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.

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SpecificationsScreen SizeResolutionPPI
Google Nexus 77”1280x800216
Amazon Kindle Fire7"1024x600169
Apple iPad 2 (3G)9.7"1024x768132
Apple iPad 3 (3G)9.7"2048x1536264
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.110.1"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.

  • joytech22
    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. :(
  • killerclick
    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
  • EzioAs
    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
  • mayankleoboy1
    if it had a fruity logo, it would be $400more
  • matter37
    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
  • bin1127
    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.
  • aznshinobi
    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.
  • darkchazz
    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.
  • 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.
  • hardcore_gamer
    On the other news, Apple is releasing a smaller version of iPad to compete with nexus 7 at a "compelling price" of $400.