in the ever-increasing tablet market, it can be difficult to find the tablet that fits one’s needs and wallet.
but with the launch of Amazon’s Kindle fire and Barnes and Nobles’ Nook Tablet in 2011, $199 tablets are quickly gaining ground on heavy hitters like the $499 Apple iPad and Asus’ Transformer line.
now, there’s another contender in the small tablet category: Google’s Nexus 7. Announced at an annual I/O event in June, the tablet has a 7-inch screen and is $199, just like the Kindle fire and Nook Tablet.
A break down of the stats reveal which tablet may surpass the competition.
It’s understood that tablets, for the most part, look pretty similar. That holds true for the Kindle fire and Nexus 7, both of which are solid black with matte finishes on the reverse side. They are nearly identical in terms of dimensions, though the Nexus 7 is lighter.
Lauren Smith, wildlife ecology junior, received a Kindle fire last month and said she loves its size.
“It’s really easy to use and not too big,” Smith said.
The Nook Tablet looks strikingly different than most other tablets, besides the Nook Color. The screen is surrounded by a grey bezel that flows onto the rear of the device, which is also grey. The most interesting design choice for the Nook Tablet is the location of the microSD slot — the hollowed-out right corner, which can be moved to access the slot.
With the Kindle fire and Nook Tablet being several months older than the Nexus 7, there’s no question which tablet has more horsepower.
both the Kindle fire and Nook Tablet have dual-core 1GHz processors, which can handle most tasks with relative ease.
but the Nexus 7 has the quad-core Tegra 3 processor running inside, which blows most other processors in terms of raw power away. That’s coupled with a 1 GB of RAM, making the Nexus 7 a multitasking machine.
plus, it’s the only tablet with a built-in camera and near-field communications capabilities, which allows information to be shared between devices over short distances.
all three tablets run the Android operating system, but to different degrees.
The Kindle fire runs Gingerbread (Android 2.3) utilizes Amazon’s App Store, which is the closest alternative to the Google Play Store. most of the apps found on regular Android devices are available, and if they aren’t, some mild hacking can get them on there.
Smith said she didn’t mind the more limited selection of apps for the Kindle fire.
“You can [still] play all the common games that the tablets have like Angry Birds,” she said. “And it’s nice that when I get tired of reading I can take a break and check Facebook or Tumblr.”
Barnes and Noble’s app selection is a lot more limited than Amazon’s, but the most popular apps can still be found on the store.
The Nexus 7 is the first device to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and is the only tablet of this group to run pure, unaltered Android. this means it has full access to the Google Play Store and all 500,000 of its apps.
It also utilizes Project Butter, part of Jelly Bean that makes operating Android more fluid.
in terms of specs and app selection, the Galaxy Nexus 7 is better equipped than the others. Quad-core processing coupled with a pure Android experience make it more advanced than not only the Kindle fire and Nook Tablet, but also a serious competitor to the hold Apple has on the tablet market.
Contact Taylor Balkom at email@example.com.
Tablet wars heat up