, Asus adopts the normal glossy and black-beveled display characteristic to most tablets. To make it stand out, the designers ringed the display with a matte rigid silver band and covered the back with some soft-touch material with that comfortable feel of taut leather.

Measuring 7.8 inches tall by 4.7 inches wide, the Google Nexus 7 tablet weighs 0.74 pounds making it 0.16 pounds lighter than the kindle Fire. Additionally, the tablet is 0.41 inches thick making it thicker than the trending iPad by a mere 0.04 inch.

Past the bezel on the front that eats up some screen size while giving you some place to grip and the adhering smudge resistant back, is a quad-core Tegra 3 CPU with processing speeds of up to 1.15GHz on all cores and 1.3GHz when running a single core. The Tegra 3 CPU works with 1GB of RAM and normal user storage capacity being 8GB with an option of paying $50 for a 16GB version. In this case, the company’s pre-installed internal storage strictly dictates the amount of data you can keep on the Nexus 7 since it has no microSD slot. To compensate for this, the tablet features Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, a GPS chip, gyroscope, compass, accelerometer and the much-coveted NFC capability.

The tightly sealed tablet (the tablet’s back panel is not removable at all) features a 1.2-megapixel front facing camera that comes in handy when holding Google+ Hangouts, a rear speaker and built-in microphones.

Performance is improved by the Android 4.1 operating system and “Project Butter” that works to improve touch response and the smooth floor of Android apps. Though high speed scrolling still brings the Galaxy Nexus snap-back effect, apps load fast enough and the Tegra Chipset does a good job in rendering 3D games.

The Google Nexus 7 display power does not in any way let down its internal hardware capabilities. It features a 1280×800 corning glass-covered LCD display with an impressive 216ppi count. Though colors look a bit off compared to Galaxy Nexus Super AMOLED display, text and images are crisp and clear enough making the gadget completely favorably with the new iPad.

Battery life is within the ranges expected for such a performer. With brightness tied to 65 percent while loading web pages, the battery stays for roughly six hours though heavy use of the monster CPU will drastically reduce this.