The Display

In this new age of high resolution panels with small dimensions, the goal seems to be to just get the display out of the way. You shouldn't notice the display, it should just quietly do its job and make you believe that what you're looking at is real. When viewed with this critical eye, very few displays do their job well.

The Nexus 7's display is somewhere between good and perfection. It's not on the latter end of the spectrum, but it's great for $199. Black levels are good, and max brightness is more than enough for indoor use, although you'll have problems outdoors if it's too sunny.

Display Brightness

Display Brightness

Display Contrast

Pixel Density Comparison

The resolution is high enough that neither Brian nor I were able to identify individual pixels at our normal viewing distances. Images do look better on the new iPad however (not a resolution but rather a panel advantage).

The other interesting aspect of the Nexus 7 is that it is a relatively new and somewhat interesting display form factor. 213 pixels per inch in a 7 inch display is unique for an Android tablet, and puts the Nexus 7 in the "tvdpi" screen density category for Android, 600 x 961 dp (that's dp - density independent pixels, relative to 160 ppi). 

The end result is that some applications get a scaled down version of the 10" form factor Android 4.x UI, others don't. Some pages use the phone layout (for example the settings page, play store, and the notifications shade), others use the tablet two pane layout (for example Gmail) due to the 600dp width of the Nexus 7. That is to say it isn't totally correct to say that the UI on the Nexus 7 is a larger, scaled version of the phone UI, but something of an intermediary between the traditional 10" tablet version, and the phone version depending on what the break point is (in dps) for the particular app.

The other interesting note is that because 'tvdpi' isn't a primary display density for Android developers to build assets against, most often bitmaps get scaled down from the hdpi asset. In most places there isn't much of a noticeable softening of the edges, but I'll admit there are a few places where it's obvious bitmaps have been decimated and look a bit soft. Luckily, the pixel density of the display itself is high enough to mask most of this, but it isn't always perfect. 

Display Color Gamut (sRGB)

Display Color Gamut (Adobe RGB)

The Nexus 7's IPS panel offers great viewing angles, something that's simply a requirement for any device whose primary interface revolves around the display. Color accuracy is simply middle of the road, but I don't expect many users to do a lot of professional photo editing on the Nexus 7 so I'm not sure how much this actually matters.

Android 4.1 The SoC & Performance
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  • The0ne - Friday, July 27, 2012 - link

    My Kindle is fulled with books and audio books and I need more space. I am seriously thinking about purchasing the Nexus 7 as a replacement simply because XDA has provided a way to add more storage space via a dongle. Still, my eyes are shouting for a 10" reader as I know the 7" Kindle is always stressing as it is. Reply
  • robinthakur - Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - link

    I would imagine it is the beginnings of an anti piracy drive as that is such a hot topic on Android and a key reason why some app just aren't available for it. Which is a great shame as having a Micro SD slot is emminently useful and cheaper than paying for manufacturer added storage. Reply
  • TheJian - Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - link

    iphone collection packs are readily available on newsgroups and websites. No more piracy on android than ios. That's a fallacy perpetuated by apple lovers. Nothing sneaky about leaving off a micro sd slot. Dead trigger was given away because of one of two things: The game sucks an reviews show it, or they just are apple lovers who ported it to give it away to hurt android. Why would you give your game away due to any piracy? No amount would make a sane person give away their work for good. There are NO honest people on android?...LOL. Sounds like a scam to me. How does angry birds make money then? OK, a 3rd option; they saw sales sucked so went with whichever had better sales and publicity stunt for the other platform (in this case android). I'd venture to guess sales still suck on IOS too... :) No amount of publicity crap will fix reviews in the 40's. Rovio isn't complaining about android sales.

    Does your ipad3 come with micro sd? Must be because of all that piracy huh? Sounds like BS both ways eh? For $200-250 what did you expect to get? They blew away the kindle fire, asking much more is asking for the impossible at this price.

    Make a better game that people enjoy (and isn't just a gpu fest) and it will sell. End users don't crack games, professional groups do and they do it just as well on ANY platform (including the PS3 now). Heck you can buy an xbox360 pre modded and ready to happily play your copies. Yet, for some reason people spew comments about PC's being so easy to pirate on...LOL. PC games have craploads of patches, thus needing more skilled users to update and crack said updates. I'd say it's tougher on a pc, where any monkey can buy a pre-modded console and boot a burned game from release groups.

    As someone already said, most users can't even copy/delete files. Witness the number of people in forums etc asking why their pirated PC game doesn't work. "the game says insert disc etc, where's the crack?"...Umm, gee, did you check the \crack folder? Bother to read the nfo file?...ROFL. Followed by the inevitable "how do you open a .nfo file?" and it goes on an on. Worse, some just can't get past "how do you open a rar file, or .001, or .part1.rar"...At some point someone says RTFM or "google it" :)
    Reply
  • robinthakur - Friday, August 31, 2012 - link

    The fact of the matter is that there is little incentive to jailbreak an iDevice anymore because Apple has added most of what was missing previously. You also lose alot like when Apple release a new iOS and you have to wait for it to be jailbroken.

    However, for most Android users who do not own first party Google devices (at least the ones that still get updates...!). you need to root your phone to install updates in a timely manner. On most FAQS about rooting your phone there is inevitably a section discussing pirated apps. The availability and proliferation of pirate apps for Google is certainly nothing new, perhaps you have been willfully ignoring it. The stats on it from most of the developers who mention it are absolutely shocking.

    This is the downside of having more technically adept users I suppose, but to pretend that it either doesn't exist or even more crazily that iOS developers release thei product on Android free to hurt the platform (hmm...) is paranoid delusional.

    The fact is that Angry Birds on Android is free and *ad-supported*. It is not free. Rovio is at least canny enough to realise that the target market aren't prepared to even pay 1.99 for their hard work, and even those playing ad-supported games still complain about the in-game ads and use ad-blocking software so that still doesn't solve the problem. The 360 and also PS3 do ban users that they detect using pirated software online (everyone seems to play multiplayer these days) so no it is not just as easy to pirate on console to how easy it is on the PC.
    Reply
  • GTForce - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    I think it should be "winning a higher level accolade" instead of "winning a higher level allocade". It's always baffling to see pro tech editors not using a simple spell-check to finalize their articles. BTW, a nice article (as usual on AnandTech). Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Sunday, July 29, 2012 - link

    Pro or Moe ?
    Arrogant and ignorant.
    Imagine the heady region in where they dwell.
    If they need a spellchecker, they must be stupid.
    It's fear and low self esteem.
    Reply
  • tipoo - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    I'm curious now if a better flash memory controller is part of what gave iPads the fluidity lead up until this tablet, how do they fare in NAND performance? Reply
  • wendoman - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    "The video below shows you what can happen on a Transformer Pad Infinity while downloading a bunch of large files in the background:"

    Where the video?
    Reply
  • driscoll42 - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    You don't actually lose Amazon's video service. You can view Amazon Prime videos in any standard browser, I've got a shortcut on my Nexus 7 which just goes straight to Amazon's Video Service. What you do lose is access to the Lending Library. Reply
  • geniekid - Thursday, July 26, 2012 - link

    Good point. I use Amazon VoD a lot, which is the best argument for myself in getting a Kindle Fire over this thing.

    I wonder what the difference between the KF and Nexus 7 is in terms of how long it takes to get from the home screen to actual streaming video.
    Reply

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