This is not something I want to dwell on, but felt the need to get it off my chest! The following post represents my own thoughts on the Nexus 7 as compared to the Apple iPad. If you are deciding between the two or have strong feelings on the topic I hope you find it of interest.
Before I go further, I am an Apple owner along with a load of other brands. I have also created fan sites around other products I’ve owned, always with the goal of helping myself and others to get the most out of their device.
I have no reason to promote one tablet over the other but wished to outline why I decided to buy a Nexus 7.
Waiting for the right Tablet
My purchasing decions are generally made by deciding what features I want and then looking for the product that meet my needs for a price I want to pay. To that end I actually started looking to buy a tablet back in 2007, sometime before the first iPad came along. Unfortunately the models that existed at that time weren’t really what I wanted from such a device, under powered or too expensive.
It was reassuring, and flattering, to see that eventually the manufacturers (due credit to Apple) cottoned on to the demands of consumers such as myself and began to bring the tablet concept into the 21st century. It was then just a matter of time before the right device at the right cost came along.
I recently made the mistake of responding to a tweet stating that the “Nexus 7 specs suck“. I was genuinely curious to know why the tweeter thought that as I found it fast, responsive, and with a great clear screen. In fact most people are wondering how Google / ASUS managed to get such quality at this price.
My query was soon answered; the tweeter was actually saying that the N7 sucked compared to the third generation iPad. The new iPad is of course built on superior hardware, but does that make the Nexus 7 a poor quality device?
This tweeter prompted my following thoughts on the Nexus 7 specs:
- The Nexus 7 is smaller. I think this is a good thing! However some people prefer a 10″ screen, and I know others who laugh at using anything less than a large wide screen professional monitor. To each his own. For what it’s worth I find the 7″ big enough, it’s comfortable to hold and even fits in my jacket pocket.
- Processing power: The Nexus 7 has a Quad-core Tegra 3 processor under the hood. I’ve actually not really given a second thought to this since becoming an owner, everything just runs fast. With graphics beautifully handled by the nvidia chip I wonder what more one could want?
- Camera: The iPad3 has great camera and video capabilities. If this is something you have to have in your tablet the Nexus 7 provides no competition. It’s clearly personal preference as to whether you want to use a 10″ device as a camera or whether you’d just use your phone or even an actual camera (remember them?)!
- Screen Quality: The iPad3 offers higher resolution and more space, and it does look great. But then the Nexus 7 is hardly low res at 1280×800 and also, it looks great. So I can accept the specs don’t match up but who needs a car that travels at 200mph when the speed limit is 70mph?
So whilst one accepts the iPad packs more in, I personally don’t feel that I’m missing out. I’m not the sort of person who pays more for things I don’t need, but fully accept and appreciate that some people do want these things or just enjoy having the top specs available.
I think the Nexus 7 is open to far more criticism on the software side. Not so much for Android, as I think the OS is starting to mature nicely and offers some genuinely innovative features that I would like to see on my iOS devices.
The real issue that needs to be nailed down is on the Applications side. I want to see:
- Higher quality apps: Often the Android version of popular services seems to fall short on functionality and reliability. Twitter and Facebook are just two examples where the Android versions just don’t seem to match up.
- Tablet specific: It’s clear that a number of apps are built for Android smartphones, whilst iPad enhanced apps seem readily available through the Apple app store.
- Availability: The Play store is pretty useless here in the UK, this has to improve fast. And in the meantime it’s a struggle to get access to iPlayer, 4OD, etc.
But, there is hope!
I actually think Google are going to succeed in their master plan. We understand that the goal behind the Nexus 7 was to get a high quality affordable tablet on to the market and with strong uptake software developers would hopefully invest in their Android development streams.
And I believe this is paying off. I have already read one report stating that Google Play’s store has seen a massive uplift, and by all accounts the Nexus 7 is flying off the shelves to rave reviews. I have also seen apps boasting of specific Nexus 7 support.
I don’t think there is a clear case to say whether the Apple iPad or the Nexus 7 is definitely better than the other. To some people, cheaper will always be better, to others bigger is always best! From my own point of view, I don’t see a need for a top quality camera and prefer portability. But I can see why a photographer, for example, might need a larger top notch screen to show pictures to clients.
What I don’t accept is that the Nexus is in some way a poor product. It is far from that. And I think this is the critical point, we can argue it out as much as we want but if you follow #nexus7 on Twitter I am seeing waves of positive feedback.
Only individuals can decide whether they like something or not and and this device really is meeting and exceeding people’s expectations. Android tablets are here to stay!