I picked up a Nexus 7 shortly before taking a holiday in Spain, mainly just to mess around with it and see how it fared as the groundbreaker (mainly via price and PR) for a new form of 7″-screened content consumption devices. Judging it on that basis alone, it hits the mark; reading Kindle books on it is great, and the screen lends itself well to landscape viewing of movies.
For me though, where it comes unstuck is not during usage; its during standby. Now, I realise comparing a Nexus 7 to an iPad is a little unfair as the two are occupying very different spaces… but, when I flick the power switch on my iPad, it can then sit there happily for days without the battery power decreasing much. Not so for the Nexus; if you leave WiFi and syncing on, you’ll be lucky to last 24 hours.
For me – and for most I would imagine – that’s a huge pain in the neck. There’s few things more annoying than picking up a device that you’ve left in standby, only to find the battery has run out (or is just about to). It is controllable to a small extent: using the power bar it is possible to just switch off WiFi and syncing before putting it in standby, but even then the device continues to drain at a fairly surprising rate given its not meant to be doing anything.
On a sidenote, one other area I found it really falling short on was volume. Watching a film on my flight, I could barely hear it over the general ambient noise levels. Not good – especially when this is being marketed as a content consumption device. If you’re also finding that is the case, you can do a lot worse than invest in a Fiio E6 headphone amplifier. Worked a treat for me – and they’re only £20 now.