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ASUS Google Nexus 7 Tablet 16GB with Wi-Fi - Black
(Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) - 16 GB - 7" IPS ( 1280 x 800 ) - front camera - Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC - black)
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  Slick, light device, but not without its problems.,  2012-08-01
By frescagod

I pre-ordered a couple days before the Nexus 7 came out, and MacMall was estimating at least a week before they could ship one out to me. They ended up shipping only a day or two after Google started shipping directly, so it was a nice surprise. It was shipped relatively securely, with bubble wrap on one side, but the other side of the box was not really protected and a corner of the shipping box had a 2" puncture in it. Luckily, the actual Nexus 7 box was unharmed.

Thankfully, I do not have the following issues with the tablet that others are finding:

- dead pixels (either random or that line of dead pixels)
- ghosting
- backlight bleeding
- touch issues
- dead microphone

However, there is what seems to be a prominent issue with the screen being raised (especially on the left side) and creaking on the side bezel. My screen is indeed raised ever so slightly on the left side, maybe about 1mm (vs. the right side being completely flush with the side). It's not a deal breaker for me, but it is slightly annoying. My screen's touch responsiveness has been even and consistent, and I wouldn't be surprised if there is a correlation between that issue and the screen being raised.

If I put mild pressure on the bezel (both left and right sides), I can hear/feel slight creaking. It's also not a deal breaker for me because the only time I really notice it is if I'm reading late at night and there is no other sound.

There is also another issue with the sound, particularly out of the headphone jack. There seems to be slight interference/buzzing, especially when swiping through screens while listening to music or watching video. This problem gets amplified by 100 if the tablet is charging through an outlet. It's so obtrusive that I cannot use audio with the device if I am charging it through a wall socket. Charging via USB into a computer does not seem to cause the same issue.

I am guessing it's because of two things - poor shielding of components, and poor/nonexistent grounding. I didn't find this issue until the 15th day, which turns out to be a single day out of the return window for MacMall. I'm going to be forced to get support through either Google or Asus, neither of which will be a pleasant experience. That said, if I don't charge while using the headphone jack, the issue is very minimal. Sound quality as a whole is colored slightly, but the equalization is okay. I'm sure there are rooted and non-rooted apps that let you fiddle with the EQ, but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet.

The lone speaker is kind of weak, and it's on the back (as it is on many tablets), so unless you can deflect the sound towards your face with your hand or a hard surface behind the tablet, the sound is going to be muffled. In general, the sound is very low, especially when watching videos and using Skype. Speaking of Skype, the front-facing camera is not great. The difference in quality and clarity between that and even my budget webcam on my Sager laptop is very significant, to the point that I would only Skype on the tablet if it was absolutely necessary.

GPS locking seems to be VERY weak. My 2 year old HTC Evo phone's GPS can lock in my apartment and in most houses, but this tablet has issues anywhere indoors.

As for the overall experience, Google's latest OS, Jelly Bean (4.1), is fantastic to use. There generally isn't any lag unless the device is doing something else under the covers. Coming from a 3.2 Honeycomb tablet, the usability of 4.1 is a huge step up. Resizeable, scrollable widgets and good integration of most Google products (assuming you use them) make the Nexus 7 a pretty nice device to use. Syncing my Chrome bookmarks from my laptop to my tablet is great. It seems to stream Netflix pretty well, though there are occasional split-second hiccups that are not due to my network, as I have very fast, very reliable internet. Watching a local 720p video is no problem.
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