If you’ve been looking at the range of the latest 7-inch Android tablets, Google’s Nexus 7 model, made by Asus, has been unavoidable.
UPDATE: Dec 2012 - Asus has FINALLY launched its 3G Nexus 7 with 32GB - details here.
ORIGINAL STORY CONTINUES:
Asus has been very busy of late, launching a stunning range of Windows 8 tablets, notebooks, all-in-ones and Windows RT devices, alongside an equally stunning range of Android tablets, from its own brand of high-end and keyboard/battery equipped 10.1inch Transformers through to its partnership with Google on the Nexus range of Android 4.2-powered “pure Google” 7-inch tablets.
The news from Asus hasn’t stopped, with its announcement today of retail availability for its new Nexus 7 tablet with 32GB, with specs that clearly state GSM/EDGE/WCDMA connectivity at various bands, dovetailing with Google’s claims that HSPA+ connectivity was coming, for AUD $319.
The announcement comes on November 13, as Google said it would in its recent press release with news of its Nexus 4 smartphone and new Nexus 7 and 10-inch models which also talked of a Nexus 32GB model that would have both Wi-Fi and global 3G HSPA+ connectivity, as we reported on the 30th of October in an article entitled “Go ogle Google’s BEST EVER Nexus smartphones and tablets!”.
The local, US and global websites of Asus don’t yet list the Nexus with 32GB or 3G connectivity, and continue to list the original Nexus 7 tablet information, but those sites will obviously soon be updated.
Google, however, is now offering the Nexus 7 with 32GB for AUD $299 (and the 16GB model at $249) but both in a Wi-Fi only configuration only – no 3G option offered or even mentioned on the Play Store as yet, at prices $20 cheaper but which feature a $19.99 international shipping charge, making the Wi-Fi only 32GB Nexus 7 a worse deal from Google than a similarly priced 32GB Nexus 7 with 3G from a local retailer.
Although Asus’ press release states the tablet is running Android OS 4.1 Jelly Bean, it also states that it comes with Android 4.2, which has been referred to as “the latest flavour of Jelly Bean”.
The press release also notes that “Nexus 7 is designed to go wherever you go – and now with up to 32GB of storage, the Nexus 7 can take users even further”, with availability not only in the Google Play store, but also “selected retailers, including Harvey Norman, JB HiFi, Dick Smith Electronics, The Good Guys, Bing Lee, Radio Rentals, Office Works, EB Games, BSR and authorised ASUS channel resellers”, with the added extra that “The new model will be distributed [in Australia] by Synnex and Dicker Data.”
Android OS 4.2, the “new flavour” of Jelly Bean that was previously going to be known as “Key Lime Pie”, an OS name presumably now being saved for Android OS 5.0, is also the order of the day.
Android 4.2 gives you a keyboard that copies the “Swype” effect, has improved Google Now capabilities, improve voice control capabilities, new actionable notiications and more, while running on Nvidia’s still fast Tegra 3 quad-core processor and its slower “fifth core” which “gives users processing power when needed, and battery saving efficiency when they don’t”.
There’s also the fact that there’s now “675,000 apps and games” in the Google Play store, with “the world's largest collection of eBooks, millions of songs, thousands of movies and TV shows, and the latest magazines”, alongside all the standard Google Apps like “Gmail, Chrome, Google+ and YouTube” and, from the tech specs, also includes “Google Earth, Movie Studio, Google Maps (and) syncing with Google Calendar” which Asus’ press release says is “putting the best of Google in the palm of the hand.”
Full Nexus 7 32GB tech specs and a short Nexus 7 history on page two, please read on!
Google’s Nexus 7 by Asus tablet burst onto the scene earlier this year with great fanfare, presaging the iPad mini but coming long after Samsung’s 7-inch range which stretched back to the first Galaxy Tab in 2010 running Android OS 2.x, sporting 3G and voice capability, let alone Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle touchscreen tablet running a “fork” of the Android OS alongside a growing range of other 7-inch Android tablets – including the tablet from the guy that spams all tablet articles on the Internet talking about the “Novo 7 Flame 32GB”, a comment which will surely appear under this article soon.
Why has it been a real standout success compared to other 7-inch tablets? Well, the reason’s easy, as you’re likely well aware. As a Nexus branded model, this tablet runs the purest “Google experience” possible – direct from Google itself, despite the tablet or smartphone bearing the “Nexus” branding being made by an OEM such as Asus, Samsung, LG, HTC or someone else.
It was also the first Google tablet to offer Android OS 4.1 Jelly Bean, an update to Android OS 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwhich, itself a unification of Android OS 2.x and the first tablet-optimised Android OS, which was Honeycomb Android OS 3.0.
That meant Google’s best and most tablet-optimised experience ever on Google’s very own 7-inch tablet, with the promise of ever more fully tablet compatible apps to come.
So, the Google Nexus has been popular from the get-go with many people, and while nothing has risen to the heights of super popularity an iPad enjoys save for each new iPad model, the Nexus has delivered.
It reaches a Kindle-like pricepoint to offer a really price, quality and feature competitive offering to fight back against both Kindles and other 7-inch Android tablets.
It also fights back against the iPad and the newly released iPad mini, while even serving as a competitor to purchases of some netbooks and laptops.
Its lower price point has meant doing away with features such as a rear facing camera, micro SD card slot, an option with inbuilt 3G/4G modem and SIM card slot and models and, at first, even larger storage capabilities, limiting the original Nexus 7 models to 8 and 16GB versions.
However, it always delivered on a great screen, great performance and a great OS update (which has been updated again to the new Android OS 4.2), and now delivers on a 32GB size model with the option of Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and 3G HSPA+ connectivity.
It was only a matter of time before the Nexus 7 not only doubled in capacity to 32GB, while gaining at least 3G HSPA+ connectivity, and that time has come. It’s nice to see the Nexus 7 getting 3G, especially given the 4G-class competition newly bearing down upon 7-inch Android tablets from the 7.9-inch iPad mini.
Here are the new Nexus 7 technical specifications shared by Asus.
Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 3 T30L Quad-Core @ 1.2GHz
Display: 7” WXGA (1280 x 800) high-definition LED backlit IPS panel with 178-degree viewing angles, scratch-resistant Corning Fit Glass, 10 finger multi-touch, 400nits, ASUS TruVivid technology for improved clarity and brightness
Android 4.1, Jelly Bean
(However Android 4.2 clearly referenced in Asus press release)
1.2 megapixel front-facing camera
G-Sensor, light sensor, gyroscope, e-compass, GPS, NFC, hall effect sensor
4325mAh, 16Wh Li-polymer (Movie playback: 8hrs; book reading: 10hrs; web browsing: 10hrs; audio playback: 50hrs; standby: 300hrs)
Google Mobile services:
Google Play, Gmail, Google Earth, YouTube, Movie Studio, Google Maps, syncing with Google Calendar, Google+
802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi direct
GSM/EDGE - 850/900/1800/1900
WCDMA - 850/900/1700/1900/2100
RAM 1GB, ROM 8/16/32GB
Size and weight:
198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm; 340g
Audio and interface:
2-in-1 audio jack (head-out/MIC), 1x micro-USB, 2x digital microphone, 2x high quality speakers, 1x docking pin