If you've been waiting for a really thorough review done by a top notch tech publication there are really only a handful that stand above the rest. One of those is 'The Verge' and editor in chief Joshua Topolsky does a really nice 10 minute video review where he goes step by step through both the hardware, software and ecosystem of the Nexus 7 Tablet.
Starting with the hardware Josh is genuinely impressed with the build quality of the Nexus 7 calling it 'really well made' and a 'pretty nice device'. He particularly liked The leather-feel rubber back gives it a high-end feel and he thought the screen was top notch with him noting the great viewing angles and color saturation in addition to pixel density.
Moving along to software, Josh really took the time to delve into Jellybean and many of the new features that Google has added to both the OS as well as the overall Google Play ecosystem. He found that Google's new voice search - sounds better than siri and seems to be more effective. He also really liked 'Google Now' which gives you real time information as you need it and uses your search data to learn about you so it grows more effective over time. With 'Google Now' you can get all sorts of timely and even 'predictive' information such as sports scores, travel information, bus and train times, weather etc based on where you are and what you usually do at that time and place during the day. It's easy to imagine where this technology might lead. Perhaps telling you if friends are nearby or that there's a donut shop around the corner that has your favorite flavor. All in good time.
Back to the software, Josh noted that 'notifications' were 'way upgraded', featuring a new font and many more options. Giving the voice search' a try he also noted how nice maps looked on the Nexus 7, incorporation the new 3d look that Google introduced just a few weeks ago and also having a nice 'tablet overlay' for directions which makes it easy to read.
Moving on to content, he mentions how Google Play has really been spruced up. There's a dedicated magazine section now and the experience is very fluid...more so than on the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet or Color. There's nice touches like the ability to just read the text of a magazine in addition to the full version which displays great on the 1280x800 display...compared to being cutoff on the 1024 x 600 lesser resolution screens of those aforementioned competitors.
Also a new addition to Google Play...the ability to purchase individual episodes of tv shows as well as subscribe to the whole season. HD playback looked really good. Finally gaming is fantastic on the Nexus 7 and really shows off the top notch hardware. In the video Joshua shows a bit of himself playing Shadowgun and we'll remind readers that many Tegra games like Shadowgun, RipTide GP and others have Tegra 3 version with added special effects and greater graphical detail to take advantage of the Tegra 3 and its 12 core GPU.
Perhaps last but certainly not least he showed off the Chrome Browser which now is part of Jelly Bean and it makes a huge leap over the previous Android browser. He notes it makes web surfing very close to a desktop experience with smooth rendering and proper tabs for multiple wb pages. The only downside that he could really find wasn't really about the Nexus 7 itself but just that the Android app catalog still has a relative paucity of tablet-specific apps.
Of course all the phone apps run just fine on the Nexus 7 but without being specially configured for the tablet's larger screen, some do just 'blow up' a phone interface and don't take reach their full potential. This is an area which is continually improving however and in fact one of the prime reasons that Google is releasing the Nexus 7 is to help jumpstart developer interest in making more tablet apps.
So that about wraps it up for Joshua's review. He wraps it up by saying that in all the Nexus 7 is an "incredible tablet" at any price point and that "Android has really come into its own." It doesn't get much better than that folks.