Will The Nexus 7 Tablet Impact the Kindle Fire and NOOK Tablet?


When Google announced the Nexus tablet, I was surprised to see they didn’t seem to be aiming for the iPad. With a $199 starting price and a 7 inch form factor, Google is clearly taking aim at the devices that have defined the Android tablet market thus far; e-reading based tablets like the Kindle Fire and the NOOK Tablet both run off Android, but use their own proprietary app and content stores, and Google wants a piece of that pie!

So I posed this question to the other Gear Diary editors:



 Carly: How much will the Nexus tablet pull from the Kindle Fire and the NOOK Tablet?



 Dan: Watch the fire drop by at least $50



 Judie: Totally. Amazon will fight dirty. We win.

 Dan: So let’s take bets — How long do I keep the Nexus 7? Over and unders. Go.



 Mike: Between 1 and 2 weeks. I think it is total weaksauce … just barely above the hardware of the Fire, about equal to the Galaxy Tab 7 2.0 … and without any Amazon benefits.

 Judie: He’ll have it for GearFest [editors get-together in mid-July]; we’ll tear it apart on video, and then he’ll list it on eBay.

Dan: That’s my guess!

 Mike: I didn’t make much past a week with the Galaxy Tab 7 2.0 … and at least that had a camera! For me, all of these die because none of Google’s non-app stuff is even as good as iBooks. Amazon offers something worth paying for … Google doesn’t.

 Judie: That’s it. Exactly.

 Carly: I agree. I also think this is a case of too little too late for Google. Outside of the hardcore Android fans no one knows Nexus branding. Everyone knows Amazon and B&N. Either they campaign crazy hard, or this accidentally drives up more sales of the eReader tablet market.

And I think we see Amazon rush out a new kindle fire (there is already rumors) and drop the price of the current one by mid-July at the latest. Might even be sooner.

Dan: I am actually pretty intrigued by this device. It brings the 7″ form factor with a good screen, reportedly decent built-quality, at a nice price point. While it does not have automatic access to amazon content the way the fire does, the tablet solves a huge number of the hardware issues I found with the fire. It has BT, it has volume controls, it is thinner and lighter. It has few enough compromises that I will finally be able to find out if I actually DO like the 7″ size (and prior disappointments have been device-related) or if not liking the hardware or OS on previous fails was just an excuse for not liking the size.

So what’s your take on the Nexus Tablet? Will it unseat the Kindle Fire? Predict away in the comments!

Categories: eBooks

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12 replies

  1. Kindle Fire:
    US only, even if you get it outside the US, there is no content available internationally from Amazon except books (with some exceptions) – 200 USD and crappy HW by 2012 standards

    Nexus 7:
    Not US only. Not much of content from Google or Amazon internationally, but can use pretty much any content/apps available to android without hacking/rooting – 200 USD and really good HW.

    I know what I will buy for my kids and it won’t be Fire (even if I could buy it)…
    I don’t think Google will be to bummed if they “only” outsell Kindle World Wide and not in US.

    • Good point.

      But Amazon has apparently been working on content deals outside the USA and there are rumors of an international Fire release being imminent.
      So if/when the Fire hits does that change your mind?

      • No, not with that hardware.
        If Kindle 2 would be more like Nexus7 in terms of specs and if there would really be internationally available content for decent prices than maybe.

  2. I like seeing this discussion from another standpoint. Since I am not a big ebook person I don’t look at the N7 as a content reader but more of a portable entertainment device. Sure the N7 won’t have all the Amazon bells and whistles that the Fire does but is that really all that hard to get around? First off the N7 hardware hand over fist trumps the Fire. And by all right since this device is light years newer (in gadget years).

    *higher res/higher ppi display (although the Fire has a fantastic display)
    *Nvidia Quad Core +1 w/ GPU built for gaming/media
    *16GB space (+$50 more of course)
    *Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, Compass
    *Dual Microphones
    *thinner, lighter
    *longer lasting battery (on paper)
    *dock connector (hopefully we see something for that soon)
    *unbloated Android.

    Although they hit the similar price point there are some trade-offs but one of the nice things about Android is that you can use almost any content from any provider including Amazon. Not all the perks of having a Fire when it comes to Amazon content but it’s not terribly hard to to get by just the same. Anything bought on Amazon can be used on the N7, plus now you have the option to play some of the best games on the Android market without any compromise in quality. All this for $200/$250? In that aspect I don’t think any other 7″ compares. It’s not the greatest tablet that ever hit the market, but it certainly is the greatest 7″ tablet that ever has.

    • A few thoughts:
      – The N7 (why do I think of Mass Effect when I see that 😉 ) is definitely more powerful than the Kindle Fire, no question. But since the Fire (a 1.0 device) was essentially a neutered BB Playbook and we all said it had ‘average’ performance almost 8 months ago (long time in gadget years) it isn’t surprising.
      – “Anything from Amazon can be used”. Not true – you can use your MP3s, but not the video store and particularly not the massive Prime video library. Plus, the Fire is treated as a ‘real’ Kindle device, whereas app-based solutions are not.

      And as for the ‘greatest 7″ tablet’ claim … that is tough to attach to a device with NO camera and NO expansion … sure it has a zipp processor and solid spec screen, but is otherwise generally inferior to the Samsung Tab 7.0 2 (on paper like the rest). I think it is a great compromise for some folks … but it is clearly playing in the $200 league.

    • You don’t find the 16GB limiting when talking about content consumption? I had to move from a 64GB to a 32GB iPad and felt horribly constrained. I can’t imagine a 16GB device for content consumption. And I’ve commented many many times how a 7″ screen is impossible to use for anything serious like consumption of technical docs, so this thing is a big no no for me on many levels, but for people to whom the Kindle Fire appeals, I can see why this might also appeal.

  3. I don’t think the hardware is “weak sauce” at all. It’s actually really good. They could have wussed out and used a S4, but they chose the Tegra 3 which is a really good chip. The same one as the international Galaxy S III that has been getting compared to the iPhone and it being BETTER than the iPhone as a lot have said.

    As for Amazon…well Amazon wins. The only thing you can’t do on Amazon with this device is Video On Demand. My EeePad works with Amazon Video on Demand in the standard browser only but since the standard browser IS Chrome now and you can’t download Flash, well it doesn’t work. Really Amazon needs to release a VoD app for Android and even iOS. It’s strange that the video on demand stuff is the ONLY thing NOT on every platform with Amazon.

    B&N has the Nook app. So you can load that.

    I don’t think that Amazon or B&N need to fear anything as they are both fairly universal. In fact, they both can benefit as people can take their content with them.

    • You are right about the ‘not weaaksauce’ … while I think there is objective agreement that’quad core’ is mmuch more a paper claim and ‘puffery’, nVidia makes some sweet chips as we alll agreed, and if earrly performance numbers are to be believed (I am always dubbious of benchmmarks on aa consumer device like this) this is a nice performer. But aside from the chip, it is morre like an evolutionary strp from the Fire, and I wonder what real world experience will bbe like.

      • Wasn’t the Fire only Mono core?? The fire always looked weak to me. it’s also really thick too.

        • No – Fire was 1GHz dual-core. Better than Acer Iconia or single core HTC Flyer, a bit weaaker than GalaxyTab 2. The thinkness doesn’t bug me because I have mine in a sweet Oberon case, but it will be interesting to see how I handle the N7. For example, my Kindle 4 (non-touch) is ‘naked’, and is so small and light I couldn’t see covering it up.

          • Ok I hadn’t looked at it for a while. Wouldn’t consider it because of the locked nature of it. (even though I can hack the bejesus out of it).

            I LOVE my Kindle Touch. I would still rock both as I can read for much longer with my Touch than I can any tablet.