The set up for the Nexus 7 was simple. After charging it, I connected it to my wireless, added my google account, and it was ready to go. (It was a good excuse to hit the Easy Button.) I was a little concerned that there was no instruction manual in the box, but I found the 88-page Nexus 7 Guidebook 2013 manual in the Google Play Books app that came pre-installed on the tablet.
Screen and Speakers
The first thing I noticed about the Nexus 7 was the resolution on the LCD screen. It is an impressive 1920x1200. The colors and text are crisp. The graphics are impressive. Videos and games look amazing on it - everything looks amazing on it - and viewing is good from any angle. Every person I've showed it to has described it as beautiful.
The home screen organization is what you would expect. There are a large amount of widgets you can add to your home and lock screens, but I prefer the simplicity of just having app buttons, and don't like notifications or weather alert information staring at me every time I look at the tablet. One thing I love is the ability to stack app icons into folders.
The Nexus 7 almost begs me to watch videos on it with that beautiful screen, and thankfully the speakers do not disappoint. They are approximately 800,000 times better than my laptop speakers, and offer stereo sound. Even my sound-picky husband was impressed by them.
The speakers are located on the top and bottom of the tablet on the rear side, along with a camera and the buttons for power and volume.
There are two cameras on the Nexus 7. The rear-facing camera is 5 megapixels. It isn't the most spectacular camera I've ever used, but honestly, I don't think a tablet is ever going to be used as anyone's main camera. We've mostly enjoyed using the panoramic function, which is pretty fun, and produces a surprisingly seamless picture. The front-facing camera is 1.2 megapixels, and works well for video chats.
(panoramic photo- click to enlarge)
Size, Weight, and Speed
The processor is fast. I haven't experienced any lag while playing games, using apps, or during web browsing. It powers up quickly and the touch screen is extremely responsive.
I can comfortably hold the tablet in one hand, and it is light enough that my hand does not get tired. Seven inches is also the right size to fit easily into my purse, which is what I need in a tablet.
In the first few days of having the Nexus 7, I had issues with random reboots. It happened most often while watching videos on youtube, but there were two instances of reboots during basic web browsing. I decided to take it back to Staples for an exchange, but before I had a chance to do that, I got the Android 4.3 update to JSS15R. The JSS15R update fixed all of the random rebooting issues for me, and I stuck with my original device without further problems.
My only real complaint about the Nexus 7 is the lack of an SD card slot. It would be nice to have that option, but 16GB is a good size, and is probably more than I will use. There is a Nexus 7 tablet available with 32GB if you need more storage.
How I'm Using The Nexus 7
My laptop has spent more time turned off than usual in the last two weeks as I've been using the tablet more than I anticipated. I don't think I would type out an entire blog post on it, but it would be possible if I couldn't access a computer.
I did successfully do some basic editing of docs in Google Drive, and have been using it for a large portion of my web browsing. The crisp text works nicely for ebooks as well. The Nexus 7 is great for social media, which is important to me as a blogger. It especially shines on Pinterest and Instagram, the two platforms with emphasis on pretty pictures, with its amazing screen resolution.
You know how I'm really using the Nexus 7, though, right? (That is, when Thomas isn't using it to watch videos.) Candy Crush. My true love. My Candy Crush game has gotten better on the Nexus 7. I finally passed level 265, and am firmly in the 300's now at level 323. I'm not saying a Nexus 7 will improve your Candy Crush game, but I am saying that the candy is a whole lot prettier and it is more fun to play on a Nexus 7. That takes some of the sting out of losing those hard levels again and again.
The Nexus 7 Tablet is $229.00 at Staples, which is a great price. It is a beautiful tablet. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for something lightweight and small, without compromising on a nice screen and speakers.
Have you tried the Nexus 7 Tablet?
What are your favorite apps? I need some game suggestions for the times I'm waiting for my Candy Crush lives to regenerate.
*I was provided a Nexus 7 tablet and a Staples Easy Button for review.
All opinions are my own. I was not required to say nice things, or to spend hours playing Candy Crush and hitting my Easy Button every time I passed another level.