Review: Google’s Nexus 7 guns for the Kindle

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With a powerful processing chip and plentiful RAM memory, the type available for running programs, the Nexus 7 is fast and slick. You can switch directly from application to application, something that isn’t possible with the Fire or Nook. They both force you to exit an application and go to the main menu before jumping into another one.

The chief issue buyers will likely bump into with the Nexus 7 is a lack of storage space. The $199 model has just 8 gigabytes of storage, and a quarter of that is overhead. It has just 5.9 gigabytes actually available. With downloads of a few applications, some songs and one movie, more than half was gone.

There’s a step-up model with 16 gigabytes of storage for $249, which I would highly recommend. There’s no option to expand storage with a memory card, a feature available with the Nook Tablet and many other Android tablets (but not the Kindle Fire, either).

Early buyers may also find that some applications will not work on it. Because Jelly Bean is the bleeding edge of Android, app developers haven’t had time to rewrite their products for it. I encountered this problem with a couple of applications, including a popular video player called MX Player.

Lastly, the size of the screen is going to frustrate some buyers _ the ones who really wanted an iPad. The Nexus 7’s screen is a nice step from a smartphone screen, but the iPad is a really big step up. Magazines and full-page documents, for example, work great on the iPad screen, but are difficult to view on a 7-inch screen. The iPad also has the best selection and quality of third-party software.

In “Blade Runner,” one of the super-strong androids breaks two of the hero’s fingers, one by one. The Nexus 7 deserves a better reception.

It’s a great entry in the cheap-and-small tablet category, even if it’s not perfect. But then again, who is?

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Online:

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