Google's Nexus 7 and $199 Tablet Alternatives

Google last week announced its Nexus 7 tablet for US$199, but that isn't the only tablet available at that price. Amazon, Lenovo, Research In Motion and Barnes & Noble also offer $199 tablets.

By
Tue, July 03, 2012

IDG News Service (New York Bureau) —

tablets
Google last week announced its Nexus 7 tablet for US$199, but that isn't the only tablet available at that price. Amazon, Lenovo, Research In Motion and Barnes & Noble also offer $199 tablets.

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Features vary in tablets of that price, including differences in internal storage, cameras, processors and operating systems. The Nexus 7 has the latest ARM processor and Android 4.1 OS, but the tablet may not be attractive to buyers looking for expandable storage or dual-cameras, which are available in similarly priced competitive products.

Here is a comparison of tablets at that price:

Google Nexus 7

Google insisted that the 7-inch tablet will provide unparalleled access to apps and entertainment available in the Google Play store. The price tag is also a major attraction, as is Android 4.1, code-named Jelly Bean.

The Nexus 7 is Google's first foray into branded hardware and was developed with Asus. The tablet is 10.16 millimeters thick, weighs 317 grams and displays images at a 1280-by-800 pixel resolution. Other features include a front-facing camera and connectivity features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC (near-field communication). The device offers nine hours on video playback and 300 hours of standby time on a single battery charge. The tablet is $199 with 8GB of storage and $249 for 16GB. The tablet runs on a dual-core Cortex-A9 processor.

Self-described Apple junkie, Caitlin Imbimbo, said that beyond price, she purchased the Nexus 7 as the screen size is a nice way to browse the Internet, check social media, read news and magazines and watch video without feeling cramped on a cellphone screen. She did not have a tablet and the Nexus 7 is an addition to her collection of Apple products that includes a 15-inch MacBook Pro and iPhone 4. The Nexus 7 will be her first Android device and the tablet will be her first experience with Google's online store.

"I am already planning to subscribe to Popular Photography magazine via Google Play. For some reason, I trust Google as a content provider due to their large brand," Imbimbo said in an email. One disappointment with the Nexus 7 for her is the lack of a rear-facing camera, which is a common complaint among others.

Other complaints have been with the 16GB storage limit and the lack of a microSD slot to expand the internal storage.

But the tablet does have a leg up over sub-$200 rivals because it comes with Android 4.1, the latest version of the OS. The low price has tempted some buyers, even iPad users, to pick up the tablet to see what the OS is about.

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