The rumours were true, the Asus-built Google Nexus 7 tablet is very much alive and well. Boasting a Kindle Fire-esque price tag, an impressive spec sheet and the latest version of Google’s Android operating system, known as Jelly Bean, this is a persuasive piece of kit.
But just exactly what do you get for £159? Check out below for the full low down on the new Asus tablet.
7-inch back lit IPS display
Straight out of the box the Asus Nexus 7 Tablet impresses with its IPS screen. Borrowing what we presume is a lot of the technology from the likes of the Transformer Prime and Infinity, the 1280 x 800 screen punches well above the weight of tablets in this price range.
Better still, you get 178-degree viewing angles out of the screen, helped along by the IPS tech. This means a nice media playback experience when out and about from the 7-inch display. Asus has also slapped Corning Gorilla Glass on the front to keep things scratch free.
The decision to go for a smaller screen on the Nexus tablet might not be to everyone's liking but it does translate to a high 216 ppi pixel density and makes for a more portable size. We also expect it helped to save on costs.
1.3GHz Tegra 3 processor
This is a particular highlight. Normally the reserve of flagship devices, now every other value smartphone and tablet seems relatively stingy in comparison. Nvidia’s quad-core processor has been making waves in the likes of the HTC One X and Asus Transformer Prime, both of which are lightning quick and offer top of the line graphics processing.
Expect the Nexus 7 tablet to be as quick as they come, with a snappy and responsive Android experience helped along by the latest version of the operating system. Battery life also doesn’t take too much of a hit, thanks to Nvidia’s clever core switching, which uses a fifth “companion core” for less complex tasks. There is also a tasty 1GB of RAM hanging about which makes for speedy app switching and management.
1.3 megapixel front facing camera
There is only one camera on the Nexus 7 tablet and it’s mounted on the front. We aren’t hugely surprised by this. Asus has clearly cut corners where it doesn’t matter. Few use the rear-mounted camera on tablets. We know some would like to see one but keeping it cheaper seems more logical.
The 1.3 megapixels is more than enough resolution for a decent video call to be made and should allow you to grab the odd snap of you and your mates. This means Skype will undoubtedly play nice with the Nexus Tablet.
Small form factor
The Asus Nexus 7 tablet is relatively compact in size at just 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm. On top of that it weighs in at 340g, around half that of the new iPad. A tactile back with Nexus logo stops the tablet slipping out in your hand and looks good as well.
4325 mAh battery
The Asus Nexus 7 tablet might be small, but it has quite a battery. Asus are touting up to eight hours of active use with the tablet, which is well in line with what competitors offer. The difference is that most cost a lot more. Impressive seeing a battery this size at this price point.
Android 4.1 is less of an overhaul, more an incremental update. Still it’s always a good feeling to know you have the latest and greatest of Google’s kit. Want to know all the ins and outs of Jelly Bean?
The real talking point of Jelly Bean is Project Butter. Essentially Google's way of smoothing and speeding up the operating system, it eliminates any of that lag that Android often suffers from.
Most Android tablets and phones come with a good selection of connections to play with. Things like HDMI, USB and microSD connectivity are all commonplace. For the Nexus 7 tablet we have a limited although highly useful selection.
The Asus tablet comes with a micro USB slot on the bottom. Sadly no 3G but there is of course b/g/n WiFi to play with.
NFC and Google Wallet
Being a Nexus device means the tablet ships with Google Wallet built in. Right now there isn’t much that supports it, unfortunately, but if the Nexus tablet proves succesful we are sure this will change.
Google Wallet is designed to compete directly with things like Apple’s Passbook app and the Wallet Hub function in the new Windows Phone 8 OS. If you want to learn a bit more about it then head over here
Google has gone straight into action with the Nexus 7. It is on sale right now in the US, UK, Canada and Australia price in at $199 for an 8GB option in the US and £159 in the UK. The 16GB version will cost £199. Those who are after one should be able to pick one up from the Google Play store. Buyers of the new will also get $25 voucher to spend in the Google Play Store, as well as Transformers 3 movie, and the latest Bourne book amongst some other freebies. Google hasn't yet confirmed whether those titles will be the same in every country.
You can pre-order it from the Google Play store.