I watched the Google I/O 2012 keynote last night and I was very impressed with the announcements of Jellybean (Android 4.1), the Google Q, and of course Google Glasses. I might do separate posts on each of those later but right now I wanted to discuss the Nexus 7 tablet.
The Nexus 7 is a new 7 inch tablet from Google with a 1280×800 resolution. Under the hood you get up to 16Gb of on board storage, 1Gb of RAM, and a quad core CPU. Pretty decent spec I would say for the price of £199. Oh I forgot to mention the 12 core, yes 12 core GPU. My initial reaction was to think I made a mistake buying an IPad a few months ago and I should have held off it after a little while I realised I was wrong, the iPad is better for what I want. However I had fallen in to the same trap most people do upon hearing of any new tablet of any specification, I had effectively thought “iPad killer?”.
Thinking about things further I realised it isn’t even directly competing against the iPad which is one of the reasons I think it is such a good move by Google. The form factor is exactly what people have been asking Apple to do for ages, to fit the market segment that feels the 10 inch screen of the iPad is too large and their phone too small. The second reason why I think the Nexus 7 is such a good idea is that it sets the bar for other android tablet makers, it says to other manufactures “Look at how good this can be. Stop being so lazy and bring out some refined products rather than the shotgun approach”. This is really the point of the Nexus range of hardware, and we’ve already seen what it has done to the phone market with things like the Samsung Galaxy S3.
When I was looking for a tablet I tried a few Android offerings but I wasn’t too impressed, mainly due to hardware issues. I then heard about the Prime, only to then hear about its hardware issues. Quickly on the heels of that was the announcement of the T700 upgrade to the Prime range but it was a long way from launch and I had already been waiting nearly a year to choose a tablet. So in the end I went for the iPad 3. By the time I come to replace that, I think the ripple effect of the Nexus 7 will have raised the game of the Android tablet market sufficiently for me to choose one of them.
The next move belongs to the other Android manufacturers, as Apple won’t respond for at least another 12 months.