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ASUS Nexus 7 Tablet (Android 4.1 Jelly Bean) Review

By: Anthony Garreffa | Tablets in Mobile Devices | Posted: Sep 19, 2012 7:58 am
TweakTown Rating: 92%Manufacturer: ASUS





ASUS' Nexus 7 sports NVIDIA's Tegra 3 processor, which is a quad-core chip clocking in at 1.3GHz. Going between apps, and general multi-tasking just feels fluid. I have experienced no slowdown in my testing with the unit; it performs like a champion.


Jelly Bean and Project Butter - Apart from both of these names sounding absolutely delicious and making me want to go and eat some jelly beans and buttered popcorn, there's some intelligent design behind these technologies. One of the main components that make the Nexus 7's performance feel great is the above-mentioned Project Butter. Project Butter is a name Google have adopted for tuning Jelly Bean's internals, which render apps, touchscreen processing and more, to run at 60Hz.


The OS also uses triple buffering; making sure that there is a new frame ready for the upcoming display refresh. This doesn't translate into things feeling twice as fast, but it just makes things ultra-smooth. I'm guessing this is where Google adopted the "Project Butter" naming from.


Touchscreen responsiveness is something that is quite important to any touch-based device, obviously, and thanks to Project Butter and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean; responsiveness has never been better. This also goes hand-in-hand with NVIDIA's Tegra 3 SoC, which drops the clock speeds on its CPU cores depending on the activity of the device; Jelly Bean takes over as soon as it detects contact with the touchscreen. Thanks to the increased updating on the screen of 60 times per second, as soon as your finger even gently caresses the screen, it starts inputting the data and you see this as the reaction on the tablet is nearly instantaneous.


What this does is provide instantaneous reaction as soon as you even so much as touch the screen gently, making it not only feel fast, but save battery life at the same time. Jelly Bean also bakes in better touch-based tracking, where it'll go as far as predicting where your finger is going to slide next when the screen refreshes. All of this is done behind the curtains of Jelly Bean, but provides you with a top-notch tablet experience. All this for just $199.


I'm a big fan of Flipboard, and flipping between stories feels more fluid than any other tablet I've tried. This is all thanks to Project Butter, and NVIDIA's Tegra 3 processor, which work together so well that the touchscreen response is quite revolutionary.


General use of the Nexus 7 is surprisingly snappy - faster than my third-gen iPad, faster than any other Android-based tablet I've used, or any other smart device I've used, period. It really is lightning - and it shows, all over the tablet. Switching between apps, opening an app up, multi-tasking truly is wonderful on the Nexus 7.


We threw the Nexus 7 through Quadrant Professional Edition, where it scored quite well thanks to its Tegra 3 processor. It scored an overall score of 3776, which is down from the other ASUS tablet, the Transformer Prime TF201, which scored just over 4000. HTC's One X is way out, as you can see below.




Google have said that the Nexus 7 will run for an insane 300 hours on standby, with my general use, I'm finding that the battery life on the Nexus 7 is nothing short of impressive.


ASUS' Nexus 7 only comes with the front-facing camera as mentioned earlier in the review, and here are some photos and videos I've taken in and around my house - mostly of my daughter playing with her recently-acquired bubble shooting gun, which she absolutely loves. It also is a great example of some fast-moving bubbles flying across the screen.






Remember, it's only a 1.2-megapixel camera, so the quality is by no means amazing. Video wise, it doesn't do too badly for a front-facing camera.




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