Meet the Nexus 7, the first Android tablet sold directly by Google and the first to run Android 4.1, a.k.a. Jelly Bean. The 7-inch tablet is priced like an ebook reader but offers a lot more. Its low price, big screen, and impressive performance might give Apple's iPod Touch and low-end iPad a run for the money, too. Don't completely count out Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 just yet, though.
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To sum up, the Nexus 7 is the best Android tablet, overall, I have used so far. It has many great features; for instance, I found the front-facing camera surprisingly accurate for using facial recognition as a login method. I now use it as my preferred way to unlock the tablet. The lack of a card slot limits the Nexus' usefulness as a disconnected media playback device (think long, Wi-Fi-less flights), and photographers will miss having a rear-facing camera. However, its fast performance makes the Nexus 7 the tablet of choice for me to use on a daily basis.
It remains to be seen if the Nexus 7 will take any real market share from Apple's iPad, especially if the rumored iPad Mini is for real. But it is almost certain that it will affect sales of Android-based ebook reader devices such as Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook Color. One unexpected sales causality might be Apple's iPod Touch, which sold between 3 million and 4 million units in the second quarter of 2012. The 8GB iPod Touch currently sells for $199, the same as the 8GB Nexus 7. The Nexus 7's bigger screen and additional capabilities make it a no-brainer choice over the iPod Touch.
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. We've got a management crisis right now, and we've also got an engagement crisis. Could the two be linked? Tune in for the next installment of IT Life Radio, Wednesday May 20th at 3PM ET to find out.