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Google Nexus 7 takes on the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

The Google Nexus 7 tablet is finally official and it’s time to see if it can do the job it’s meant for – be a real-world alternative to the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.

The Android tablet manufacturers (except for Asus and its Transformer prime) learned the hard way that their tablets need to be as affordable as possible to gain some traction. Amazon led the way pricing its Kindle Fire at $199 and made a huge impact, but eight months later there has only been one slate to come close to its price point, while still offering decent hardware – the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.

That’s probably why Google took matters into its own hands and asked ASUS to manufacture the Nexus 7 tablet. Priced at the unbelievable $199 it brings a super-fast quad-core Tegra 3 chipset and a nicely sounding IPS screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels. Some sacrifices had to be made, of course – a back-mounted camera didn’t make it to the specs sheet though, and neither did a microSD card slot. Now the question remains if the Nexus 7 is still enough of an improvement to finally make Android the leading platform in the tablet as well? Maybe the specs comparison below can lead us to the answer.

 

Google Nexus 7

Amazon Kindle Fire
Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0
OS
Android 4.1
Jelly Bean
Android OS, v2.3
(heavily customized)
Android 4.0
Ice Cream Sandwich
Display
7-inch
IPS LCD
7-inch
IPS TFT
7-inch
PLS LCD
Resolution
1280 x 800 pixels
1024 x 600 pixels
1024 x 600 pixels
Height
198.5 mm
190 mm
193.7 mm
Width
120 mm
120 mm
122.4 mm
Thickness
10.45 mm
11.4 mm
10.5 mm
Weight
340 grams
413 grams
344 grams
Processor
1.3 GHz
quad-core
Cortex A9
(nVidia Tegra 3 chipset)
1 GHz
dual-core
Cortex-A9
( TI OMAP 4430 chipset)
1 GHz
dual-core
Cortex-A9
( TI OMAP 4430 chipset)
Storage
8 / 16GB
8GB
8/16/32 GB
microSD
No
No
Yes, up to 64GB
RAM
1GB
512 MB
1GB
Main camera
No
No
3.15 MP
Main camera
Features
-
-
• Geo-tagging
• Face and smile detection

• Touch focus
• 1080p video recording
Front-facing camera
Yes, 1.2MP (720p)
No
Yes, VGA
Wi-Fi
802.11 a/b/g/n
802.11 a/b/g/n
802.11 a/b/g/n
USB
microUSB port
microUSB port
microUSB port, USB On-the-go support
NFC
Yes
No
No
Bluetooth
Yes
No
Yes, v3.0 with A2DP, HS
Infrared port
No
No
Yes
Battery
Li-Ion 4325 mAh
Li-Ion 4400 mAh
Li-Ion 4000 mAh
Sensors
• Accelerometer
• Gyroscope
• Proximity
• Compass
• Accelerometer
• Accelerometer
• Gyroscope
• Proximity
• Compass
Availability
July, 2012
Currently available
Currently available
Price
$199 – 8GB
$249 – 16GB
$199 – 8GB
-
$304 – 8GB
$332 – 16GB

Undoubtedly, one of the benefits of owning a Nexus 7 tablet would be the guaranteed Android updates. The device is shipping with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and is surely scheduled to receive many more of the Android releases to come. The Amazon Kindle Fire is very unlikely to see any updates and all and nobody knows exactly when, if ever, Samsung is going to update the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 from ICS to Jelly Bean.

However, a tablet is going to be largely used for multimedia, watching movies and listening to music, so storage space is crucial. To cut costs, neither the Nexus 7, nor the Kindle Fire have a microSD card slot. This is where the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has a serious advantage and will probably be the preferred tablet by video enthusiasts.

In the end, though, it feels like the Nexus 7 is the best package of the three, being able to deliver a last-generation chipset and stock Android experience at a super attractive price point and its sales will probably reflect that.

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