Google hit the nail on the head last year with the original Nexus 7, it had the necessary hardware and software to take on all the other Android tablets and become king and the Nexus 7’s main attack was its price.
For £149 you could pick up an 8GB Nexus 7, which represented fantastic value and blew the competition out of the water. In the 12 or so months since the first generations launch, various other manufacturers have tried to steal the Nexus 7’s crown, so in response Google launched the Nexus 7 (2013).
The new Nexus 7 is £199 for the base model (16GB) where as the basic original nexus 7 would have cost you £149, although that was for the 8GB mode, so you are getting more bang for you buck this time around and the increase in storage is far from the only place where you’ll notice an improvement
First of all is the all new design. We can hardly fault Asus for the design of the original Nexus. It had a pleasing simplistic look to it, but this year’s model has a much more elegant and mature design. Asus has reduced the side bezels, which makes the device much slimmer and easy to keep hold of in one hand. It’s also 41 grams lighter weighing in at 299g apposed to the original’s 340g. These improvements contribute to a much more sleek, and stylish design and a higher quality feel to the tablet.
The screen is one of the places you’ll really notice an improvement. On paper and in use the new Nexus 7 blows the old out the water. Rocking a 7-inch 1200 x 1920 display with an impressive 323 ppi pixel density. When comparing that to the old Nexus 7’s 800 x 1280 pixel screen and 216 pixels per inch , it’s not hard to see this the area where Asus have really improved the device. All of this makes watching movies, viewing photos and even reading text a much more pleasurable experience.
Google and Asus decided to ditch Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip which was clocked at 1.2 GHz in favour of the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro Quad-core 1.5GHZ processor which can also be found in Google and LG’s iconic Nexus 4 smartphone.
Now if you’ve used the original Nexus 7, you won’t need me to tell you it’s a snappy little device, especially when you take into account the price tag that comes with it, although with time numerous users reported it becoming laggy and unresponsive and in general much slower than when they first got their hands on it. The new Nexus 7 is noticeably nippier than the last, it jumps in and out of apps with ease it also has no problem running high-end games and streaming HD video.
It’s not really all that fair comparing the two slate’s cameras as the original only has a 1.2 mp front-facing camera and nothing to accompany it round the back. The new iteration of the tablet has a back facing 5 megapixel camera, coming with the same stock camera app you’ll find on the nexus 4. The camera isn’t great, it has poor colour reproduction and everything seems to come out pretty dull, although in fairness taking a picture with anything on a cloudy day in northern England will look pretty dull.
The new Nexus 7 was the first Android device to ship with Android 4.3, but since then it’s now available on a large range of devices including; of course the original Nexus, which would make comparing the two pretty redundant.
The first generation Nexus 7 was always going to be a tough act to follow, coming with untouched stock Android, attractive sounding internals and an even more attractive price. The 2013 version has definitely done it though, bringing improvements in pretty much every area of the device, all of them welcome. The price may be marginally higher than last year, but the improved hardware, software etc. more than justify that, and with it still priced significantly lower than the competition, it seems The Nexus will remain king for at least another 12 months.