Unboxing: Google Nexus 7

First impressions.

By Chris Jager on Jul 23, 2012
1 of 16
The Google Nexus 7 is the first Nexus-branded tablet and marks the debut of Google's latest OS; Android 4.1 (AKA Jelly Bean). Click through to read our first impressions.
Google and Asus have plumped for a colourful box design with a dark grey background -- a refreshing change from the recent onslaught of 'minimalist' white packaging.
The box contents are pretty bare-bones: you get a power/USB cable and a small instruction leaflet. Tablet necessities such as headphones, a cleaning cloth and a carry pouch need to be purchased separately.
Key specifications include a 7in high-def LED display, quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, a choice between 8GB and 16GB of internal storage and the aforementioned Jelly Bean operating system. It also boasts NFC capabilities (via Android Beam), an inbuilt GPS and a front-facing 1.2 MP camera.
The Google Nexus 7 comes with inbuilt wifi and Bluetooth 4.0. Battery life is rated at up to eight hours. Like most tablets, the battery cannot be removed or upgraded.
The Google Nexus 7 measures 198x120x10mm and weighs in at 340g, making it one of the more portable options on the market.
The Nexus 7 boasts a contoured, rubberised back designed for grip assistance. We found this particularly useful when holding the tablet in one hand.(It also gives the budget device an elegant, premium look.)
The Nexus 7's micro-USB port doubles as a power connector. Sadly, it does not support storage mounting, but can be used to connect USB accessories such as a keyboard and mouse.
The only other port on the Nexus 7 is a 3.5mm headphone jack. We would have liked to have seen HDMI and Micro SD included, but their absence is acceptable for the asking price. That said, prolific downloaders will probably want to snap up the 16GB model for an extra $50 - the 8GB version fills up fast.
Like the rest of the Nexus family, the Google Nexus 7 keeps physical buttons to a minimum. With the exception of power and volume, all controls are relegated to the 7in touch screen.
We found the quality of the 1280x800 pixel display to be quite good, particularly when watching HD videos. It certainly isn't going to trouble the iPad's retina screen, but for the price it remains a winner.
The Google Nexus 7's home screen is fixed in portrait mode; no matter how you hold the device. This can take some getting used to if you're familiar with other tablets such as the Apple iPad.
The Nexus 7 ships with Google Chrome as its default browser.
Presumably to keep costs down, the Google Nexus 7 comes with a single 1.2MP front-facing camera.
The Nexus 7 does not come with a camera-launching app out of the box. You'll need to download this yourself from the Play Store.
Google Nexus 7 is set to hit stores at the end of July. You can pre-order the device from Google Play Store now for $249 (8GB model) or $299 (16GB model). Stay tuned for a full review, coming soon.

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