Does the Nexus 7 Make a Good eReader?

There has been a lot of chatter in the blogosphere comparing the Kindle Fire to the Nexus 7, almost exclusively the comparisons have come out in favour of the Google tablet.

But all this talk begs the questions, is the N7 actually any good as an eReader?  It may well be technically superior in a whole number of different ways, but is reading a book on this tablet a pleasurable experience?

Nexus 7 eReader

The first step is to pick an Android ereader App, here we round up five of the best known ereader apps to try on your Nexus 7.

  • Kindle for Android: This allows you to tap into the whole Amazon Kindle ecosystem without having to own a Kindle yourself.  You get access to the largest online book store where you can buy everything from the latest best seller to newspapers, and even access a range of free classics.  The app itself is a free download.  Download
  • Kobo ebooks: The kobo ebook store has a couple of million books available with a large proportion of them free to download. The Kobo features a number of social networking links that allow you to keep your friends up to date on what you are reading.  The Kobo app also allows you to import your own books to view within the reader. Download
  • Sony Reader: This is the least mature of the ereader applications but expect to see more as Sony continue to build their new store.  Whilst books can sometimes be more expensive there is a good range of graphic novels available.  Download
  • Google Books:  If none of these apps appeal, then that’s OK because the Nexus 7 is built for use with the Google Play store.   One of the main drivers behind Google’s Nexus push is to promote their new content market, so it would be rude not to give it a go.  Download

Have you installed any of these on your Nexus tablet?  Let us know which you prefer and how they look on the 7″ screen.  And if you know of any other apps, please get in touch.

Does the Nexus make a Good eReader

So this brings us back to the original question, how comfortable is it to read a book on the Nexus 7 tablet?

The good news is that people are finding it to be a great device for reading on.  The 7-inch IPS display with its 1280 x 800 resolution provides a clear, crisp, vivid display.  What’s more, the feedback from those that have tried other tablets in the market is that they are generally favouring the Google tablet over its competitors.  This is going to give the folk at Amazon, Apple and the other big manufacturers some big headaches!

Physically, the Nexus stacks up well too.  At just 340g and with a thickness of 10mm the tablet is easy to hold for long periods, the solid uniform design allows you to adjust to your own favoured position.

There are some downsides of course.  The Nexus7 won’t be your first choice for outdoor reading on a bright day, and the battery life doesn’t compare to the likes of the original Kindle (but this should be no surprise).

Have you been using your Nexus tablet as an eReader?  How have you been finding it?


  1. As I have one of the earlier kindles with a keyboard ,and the protective case I bought, it is quite heavy to hold for a long time so I downloaded the Kindle app which allows me access to all my Kindle books on the 7. The Nexus 7 is much lighter even with the protective case I bought for it so reading is easier for a longer period. In the beginning I found the screen to bright and downloaded an app Screen Filter by Haxor Industries. which set the brightness to a comfortable level, just by turning the app on, for bedtime reading. Sadly with the Nexus update to 4.2 it no longer works and I did hope that the recent minor update may have fixed it but no :(

    Since I have learnt more about my 7 I have found how to adjust the brightness to a good reading level. I like reading in the landscape setting showing only a single page. While I was writing this I checked the settings and found you can have a sepia background colour which may be easier to read at night than a white background and unlike the Kindle you don’t have to have the bedside light on the read it.

    The Kindles charging cable works with the 7’s charger and since its longer than the Asus cable it’s easier to read in bed and charge at the same time.

  2. Since I bought in July I been reading ebooks for the first on a tablet. Turned brightness down about half and have been very impressed with my Nexus 7. Used Google Play at first but quickly moved to the Kindle app and think its great. Have used in bright sunshine over in Spain without having to make any adjustments. Use Nexus everyday now for all my reading.

    My local library has now lost one of its best customers.

  3. As of December 2012, I have found no way to replace the factory-installed dictionaries in either the Google Play reader or the Kindle app for Android on my Nexus 7. If you read in more than one language, this is a show stopper. Just putting the word out.

  4. joe_peddos says:

    Just looked at a book using the kindle app and the dictionary is working OK on my Nexus 7 Joe

What do you think?

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