Keeping tabs on things
GOOGLE NEXUS 7 2013 $ 299-$ 439 play. google. com
TECHNOLOGY can change a lot in a year and this is true for Google’s homebrand tablet.
The Nexus 7 2013 edition, is smarter inside and out, and it’s obvious from the moment you take it out of the box.
The new edition is 50g lighter than the original, shaves 1.8mm from its profi le and offers a more sophisticated appearance.
Improvements to the seven- inch tablet aren’t all for show, either. The new Nexus 7 runs faster, thanks to a 1.5GHz quad- core chip, 2GB RAM and Android 4.3 software but, perhaps best of all, its screen features the highest resolution of any small tablet: full high- defi nition with 323 pixels per inch, making it sharp enough to read fi ne print.
Some Android quirks, such as swiping from the left corner for notifi cations and the right for settings, take adjustment but the speed, size and addition of a 4G option are worth applause.
ASUS MEMO PAD HD 7 $ 199 asus. com/ au
THE similarities between this new budget tablet and Google’s old Nexus 7 are uncanny, perhaps due to ASUS’s involvement with that tablet.
Regardless of its origins, the MeMO HD 7 is a capable unit and perhaps more slick than you should expect for less than $ 200.
It arrives in a colourful, plastic form, with a choice of four coloured backplates, and is comfortably portable at 302g, if not slim at 10.8mm.
Its seven- inch screen offers a high- defi nition resolution and In- Plane Switching technology for angled viewing and is easy to see, though not razor sharp.
Google Android Jelly Bean software ( v4.2) runs on a 1.2GHz quad- core chip and 1GB RAM, delivering most apps but occasionally sluggish response times.
KOBO AURA $ 189.95 kobo. com
AMAZON isn’t the only company producing book- friendly devices and Kobo can prove it.
Its latest creation, the Kobo Aura, is the most advanced to date with a touchscreen, built- in light, tiny body and plenty of internet extras.
The Aura’s size is its most jarring feature, as it has a similar weight to a phone ( 174g), an 8.1mm profi le and just covers an average hand.
It packs in a six- inch screen, however, with an E Ink display, 212 pixels per inch and touch sensitivity. Its screen light can be triggered with a button and bathes the screen in blue, when a lamp is not nearby, and when hooked up to wi- fi the Aura will deliver book purchases, recommendations, and can be used to share passages on Facebook.
Its 1GHz chip delivers noticeable lag, but its convenient size is a major plus.
KURIO 7S $ 226 bigw. com. au
THE Kurio 7S promises to be a “kidfriendly Android tablet” and its software is to be commended.
The seven- inch tablet from Moose Enterprise lets parents lock this tablet down in many ways, creating profi les for up to eight children that specify whether they can access the internet, what apps they can use and whether they should be subject to a filtering system.
Parents can even set up a timetable for tablet use, with different hours each day.
The Kurio 7S also comes with a rubber case for protection and plenty of pre- installed apps such as Fruit Ninja and more educational programs.
Unfortunately, the device is let down by slow hardware, an average screen and, strangely, an age minimum of 14 years.