Dec 27 AT 8:05 PM Nick Sarafolean 75 Comments

The Nexus 7 is better than I gave it credit for

2013 Nexus 7

Remember how a month or so back, I wrote that article complaining about the fact that there was no new Nexus 10 yet? In the time since, not much has changed. There’s still no new Nexus 10 and judging by the rumors, it doesn’t look as though there will be one anytime soon. But one thing that has changed since then is that I acquired a Nexus 7, Google’s other tablet that comes in at a smaller 7-inch size. And after using it for more than fifteen minutes, you can color me impressed.

When I wrote about the Nexus 10, my main reason for wanting one was because of the increased size. I still enjoy the 10-inch size greatly. Those extra three inches of screen are beneficial in a multitude of ways and I simply preferred the size over 7-inch tablets. That is, until I extensively used a 7-inch tablet.

With no new Nexus 10 in sight, I switched my attention to the Nexus 7. I knew that if I was going to get a tablet, I still wanted one that was of the Nexus variety. The Nexus 7 offered nearly everything I wanted with the exception of the screen size, which I compromised on. After they announced a new 32GB model in white, I was sold on it.

For a few days now, I’ve been using the Nexus 7 and since using it for more time, my opinions on it have begun to change. Going into it, I’ll admit that I didn’t have the highest hopes for the Nexus 7. I did settle for it after all. It had a smaller screen than I really wanted and overall, wasn’t exactly the tablet that I’d really wanted.

Then I got a Nexus 7 and everything changed.

I found that I loved the size. It took a little time to get used to the intermediate size but once I was acclimated, I fell in love. Contrary to my previous thoughts, I found that the 7-inch screen size was shockingly handy. Not only is it much easier to hold and use than a 10-inch tablet, but the portability was a factor that I hadn’t thought about enough. I hadn’t thought that I’d actually be able to fit the Nexus 7 into the pockets of my jeans. Nonetheless, I attempted it and lo and behold, it fit! While sitting down is nigh on impossible with a tablet in my pocket, it makes it easy to carry around on the go.

Another benefit of the size that I hadn’t expected was the ease of use for consuming media. Previously, I believed that the bigger screen on a Nexus 10 was better for consuming media. But after using the Nexus 7 more, the 7-inch screen size seems to make more sense. Generally when I’m watching Netflix or YouTube, I’m lying in bed procrastinating about sleep and then, I really enjoy the smaller size. It makes it incredibly easy to hold the Nexus 7 with just one hand for minimal effort required to watch online videos.

In truth, the Nexus 7 is much better than I gave it credit for. It’s taken all of my expectations and flipped them on their heads, proving that it is indeed an extremely capable tablet that can rival its bigger 10-inch brothers. That’s what a tablet should do and the Nexus 7 certainly fits the bill.

What are your opinions? Are you tempted to switch to a smaller tablet like the Nexus 7? Or are you still holding out hope for the Nexus 10? Let us know.

A nerd at heart, Nick is an average person who has a passion for all things electronic. When not spending his time writing about the latest gadgets, Nick enjoys reading, dabbling in photography, and experimenting with anything and everything coffee. Should you wish to know more about him, you can follow him on Twitter @nsarafolean.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Kevin

    Do you think 7″ is the perfect size for a tablet? If you ever get a chance to try the LG Pad 8.3 or another 8″ tablet, I would love to hear how the sizes compares.

    • paige.apen paige.apen

      I have a Note 8 and Nexus 7. In a nutshell, they’re almost identical in many ways… In general. Portability, screen size, etc are close enough for the two to be interchangeable. But the Nexus 7 still fits in a jeans pocket and takes up almost no space next to a DVD, which gives it a clear advantage over the Note 8 (no jeans for it!)

      Screen area wise, a 7″ tablet like the Nexus 7 has half the area of a 10″ tablet… Crazy huh?

    • AmberMakitos

      my Aunty Emily got a new Mercedes SLK-Class Convertible just by some part-time working online with a macbook. more information………

  • Haggie

    The Nexus 7 is the Subaru of tablets. No flash, but reasonably priced, utilitarian and reliable.

    • LMAO

      and crap, lol, Subaru? Get a job and buy a true car….

      • SMH

        I wonder how you got a job acting so much like an immature child.

      • Forever AAA

        I fully agree, Subaru is not a car, its trash. Subaru is always at the bottom of crash tests, because they use inferior materials. You get what you pay for.

    • Darren Rockwell

      Breaking news, Haggie drives a Subaru.

      • Forever AAA

        Subaru is considered a trash car over here in europe.
        Only bums drive this, however i heard its somewhat popular in the united states (seems the rumors are true, usa is broke and money is only spent on weapons and wars of course, while the citizens cant even afford a decent health care. Must be terrifying to live in such a surveillance country, too)

        • ALYR

          Europe is considered trash over here in America.

          • Cebastian Rosing

            Hahaha, I don’t want to take sides here, or anything, but Modern Europe (especially the northern countries) have systems that are far better than those in the states. Not to mention we don’t use the Imperial system.

            All aside, I still greatly enjoyed driving through the states in a month, and I very much plan to return to visit all states. But it’s sad to see you see us as trash here, when we do have some clear advantages, especially in these times.

      • MC_Android

        Why the hell are you guys arguing over car brands on an android dedicated website? :/

        • Spoorthy Vemula

          well, maybe because google recently anounced android coming in cars through the open alliance thing?

    • John in Brisbane

      Ha ha I’ve got an n7 and a Subaru Forester … both kinda boring but really handy :-) I think the Subi is more reliable than the n7 though!

    • Oflife

      I had a Subaru SVX once, very flash! Amazing car! ;) The LG G2 of cars. ;)

  • gwen

    I have an Asus T201 (Transformer Prime) and a Nexus 7. I use them for different things. I use the Nexus 7 for Feedly, Kindle, passive gaming (Words with Friends, etc.), social media, cookbooks, and other “reading” type activities. I use the TPrime for gaming, movies, etc. I like the bigger screen for those because I get more detail and the case I have allows it to stand up. I’m currently on a trip and have both with me because I do use them differently.

  • Zin

    I couldn’t agree more. Back when Google first released their 7 and 10, I bought both. I ended up returning the 10, quite the opposite of what I expected to do. I just upgraded to the new 32gb 7. This tablet is a dream to use. I have zero interest in large tablets at this point. 7 just works and fits so well.

  • Ian Bromley

    Having been an avid Kindle user for years I found the Nexus 7 an ideal size. It had always baffled me why people wanted to use a device that required two hands. I mean how can one watch YouTube and drink a beer if you don’t have a free hand. How that I have had my Nexus for about a year I am convinced that this is the way to go. I also use a Galaxy Note 2 and have never had any problems with it’s supposedly huge size as it fits easily into all my pockets. So now I am only wrestling with the matter of my six year old laptop. Is it a good time to switch to a Chromebook?

    • John in Brisbane

      Good comments, especially about the beer related practicalities. Re, chrome books, I’m not convinced. I like how they appear to be the spiritual successor to the net book but they’re not much use without a decent connection. At the moment, I think the semi ultra book ones, with small form factor but some decent specs, might be the sweet spot. I’ve got an 11.6 ultra book which I love but it’s battery sucks compared to the old net books.

  • westy

    I was you a few years back. I had the transformer and thought it was the good size and thought 7 inches would be too close size wise to the phone size to be worth a purchase. After i had the first nexus 7 i also became a believer, the size is prefect for media consumption, gaming, reading and quick internet browsing. Now that i have the nexus 7 2013 i am even happier. 7 is the prefect size for a tablet for me. Its portable, easy to hold and light for hours of use.

  • Tod leamon

    Still holding out hope for Nexus 10. I have the Nexus 5.

  • David

    I gotta be honest with you, this… impressions piece is full of repetition. That made it very painful to read. The first 4 paragraphs could have been condensed to 3 sentences without losing anything, and the rest could have gone through a heavy editing pass to bring the reading level up above a kindergarten level.

    • clocinnorcal

      LOL. I completely agree with you. In fact, I previously did not quite agree with you, but later, after reading you comment again, I agree with you. Funny thing is I saw your comment, read it, thought about it and… BAM! I agree with you.

      But seriously, there was some major redundancy in this piece; however, I do agree with the OP’s insights regarding the Nexus 7. It certainly is a “perfect fit” tablet packed with enough muscle to make everything very smooth.

      • faslane

        Thank you!! this is one of the weirdest stories I’ve ever read that has used 9 carat graphs to say one thing, that someone like the device because it basically fit in their pants pocket but used hundreds of words to simply say that one thing. Lol

    • Aimee

      I felt off reading this article. I could just skim through the article and still get what the author was trying to say. The choice of words and tone of the whole article seemed a bit childish compared to previous Android and Me’s articles that I’ve read. Then I read the short author’s bio at the end of the article and it all made sense.

      I’m not judging anyone here and I commend the teenage author for having a healthy pastime by contributing an article in here, but I wish a bit more professional editing work could have been done prior to publishing the article.

  • rr2009

    When watching youtube and netflix, I prefer the 10 inch screen. Nexus 7 is lighter and great for reading and playing games.

  • A.Noid

    I have a Nexus 7, and have a Transformer. I decided the ideal size was in between. I went for the LG G Pad 8.3. Its got better screen real estate, without the bulk of a 10″. I may never go back.

  • geeknik

    The Nexus 7 is a nice tablet, but I just picked up Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. 1000x better. I might eventually miss the Google Play Store, but I’ve already given the Nexus 7 away. ;)

    • google_tardroid

      nonsense, not even believable. take us to your leader immediately! ;-) your propaganda tactics are too transparent, and i’m sure jeff bezos won’t take kindly to your flimsy methods to create a fictitious 3rd player in the tablet market! ;-)

      (sorry for double-post, i meant to post this here, not below)

    • Debbie

      I have a Samsung Galaxy 8.9 and it seems to be the perfect size; small enough to hold easily and read ebooks, but better screen size for reading items on the web. I was glad to see the Kindle add the 8.9 to help popularize that size as it is perfect in my book.

  • lukeap69

    I have quite a few tablets (iPad 3, Kindle Fire 8.9, Samsung Gtab 10.1 and Nexus 7 – old and new versions). When I am out and travelling (which is everyday) I use Nexus 7 always. At home, it’s a toss between the rest. I have tried LG Pad 8.3, it feels big in my hand so Nexus 7 is still my choice if I am going out.

    • google_tardroid

      nonsense, not even believable. take us to your leader immediately! ;-) your propaganda tactics are too transparent, and i’m sure jeff bezos won’t take kindly to your flimsy methods to create a fictitious 3rd player in the tablet market! ;-)

    • PoorBoy

      You make me feel small and insignificant. I appreciate that you can give a good comparison from the choices you have. But how do you feel about world hunger? Buddy could you spare a dime? I know I am also a hypocrite, but I do have only one tablet and it was a gift. Sorry I just had to say something.

  • faslane

    While I agree with everything you said about the Nexus 7, you basically said one thing in about 7 paragraphs….that you liked the Nexus 7 more than a preferred 10″ tablet. I mean really….the first 3 paragraphs repeat themselves and every sentence is damn near the same. Weird article to use so much text to simply say it fits in your pants when mobile and not sitting. Ugh

  • Nigel

    Context specific so highly personal, there is no “right” or “best”.

    I own a N10 and a N7 and N4.

    N4 is my “always with me” it is small enough it is always there.
    N10 is my “sit back and enjoy” device which means it is always in a cover, it is always able to sit by itself on anything, I don’t carry it in my hand.
    N7 is the one device which can be with me always because it fits in a pocket and fits in something all the time. e.g. I am often on a bike, the N4 in earshot, but the N7 can be somewhere nearby to move to if the nature of the problem needs the bigger screen (bigger thumbpad, etc).

    I bluetooth tether my N4 to my N7 or N10 and so the N7 or N10 are online all the time, if the nature of the task needs more than N4, the N7 is there by default, unless I’m home then the N10 is there.

  • faslane

    While I agree with everything you said about the Nexus 7, you basically said one thing in about 7 paragraphs….that you liked the Nexus 7 more than a preferred 10″ tablet. I mean really….the first 3 paragraphs repeat themselves and every sentence is damn near the same. Weird article to use so much text to simply say it fits in your pants when mobile and not sitting.

    This is the most repetitive and redundant article that really doesn’t say much at all that I have ever read.

  • John in Brisbane

    I agree. The 7 inch size is like the net book of tablets… Smaller but more portable so you’re more likely to take it with you. With slightly baggier pants, the n7 is fine in the pocket for sitting, even in the leather sleeve I use.

    I have to use iPads at work and I’ve grown to enjoy them but in a decent case they’re no smaller than a late model, 1kg netbook!

    I miss my old Motorola startac for its tiny, elegant size. I reckon that if someone brought out a new one of them with predictive texting, I’d use that for voice and text and pull out the n7 for wen stuff.

  • DavidDesu

    I owned the Nexus 7 but I sold it on. I previously owned the iPad mini (non retina of course) and sold it on to buy the N7. I was sorely disappointed, by two things really. First, the battery life was atrocious. I do come from the philosophy from the Apple side of things where I don’t think I should be expected to baby the machine, alter settings endlessly and monitor my usage to save the battery, but I still did some of those things, but to no avail, the N7 drained like crazy in use, and in standby just kept dying on me after a day or two. My old iPad mini absolutely annihilated the N7 in terms of battery life, both in constant use cases as well as in standby where it literally drains maybe no more than 2-3% every day left unused, so maintains its charge for days on end unlike the N7 which if I left unused for a day invariably meant it was completely drained and I had to recharge it. This for me just completely killed any joy I had in using the N7, which was indeed a great size to hold. My main other gripe was the reduced screen real estate compared to an iPad mini for a similar form factor size and the ridiculously narrow nature of the screen in portrait, or wideness in landscape. I’m sorry but I find the iPad’s 4:3 ratio to be far better for 90% of uses of tablets. Widescreen video… well considering the actual viewing size on an N7 is comparable to that of the iPad mini, even with it’s black borders makes this a moot point, and then for every other use the iPad mini has far more screen space for things like browsing, all in a similarly sized, marginally bigger device, it’s just better than using that squished elongated N7 screen for me. Sorry to hate, I really wanted to love the N7 but it was way too many compromises for me, the added flexibility of Android didn’t matter much when the battery drained endlessly. Who knows, maybe it’s much improved with KitKat, my Nexus 5 which I love has far better battery life on standby than my N4 on 4.3 ever had so maybe it’s made a big difference.

    • SGB101

      Got to agree about the battery, we have an ipad2 and n7 2012, and from day one the 7 hasn’t been able to keep up with the older ipad 2. Even now the ipad2 battery is immense.

      Also the io board on our n7 needs replacing, it only charges when it pleases now. :(

    • John in Brisbane

      My 1st gen n7 has awesome battery life. Days and days on standby plus many hours of screen time. It developed the performance issues other people talked about too but even then the battery was still pretty good.

  • rob

    -Are you tempted to switch to a smaller tablet like the Nexus 7?


    I have had both a 7 inch and a 10 inch nexus, there is no way a 7 inch tablet is better for productivity, media consumption or gaming. If I need mobility and compact convenience…that’s what a smart phone Is for

  • paola

    I really like this tablet… but… you cannot use it to make phonecalls!! I like the 7″screen, and i was looking for a smaller tablet (i have the asus transformer 10″) to take around with me and, in case of need, to use it as a phone! I don’t understand why they thought about a 3g 7″ tablet and they block this feature??!

    • GE918

      I have the 2012 N7 and use my Google Voice number to make call from the tablet.

  • juan

    Ipad2 vs n7 in a battery competition?

    Well with almost a 200$ difference in price, i expect that apple should at least win on this. Pft.

    • google_tardroid

      can’t compare real apples to likenesses of real apples ;-)

    • jamrolu

      I think the point is that the Nexus 7 is advertised with 9 hours battery life, and the iPads at 10 hours. In reality one of those meets their advertised time, the other doesn’t. Price doesn’t come into it when they claim one thing and deliver another!

  • redraider133

    I really like the smaller size of the nexus 7 mainly for portability and it’s so easy to hold. Larger tablets are nice, but lugging them around and like you mentioned with consuming media before bed, the 7″ size is perfect IMO

  • Mjorgy68

    I have been using the N7 since the 2012 model. I immediately got the 2013 when it came out… At work I used a Asus Transformer 10″ and hated how bulky It Was. I use my N7 when home for just about everything… since getting the N7, I have gotten a Dell Streak 7 and a Blackberry Playbook (for which I use for work now, gave the Asus Transformer to my boss… To get to the point, the 7 inch devices are easier to move about with. The Streak has 4g, with T-Mobile 200mb/month for free, so it acts as the travel companion and large screen GPS. The Blackberry Playbook is simple no frills, connected to exchange for email and minimal office apps is all I need for work. Since k own it,the boss doesn’t mind me using it. In short, 7″ has its place. And for me it works. If I need more, I have a laptop or desktop…
    Get a N7…

  • Broseph Stalin

    I wish there was a Nexus 8. Seven inch is still a tad too close to my phone IMO, but 10” can be kind of cumbersome at times.

  • Miguel Marques

    I’ve just moved from an iPad 2 to a Nexus 7 and I agree with the author. I am still very surprised on how good it is, and so cheap! I carry it almost everywhere, which makes me be more productive, and that didn’t happened with my iPad which is heavy and big and most n of the times I was lazy to carry it around.

    • google_tardroid

      the comparison would be with the iPad Mini Retina, not the iPad Air. nexus 10 to iPad Air, now let’s play that game ;-)

  • DUi256

    I love my Nexus 7 and I’ve worked on / used a bunch of different tablets and none of them come close to being as good as the new Nexus. The resolution, battery life & portability are excellent the only thing I find myself wanting is a memory slot for my multimedia.

  • John B

    Sooo…. what is your other hand doing while you are watching those online videos? LOL

    • clocinnorcal


  • Duane Douglas

    Silly article, weird comments. 7″ tablets sell better than 10″ tablets for the reasons that you mentioned…which I’m guessing comes as a surprise to you. Arguably, the Nexus 7 2013 is the best 7″ tablet avaible.

  • sere83

    Got mine today and I really like it, the screen is glorious.

    The only thing I would say is that I wish it had a snapdragon 800 like my Nexus 5. I think the boost in processing and GPU really helps to offer a smoother and slightly faster experience all round, which sadly is still needed as stuttering and slight scroll lag is still visible especially in apps like facebook which incidentally I do not for the life of me understand why has no tablet specific configuration yet, it’s actually retarded. Definitely worth the upgrade from last years model though.

    I personally wouldn’t mind a touch more screen real estate but 10 inch is too much and while importing a play edition gpad was tempting I prefer the 300+ PPI of this device. Unless Xiaomi release a tablet running MIUI, (which i have been hearing rumours about recently actually), I wouldn’t want to touch anything but stock android especially on tablet.

  • Gregory Tschirhart

    I am hooked at the wrist with my nexus 7. My wife is jealous of the thing. I have the 2012 model. If I had the 10 inch model I wouldn’t be able to hold it for very long. I like it I use it you will have to kick me in the nuts if you think you are going to pry it out of my hand.

    • Ketracell-white

      I have the 10 inch model in my pants and i am able to hold it for very long. My wife is jealous of the thing, too!

  • rod

    Wife got me the 2013 Nexus 7 32 GB for Xmas. My iPad 2 with iOS 7 has been collecting dust ever since. The Nexus 7′s ultraportabilty, thin form factor, lightweightedness, speed, quick updates, price, and downright gorgeous display make it a no brainer for the being the best buy concerning bang for your buck. Don’t get me wrong, iOS 7 is nice but Andriod 4.4.2 cannot be beat insofar as customization.

  • mrwirez

    I have both N7′s and a N10… My next Tablet may be an 8″. No more 10 inch tablets for me. They’re 2 hands mostly. I will say I love the 2013 N7 though. It is much better than the 2012 version.

    Maybe the LG 8 incher is for me.. My LG N5 is a perfect design for a phone.

  • Harold Goldner

    I have an Asus Transformer TF300T, a 10″ tablet which I love, but recently picked up the first generation Nexus 7 when Game Stop liquidated its inventory at fire sale prices. I was so blown away I bought a Nexus 7 FHD and sold the first one. Since then my Transformer has spent most of its time in a drawer. For day-to-day use, the Nexus handles everything, runs the latest Android version, and has those great stereo speakers for video, and easi
    y charges wirelessly with even a cheap Qi-compliant charger from ebay.

    The Transformer, attached to its keyboard dock, will still be my tablet of choice as a laptop replace, ent, and occasional in-home use, but the Nexus 7, even in its case (a RooCASE Origami Slimshell) is easy to take anywhere, and even fits in many pockets.

  • Timmy

    I just got a N7 and want to like it but I’m still adjusting to the size. I’ve got a G2 and a iPad 2 along with using various 10″ Android tablets. My thought is that this will replace my day planner because I still like paper notepads for quick notes to leave for others. Any recommendations for a good (affordable) portfolio cover?

  • google_tardroid

    let’s summarize this article:

    i’m more impressed with the nexus 7 than before! i wanted a nexus 10 before one came out, i was upset. i couldn’t wait so i got the 7 and wow, i’m more impressed than before! i thought it was too small to consume garbage, but no! actually since i use it in my bed when i am doing sh** i realized the 7 is lighter and smaller and better! wow, so my conclusion is i like the 7 more than before.

  • YNWA

    I wasn’t expecting to be a fan of a narrow 7″ tablet like the Nexus 7 until I tried one this weekend. Although I still prefer more of a 4:3 aspect ratio it was still nice to use. Overall a really nice tablet for the money!

  • Gillian

    I just love my Nexus 7, it is just the right size and comfortable to hold. It is a wonderful tool to have and use. I would be lost without it. It is nice and compact and fits in my handbag.

  • Ann Droid

    Still waiting for the Nexus 10… I had the Nexus 7, but it wasn’t much larger than my Note 2, so I took it back 4 months ago thinking the Note 10 would get a release soon.

    CES may bring a nice 10″ to woo me away, but I really wanted my first Nexus experience.

  • donger

    It’s great with chromecast and that $35 google credit. Had the 1st gen n7, then the 2nd gen 32gb, now got the white version.

  • Giuseppe

    I’d love a nexus 7. But only 32 gb and NO MICRO SD? Why? Just to force us onto Google drive?

    Plus the bezels on both the samsung and the nexus are so large that they make the devices un-pocketable. When both of these manufacturers can make a cell phone with a 2mm bezel, why can’t they do it on these devices?

    Why, why, why can’t they add the microSD to their devices? Just to force us on

    • angelargerthanlife

      It supports USB OTG. You just have to purchase the Nexus Media Importer app from the Play Store. I connect my Seagate flashdrive to my N7 and can watch movies etc. stored on the flash drive.

  • Cebastian Rosing

    Planning on getting the Z Ultra (2, maybe?) next year, no need for me to have both a tab and phone anymore. :)

  • smeghead68

    Have the nexus 7 and 10. I find myself always going for the 7 over the 10. Much more portable.

  • Chaz Macro

    I purchased The original n7,but it preformed worse with age until the OS was updated. Now it preforms much better.

  • tmihai20

    I was thinking the same thing. I have a TF300TG, a 10 inches tablet that I love using. Then I had the time to play with a Nexus 7 and I was amazed that I loved it so much. My next tablet will be most likely a 7 inches Nexus. I only bought the Transformer because I don’t own a laptop. 7 inches is just perfect.

  • Andrew D

    I just got the N7 2013 to replace my original iPad and I couldn’t be happier. It is WAY faster than my Motorola Droid Razr Maxx phone, gives you a lot more screen than a phone, and is a lot easier to hold and carry around than a 10″ tablet. It’s really a best of both worlds kind of thing. And, of course, Android is just the bee’s knees compared to any version of iOS.

    Plus, I got it for a steal at Best Buy using a price match with NewEgg. Basically, after Play Store credit and BB gift card it was $200 net cost – nothing with a fruit logo on it even comes close to that kind of value.

  • Pete

    This post is very redundant. But, I love the Nexus 7 so I do not care…