Google Nexus 7 review

The first Android Jelly Bean device is the best budget tablet available on the market. The portability, performance and price are unmatched, but is it cut out for business use?

Build quality

Google enlisted Asus to build the Nexus 7 after seeing the company's budget Memo slate at CES 2012. The finished product is well built, featuring conservative design, and solid-feeling in the hand.

In terms of build, the Nexus 7 does not look like a budget Android device with its metallic edging, rubberised back panel, and detailed IPS display. It's not the thinnest tablet, measuring in at 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm, but it does feel sturdy in the hand and is competitive in the weight department too, at 340g.

Google Nexus 7 - Front

The 7in form factor means the tablet is ease to hold and ultra portable

Google is not making a profit on the 8GB version of this device and we'd imagine the margins are pretty slim on the 16GB variant too. No, this tablet was designed with a one purpose in mind: snatching market share.

The 7in IPS 1280 x 800 pixel resolution display, whilst not being as visually arresting as SLCD and Super AMOLED setups, is unprecedented at this price-point. The size is great for web browsing, reading, and watching video and the portability the small screen brings is a real boost. You can carry the device around in a jacket pocket comfortably.

Jelly Bean

Android Ice Cream Sandwich was a big update, but Jelly Bean brings a raft of enhancements too despite not introducing much in the way of cosmetic changes. With Android 4.1, you have better security, increased protection from malware, improved UI fluidity, and excellent navigation.

Jelly Bean adds a level of finesse to Google's operating system that's been missing. Previously navigating around Android was tiresome and packed full of lag, stutter and freezes. This is no longer the case. Google's Project Butter UI brings Android inline with Apple's iOS.

iPad vs Nexus - Google Now

Google Now is useful business feature, which will help you keep track of appointments

Google Now, aimed at redefining the way you search the web, uses your location data, browsing history, and GPS position to bring you up-the-minute information of travel, weather and the best route to and from work.

Focused on speech, Google Now, unlike Siri, is actually rather useful, featuring built-in support for navigation, as well as excellent voice recognition accuracy. Search also looks different in Android Jelly Bean with the addition of information cards, featuring weather updates, travel information, and places of interest, that are unique to your location.