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8/1/2012
09:22 AM
Todd Ogasawara
Todd Ogasawara
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Google Nexus 7: Latest Must-Have Tablet

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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