Google Nexus 7 Tablet and Jelly Bean Review: Android Shows Smooth Movies
The Nexus 7 may be a small tablet, but Google has gone big on hardware. Inside it is an Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC paired with 1GB of RAM. This won’t set any records, but it does put this $200 tablet on par with many far more expensive Android options.
We ran our usual array of tests, but I’ll tell you the result right away – it’s Tegra 3, and it acts like Tegra 3. It’s fast, but also a known quantity.
Here we see that, of the tablets we’ve tested over the years, the Nexus 7 does take the crown. Now, there is one important caveat here – this is a browser benchmark, and this tablet runs Chrome instead of the standard Android browser. This might explain the small victory over the similarly equipped Transformer Prime.
Next up we have Geekbench. This is a processor heavy benchmark that makes good use of all four Tegra cores. Let’s see how that impacts the performance results.
We see that even here, the Nexus 7 manages to defeat the Prime, which has the same processor. This indicates that there are some driver and/or operating system enhancements giving Google’s tablet an edge. Apple’s iPad 3, which has only two CPU cores, is way behind the Tegra 3 powered competitors.
Next we’ll take a look at GLBenchmark, which can tell us how well this small tablet handles 3D graphics.
Here we see the iPad 3 dominate the Tegra powered tablets thanks to its tremendous graphics power. The Nexus 7 performs essentially the same as the Prime does when in its Balanced power profile.
I should note that this is not a bad showing – it just looks bad compared to the iPad 3, which carries incredible GPU power to support its Retina display. The Nexus 7, like all Tegra 3 tablets, will have no problem playing 3D games developed for Android.
The Google Nexus 7 carries a 16Wh battery. That’s not going to impress the iPad 3, which struts around with a 42.5 Wh battery. But then again, this is a smaller device. The Kindle Fire shipped with a battery of similar size.
Endurance has traditionally been a sore spot of small tablets. It seems that the power savings provided by a smaller display does not outrun the capacity that must be cut from the battery. Does the Nexus 7 buck that trend?
The Nexus 7 did pretty well in our tests, easily defeating earlier 7-inch models like the Kindle Fire. The Nexus 7 offers just over 5 hours of heavy-load web browsing and does extremely well in the YouTube test, actually beating the Prime with Ice Cream Sandwich. I don't think anyone is going to be disappointed with the battery life offered here.