The big star of the Google I/O conference was the Nexus 7 tablet announced at the keynote speech Wednesday, and one of them arrived at our office Friday.
At first glance, the Nexus 7’s box looks surprisingly small for a tablet and more like an oversized container for a smartphone. But when you take off the cover, you find the 7-inch-screen tablet takes up the entirety of the box and actually looks like a pretty good-size device.
The tablet, which is the first device to run Android Jelly Bean, takes a minute or two to get past the initial setup, but not too long after first being turned on, it’s good to go.
Google sent us an 8-GB version of the device, available to pre-order from Google Play for $199. The 16-GB Nexus 7 is also available for pre-order: $249 from Google Play or $249.99 from GameStop. They should ship next month.
After you get past setup, you first see a “My Library” widget with content that Google has pre-loaded onto the tablet. You get a couple of books, magazines and, the eye catcher, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” -- all of which Google has tossed in at no extra charge.
From light use, the Nexus 7 seems to run very smoothly, browsing the Web quickly and downloading apps with ease.
Its 1,280-by-800-pixel HD display is very nice to look at. This isn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on, but I have no complaints off the bat.
The Nexus 7’s exterior looks a lot like a very small iPad in the front, but the back is very different. It has an attractive backing designed to provide you with a good grip. As for the size, most people will be able to palm the whole thing, but I also could fit it in my back pocket and even my front pocket with just a tad bit of weirdness.
That’s all for now, but check back later for a full review of the Nexus 7.
[Updated, 12:20 p.m. July 2: In the video, I say, “They (Google) also throw in the Galaxy Nexus phone” in describing what Google had sent the Los Angeles Times to review. This has led to at least one reader to ask whether Google will give you a free Galaxy Nexus with the purchase of the Nexus 7. That is not the case. Sorry for the confusion.]