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If you’re in the market for a tablet, then you probably know there are a lot of choices out there – the Kindle Fire, the iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, the Toshiba Excite 7.7, the Nook, and the list goes on. But if you really want to get the most value for your buck, I say go with the Nexus 7 and here’s why – Google is essentially selling it for less than what it costs to make! The Nexus 7 starts at just $199 for an 8GB model (clearly a strategic move to corner the Kindle Fire’s market, as they’re priced comparably, but the Nexus is the superior choice).
Why does this pricing make it such a steal? Well, a breakdown of the manufacturing costs conducted by TechInsights (and reported by Fudzilla) found that the Nexus 7's parts alone add up to around $184, and that’s before you even consider other costs like packaging. What a deal! To give you some perspective, Nexus's price is roughly a 38 percent savings over the cost of a larger-screen, same-size iPad 2, and a 50 percent savings over a third-generation iPad.
Okay, so the cost is more than fair, but how does the product actually measure up to the competition? Well, according to multiple reviews and customer feedback, it’s pretty good (which makes the price all the better). Google has succeeded in creating an affordable tablet that lives up to (or exceeds) user expectations, for the most part. A review at PC World said, “Of today's 7-inch Android tablets, the Nexus 7 is the one to beat, and it is handily one of the best-executed Android tablets of any size you can buy.”
It has one of the best battery lives of any tablet on the market – going a whopping 10-plus hours without needing a recharge, and its text and images are pretty clear. Plus, it doesn’t feel light and cheap like some tablets; it has a high-end look and feel that you’re sure to appreciate, but it’s still light enough to hold and carry comfortably. But if you’re really serious about the functionality of your tablet, pay a little extra and go for the 16GB $249 version for the Nexus 7. It’s still a good value, and is an ideal starter tablet that provides solid performance and the latest version of Android - it’s the first tablet with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Is there a downside to the Nexus 7? Yes, but isn’t there with every tablet? The biggest flaw seems to be the lack of a memory card slot, which really limits the storage space. If you have a large media collection or want to download movies and TV shows from Google Play, the Nexus 7 might not be the tablet for you. But Google definitely succeeds at blowing away Amazon's Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 with a superior tablet at the same starting price.
Personally, I have the Barnes & Noble Nook, and I like it, but it’s undeniably extremely limited to Barnes & Nobles’ own operating system. It suits my purposes for now, since I mainly bought it for reading and I can choose from a great selection of Nook books, many of which are very reasonably priced, but when I’m ready to upgrade to something with more features, I’m definitely going to go for a Nexus 7 – how can you go wrong with a well-performing device that the company is practically giving away?!
Tell us what tablet you have and what you think of it!