Google Nexus Tablet - To buy or not to buy?

With the recent rumours surrounding Apple’s iPad mini along with the Kindle Fire HD release in the UK, we thought we would take a quick look at the other main competitor in the mini-tablet market….the Google Nexus.  

Google’s unfortunate crash in the market place, relating largely to drops in banner advertising revenue (read this for an alternative to ineffectual banner ads), means their tablet division has taken on an added importance to the company. The question is, will the Nexus go the way of the HP TouchPad or can it challenge Amazon and Apple for mini-tablet supremacy?

The whole Matmi team have had a play on the tablet, testing Matmi’s latest apps. Tom even went out and bought one for himself the day after he saw Matmi’s. So the following review is based upon our own real world experience with the Nexus tablet.

Usability

Browsing the internet and running apps is as smooth as the hands of the fairy liquid lady, with the quad-core Tegra 3 processor handling the load easily.

The smaller screen size does have some obvious limitations, especially for people like me with eye sight no better than a short sighted bat. However, like most tablets, the zoom function works seamlessly to solve any visual deficiencies. The touchscreen is very responsive (as you’d expect) making it easy to navigate the system or control any app you may be running.

Price vs Quality

At under £200 (£194 for the 16 GB version) you might expect some corners to be cut regarding build quality. This is not the case with the Nexus. It has a nice solid feel to it and the round corners do make a difference when cradled in your hand for hours at a time. The hardware is top notch, displaying no stutters or slow response times running the Android jelly Bean platform.

Get your gaming on!

Games, games and more games. Mobile gaming is massive and an obvious interest to Matmi with the release of Pocket Warwick on the 25th October, along with the upcoming Rollabear and Monster Pinball HD apps. The Nexus tablet has been a joy to play games on. The smaller, hand-held sized device feels just right in your hands, almost akin to holding a PS Vita.

The 7 inch screen is crisp, bright and displays games rich colours extremely well. Tom he has lost many hours at home to gaming on the Nexus with a particular favourite of his recently being Triple town (Jeff: Rollabear looks absolutely stonkingly beautiful on the Nexus).

HTML5 gaming

Yet to really establish a strong foothold in the online gaming world, HTML5 can still cause divisions amongst developers. That being said, we have run our own HTML5 game we did for Nivea through its’ paces on the device along with Tom’s little side project Ricochet. Both ran smoothly with no noticeable lag. Being able to play games within the tablets browser, and full screen them, is a fantastic ability and may yet see HTML5 rise in popularity as a games developing platform.

Summary

In short, we love the Nexus. It’s powerful enough to run even the most resource intensive apps, perfectly sized for lengthy gaming sessions, tears up the internet with smooth browsing, responsive touch screen, great OS in Jelly Bean and just looks so darn pretty.

Would we recommend you buy one? Yes. If only to enjoy Pocket Warwick, Rollabear, Monster Pinball HD and all our other apps in wonderful 7-inch glory.

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