So, there’s a new tablet in town – the Google Nexus 7. As per use, we at SiliconANGLE like pitting gadgets against one another. So let’s get right into it.
Price and Availability
Google Nexus 7: Starts at $199, Google is already accepting pre-orders as the device would be available by July.
Microsoft Surface: “the Windows 8 Pro-based Surface tablet PC with Ivy Bridge processor to be at least above US$799, while the Windows RT-based model, featuring Nvidia’s Tegra 3, will be priced above US$599.” No date has been set for the release.
Apple New iPad: WiFi – $499 16GB, $599 32GB, $699 64GB; WiFi+Cellular – $629 16GB, $729 32GB, $829 64GB. Already available.
*The Nexus 7 is said to be priced really cheap because it uses older chipsets.
Nexus 7: Features a 7” 1280×800 high-resolution display protected by scratch resistant Corning glass. It weighs only 340 grams – half the weight of most tablets since it’s smaller than most. The size is 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm – the smaller design makes it easier to hold in one hand and store in your bag or purse. No information yet as to what the casing is made up of but it looks rubberized with dimples, plus a curved backside to give users a better grip. It has physical buttons for volume control, on/off, and touch buttons for home, back and menu.
Surface: Both versions of the tablet features a 10.6” ClearType Full HD DIsplay. The RT weighs 676g while the Pro weighs more at 903g. The RT measure 9.3mm in thickness while the Pro is at 13.5mm. And both are encased in VaporMg which gives both devices a sleek finish while offering more comfort in holding it as it is easier to grip. Physical buttons for power and volume control and a touch home/menu button.
New iPad: The WI-FI and Cellular versions of the new iPad weighs 652g and 662g respectively, notably lighter than both versions of the Surface. Both are 9.4mm thick slightly thicker than the RT version but remarkably thinner than the Pro version. It features a 9.7” Multi-touch screen and boasts of the über clear Retina Display. With physical buttons for sleep/standby mode, volume control, home button, and for silencing the device.
Surface: It has two cameras, the front LifeCam for chatting and the rear LifeCam angled at 22⁰ so users can flip out the Kickstand and record meetings and events hands-free.
iPad: It features a 5 megapixel iSight camera that features a backside illumination sensor that captures great-looking pictures whether by sunlight or candlelight. It uses advanced optics for the best possible photos. An ƒ/2.4 aperture and a five-element lens, to capture light efficiently for a sharper overall image. And it also features a hybrid infrared filter to keep out harmful IR light for more accurate, uniform colours. It also features a FaceTime camera in front for video calling.
Nexus 7: Android 4.1 a.k.a. Jelly Bean – the latest version of the Android OS.
Surface: Windows 8 and Windows RT.
iPad: iOS 5 (though iOS 6 for iPad 2 and older should be available by the end of the year).
Nexus 7: NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor.
Surface: Nvidia Tegra ARM chips for the RT version and Intel Core i5 for the Windows 8 Pro version.
iPad: Apple’s custom-designed chip – A5X.
Input and Output
Surface: Multi-touch, The RT features microSD, USB 2.0, Micro HD Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae while the Pro features microSDXC, USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort Video, 2×2 MIMO antennae. Both features speakers and dual microphones tuned for Skype.
iPad: Multi-touch, both the WiFi and cellular versions feature 30-pin dock connector ports, built-in speakers and microphones, and 3.5-mm stereo headphone minijack.
Nexus 7: A 4325 mAh battery that boasts of up to 8 hours of active use or 8 hours of HD video playback, 10 hours of web browsing or 10 hours of e-reading.
Surface: The RT features a 31.5 W-h battery while the Pro features a 42 W-h battery. No data yet as to how long these batteries last.
iPad: Built-in 42.5-watt-hour rechargeable lithium-polymer battery with up to 10 hours of surfing the web on Wi-Fi, watching video, or listening to music and 9 hours of surfing on the web using cellular network and charges via power adapter or USB to computer system.
Nexus 7: It will be available in an 8GB and 16GB versions.
Surface: The RT will be available in 32GB and 64GB while the Pro will be available in 64GB and 128GB.
iPad: Both the WiFi and Cellular versions are available in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.
Nexus 7: A grey cover popped up on Google Play, it covers both the front and back, it looks rubberized and it comes in a dull grey color. The price is pretty cheap at $20.
Surface: Touch or Type Cover offers both protection and functionality. It doubles as a screen cover when not in use and as a keyboard, either touch or type based, when needed. The Pro comes with a Pen and Palm Block for added input method.
iPad: SmartCover offers protection and a way to free your hands when watching videos or surfing the net. The Apple wireless keyboard is compatible with the iPad.
As a consumer, the first thing I check is the price, then the specs of the device – to see if it is worth the price; then compare it with similar gadgets – to check if others are better. Some people often buy cheaper products but eventually regret doing so, as the device doesn’t perform as great as they expected it to.
Looking at the specs, it’s clear Google’s first Nexus tablet is lacking some features we’ve come to expect from most mobile devices, such as a rear-facing camera. And at a lower price point than the iPad, it’s not surprising to see such limited specs for the Nexus 7. It seems Google’s going after Amazon’s Kindle Fire with the Nexus 7, despite the two tablets being part of the same ecosystem.
For Google and Microsoft, both are entering the hardware space with high hopes for providing a full-circle service for consumers, and to a certain extent the enterprise. But Apple’s iPad remains the golden standard, though its a market position they’ll have to defend in the long run.