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Nexus 7 Skimps on Storage, 8GB Not Enough

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The $199 Google Nexus 7 ships with just 8GB of storage. That’s not enough to satisfy many Android users, especially those that download media or play HD video games. Nexus 7 buyers should opt for the $249 version with 16GB if they can afford the extra $50 to get the most our of their tablets.

As we’ve noted before, the $199 price point is the Nexus 7′s most enticing feature. Yes, it’s an exciting new gadget, but the masses wouldn’t be nearly as excited if Google tried selling the tablet for $299 or $399. The sub-$200 price point has an affordable ring to it and is less than half the price of the new iPad.

google-nexus-7-review 6

The Google Nexus 7 features a 720P display.

Google and ASUS, the company that actually builds the Nexus 7, delivered a very compelling tablet, but they had to keep costs down wherever possible to hit the $199 price point. That’s why some niceties like mobile data capabilities and a rear-facing camera are missing in action. Google’s likely breaking even or losing money on each Nexus 7 it sells. At this point, it’s more important for Google to get Android tablets into users’ hands rather than release the Nexus 7 at higher price points.

(Read: Google Nexus 7 Review: The 7″ Tablet to Beat)

8GB is Not Enough

The 8GB Google Nexus simply isn’t enough for many people who plan on using the Nexus 7 for its intended purposes. The problem is that Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and Google’s pre-installed software takes up almost 2GB of room.

That leaves just 5.9GB of room for everything else. Keep in mind that the Nexus 7 displays HD content, including the latest Android video games and movies from the Play Store.  HD movies can gobble up around 2GB of storage apiece, or even more for longer titles. You can forget about stocking up on movies before a long road trip or cross-country flight if you buy the 8GB Nexus 7.

Games like Shadow Gun can really eat up storage space. As you can see in the screen shot above, the first-person shooter requires 735MB of space alone.  I’d like to download some of my Spotify playlists, but am worried about running out of space.  Downloading a handful of HD video games and a single movie can easily use all of the Nexus 7′s available storage. Sure, you can keep an eye on storage and stream movies from Google Play rather than download them, but that won’t do you much good when traveling or otherwise without a solid Wi-Fi connection.

Google really should have skipped the 8GB model and stuck with 16GB as the bare minimum, just as Apple does with its iPad, albeit at a higher price point.  As we’ve mentioned previously, opting for the most affordable third-generation iPad can be short sighted. We always recommend buying more storage than you think you’ll need. The more you use a tablet the more data you’ll accumulate, whether you plan to or not. If you’re not careful you’ll end up with tough choices at some point.

The Nexus 7 is one of the brightest spots in the Android ecosystem at the moment. Just spend the extra $50 if you want to make the most of your Android tablet experience.

 

Xavier Lanier is the publisher of Gotta Be Mobile and a photographer. He uses too many devices to count, but his current favorites are the iPhone 5s, HTC One, Nikon D800 and Sony RX 100M II. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.

5 Comments

  1. Jayray78

    07/18/2012 at 7:37 am

    Of course you could save yourself about $40 and get a USB stick and use OTG. #Justsayin

    • nkam

      07/31/2012 at 8:56 pm

      SO TRUE ! had me worried there for a second lol . r u sure that the otg expansion would work though ?

  2. Brian Foster

    08/08/2012 at 7:16 pm

    I am very irritated with both Amazon and Google for these 8GB versions. Still, I would buy this at 8gb, just to shaft Google and use a WI-FI drive or USB flash.

  3. Simon

    08/15/2012 at 11:52 am

    I simply don’t need more than 8gb. Heck, I never use more than 2gb on my smartphone.

  4. Rc

    08/26/2012 at 12:08 pm

    Or…get a dropbox or one of those cloud storage things.

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