That camera isn’t really useful for anything but Google+ Hangouts and the like — though it certainly gets the job done. If you’re one of those people who likes to snap pics with their tablet — first, shame on you. Second, you’re probably out of luck here. There’s no camera app on the device. You can find a third-party replacement, and I did get one to work, but most of the popular camera apps don’t even show up in the Play Store.
There’s no 3G or 4G cell service onboard, and the storage limitation might be vexing to some users, but there’s also little to complain about for a tablet at this price. In terms of sheer specs, there’s nothing here to prevent the Nexus 7 from being every bit as useful and usable as its bigger counterparts and competition — even the iPad.
The Nexus 7 boasts a 1280 x 800 LCD display that’s coated with "Corning glass," which I assume means Gorilla Glass. The screen is 216 ppi if you’re keeping count — and it shows. Text and images look crisp and clear on the 7-inch screen — not Retina display quality, but not too far off either. Colors on the screen looked a bit washed out when compared to the Super AMOLED of the Galaxy Nexus, but I’ll chalk that up to the exaggerated saturation of that phone’s screen. Next to the new iPad, things looked a little more balanced.
Viewing angles were surprisingly good too, though I don’t spend a lot of time looking at the screen off-center. For those of you that do, fear not.
Performance and battery life
Performance on the Nexus 7 was zippy. Snappy. Buttery, if you will. We already know that the Tegra 3 chipset is no slouch, and it felt particularly slouch-free on this tablet.
General OS performance was excellent — helped undoubtedly by the Android 4.1 and its "Project Butter" initiative which is said to vastly improve touch response and smoothness in Android. Apps were also quick to open and close, and speedy in use. In particular, 3D gaming that was optimized for the Tegra chipset looked stunning and held steady frame rates, and basic tasks like multitasking were nearly instantaneous.
I do have some minor gripes about some of the scrolling action I saw. I think in an attempt to smooth out and stabilize the performance of Android, Google may have created some very minor "snap back" issues when scrolling around quickly. To my eyes, this is definitely a software problem, but I didn’t see similar issues on the Galaxy Nexus with Jelly Bean, so this will remain a question mark. Simply put, sometimes when you’re scrolling quickly (say, on the homescreen), the scroll will not follow your finger, and instead snap back the page to the one you were trying to move away from. I only saw this crop up occasionally when I was moving around at speed, so I don’t think most users will notice or care. It’s a nitpick... but that’s what I get paid to do.