The Nexus 7 Review: Google's First Tablet Gets Benchmarked

Testing The Nexus 7's IPS Display

LCD Performance (Background Info)

As its name suggests, the Nexus 7 employs a seven-inch screen. Putting it under our microscope confirms we're dealing with an IPS-based panel that's on par with competing displays. Unlike the Kindle Fire, Google's Nexus 7 boasts a 1280x800 resolution, putting it in the same league as larger 10.1” tablets like Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Asus' Transformer Prime.

Of course, given its smaller screen, the Nexus 7 needs to pack pixels in more densely to enable the resolution of a larger screen.

Specifications
Screen Size
Resolution
PPI
Google Nexus 7
7”1280x800216
Amazon Kindle Fire
7"
1024x600169
Apple iPad 2 (3G)
9.7"
1024x768132
Apple iPad 3 (3G)
9.7"
2048x1536
264
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
10.1"
1280x800149


Well, now we know why the Nexus' screen looks so crisp. Using more pixels, LCDs can offer a wider range of colors and provide greater image detail. Check out Why We Need (Or At Least Want) HD Tablets... to understand how PPI corresponds with image detail.

Is the Nexus 7 on par with what we get from Apple's current-generation iPad? Uh, no. But it’s significantly better than just about any other tablet, including the iPad 2 and Kindle Fire.

Interestingly, the Nexus 7 is able to render about 50% of the Adobe RGB (1998) and roughly 73% of the sRGB gamuts. Compare that to the iPad 3, which gives us about 65% and 94%, respectively. Google's Nexus 7 delivers better overall color fidelity than competing tablets, except for the the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and iPad 3.

If you look at the 2D LUV gamut map, you see that Google’s tablet excels in red and blue production. That’s often a weak area for other tablets. However, compared to the Kindle Fire or Transformer Prime, the Nexus 7 falls short in highlights (bright colors), and it seems to be incapable of rendering rich green hues.

Overall, though, the Nexus 7 does offer an exceptional viewing experience. While gamma is a little low, color temperature is accurate at 6500 K. Google doesn’t use a very bright display, but the Nexus 7 still manages to achieve a ~1000:1 contrast ratio, which helps to offset a potential problem with plugged shadows.



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    Top Comments
  • if it had a fruity logo, it would be $400more
    26
  • No thanks, I'll wait for Surface Pro. It will only be 5 times more expensive, three times heavier, and I simply must run Photoshop and AutoCAD on a tablet, because... just because.

    Microsoft FTW
    24
  • Well, I have the Nexus 7 and I love it, I really dont like the 10" screen size on other tablets, I think 7" is great, but speaking of the Surface Pro, depending on how that thing performs it could easily replace my current notebook since it could have the capabilities of a ultrabook
    12
  • Other Comments
  • I've had mine for about a week now, picked it up in JB Hi-Fi for $317 (AUSD 16GB version).

    Extremely impressed, blows my Iconia A500 out of the water.
    I just wish they had cases for the Nexus 7 in stock. :(
    10
  • No thanks, I'll wait for Surface Pro. It will only be 5 times more expensive, three times heavier, and I simply must run Photoshop and AutoCAD on a tablet, because... just because.

    Microsoft FTW
    24
  • Wow, it seems that the nexus 7 is a really great product. Every reviewers seems to be very pleased with it's performance, portability and low price. This really is what every tablet should be :). The only issue I heard was that the speakers are quite terrible although I didn't see that mentioned in this review
    11
  • if it had a fruity logo, it would be $400more
    26
  • Well, I have the Nexus 7 and I love it, I really dont like the 10" screen size on other tablets, I think 7" is great, but speaking of the Surface Pro, depending on how that thing performs it could easily replace my current notebook since it could have the capabilities of a ultrabook
    12
  • I was reading the specs and was really impressed with the screen pixel density but missed reading the price first time around. Then when I saw the price that just blew me away.

    This isn't some left field tablet with no supporting software and apps. This is android and all that is attached to the OS. Google is going to blow apple out of the water. I'm looking forward to the lowered earnings guidance from apple any day now.
    12
  • Love what they've done with the the Nexus lineup. All pretty affordable now and now with Jelly Bean, I'm sure even Apple lovers will like Android honestly. Project Butter and the new Voice Command is much better. Voice is better than Siri now too, pretty awesome.
    6
  • Hope they don't take long to release a nexus 10 tablet. Me want a bigger screen :)
    + Getting all updates first straight from google + best dev support FTW.
    11
  • Great review, love how Toms always goes a little further while most other gadget sites only present an opinion.

    Any numbers on internal storage and wifi throughput performance?
    Have one on order and it would be interesting to know how long it would take to copy for example a movie onto the device.
    5
  • On the other news, Apple is releasing a smaller version of iPad to compete with nexus 7 at a "compelling price" of $400.
    5
  • I just recently received my 16GB. It's surprisingly solid and is a great little consumption device. Plus, they make the deal pretty sweet by throwing in $25 Google Play credit and free $10 to your Google Wallet (Can be used for NFC transactions). I couldn't ask for better hardware for the price.


    Johanj- I've had 0 issues with the wifi, in facts, it's performed rather well in my little apartment hitting some of the upper limits of my connection.

    The internal storage does poorly on random 4k writes, average on 4k reads, and average on larger read/writes (compared to current top Android tablets).

    All-in-all it will serve it's purpose as something to do while the girlfriend is asleep next to me.
    3
  • If I install Android 4.1 on my Samsung ATT Galaxy 8.9 will I see a significant improvement in performance? It seems that Google waited long enough for the launch to finally come out with the right oversion of the operating system to give them a head start over other tablet vendors.
    1
  • google play has so much junk in it....i am still waiting for my ICS....is there anyone listening out there?...GOOGLE=fail when it comes to updates, this is one thing Apple does better
    -14
  • matter37Well, I have the Nexus 7 and I love it, I really dont like the 10" screen size on other tablets, I think 7" is great, but speaking of the Surface Pro, depending on how that thing performs it could easily replace my current notebook since it could have the capabilities of a ultrabook


    If your notebook can be replaced by a device the size of a netbook with a crappy keyboard. I hope you have sharp eyes and small hands :)
    0
  • nebungoogle play has so much junk in it....i am still waiting for my ICS....is there anyone listening out there?...GOOGLE=fail when it comes to updates, this is one thing Apple does better

    Better my a*s. I bought an iPod touch 2G 16GB a few months after it was released and a year and a half later (2010) they dropped support with iOS 4.2.1. It pissed me off so much I swore that I will never buy another Apple product again.

    Also, on a hardware level, people who "upgraded" from the iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S. And don't forget that the iPod touch 4G remained absolutely the same.

    "Updates are the one thing Apple does better"... Yeah, right. Give me a break.
    8
  • nebun said:
    google play has so much junk in it....i am still waiting for my ICS....is there anyone listening out there?...GOOGLE=fail when it comes to updates, this is one thing Apple does better


    DA. :heink:

    It's not Google who release updates to your phones, it's the manufacturer. Blame them for the slow updates.
    7
  • It's not google that is bad at updates it's your tablet's manufacturer. As the article stated. Each one modifies the Android operating system to fit their hardware design better. So, if you do not get updates complain to the maker of your tablet they are the ones not giving you the update.
    5
  • Thanks for the comments everyone!

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    Tom's Hardware
    8
  • I got my 16GB N7 about a week ago. I noticed the middle-left side of the glass starting to lift off its plastic frame 3-4 hours after unboxing, under "heavy exploration" (every feature enabled, continuously downloading/installing/trying apps) workload.

    Other than that, I do not see any obvious other problems with the N7, though I would like it to run a little cooler. The bottom-right corner in landscape mode gets rather warm while running Tegra games.

    I have one major pet peeve about the soft-keys and games: very easy to accidentally swipe system keys and get kicked out of games in titles like Fruit Ninja, Glow Hockey, Cut The Rope, etc. A method for locking/unlocking soft-keys is needed, something like a "lock" icon to lock/hide it and tapping opposite corners or center+corner to unlock.
    1
  • I had mine returned last week due to screen separation and light sensor defects.
    IMO, it's a great table, both software and hardware spec wise.
    The only big issue right now is the QC by ASUS, I guess they tried to cut corner / rush and got burned.

    I will give it another try in a few months when ASUS get the QC under control.
    3