The first Nexus 7 tablet (the one that got launched last year) more or less laid the foundations of the affordable tablet market segment. Although there have been previous attempts at creating such a device, Google and ASUS have been the first to do it so successfully that more manufacturers have followed suit and eventually joined the game. Even Apple took a shot at it with the iPad Mini, despite the fact that the company had previously stated that a 7 incher would be dead-on-arrival.
All that being said, it was many expected Google to create a successor, and after several waves of leaks and rumors, the new Nexus 7 has been officially announced.
Will it be as successful as its predecessor, or perhaps even more so? Is it still offering the ideal mix between quality and affordability? Let’s find out.
New Nexus 7: Specs and Features
It’s no mystery that last year’s Nexus 7 hasn’t been one of the most powerful slates money could buy, but the best thing about it was that it offered a powerful bang for the buck.
Spec-wise, the new Nexus 7 appears to be on the same page as the previous model. It’s a definite upgrade but it doesn’t go overboard either. The new slate is equipped with a 7 inch IPS LCD display featuring a resolution of 1200 x 1920 and a pixel density of 323 pixels per inch, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. The device draws its processing power from a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz and an Adreno 320 graphics chip. There are 2 GB of DDR3LM RAM on-board and 16 / 32 GB of internal storage.
As many of you already know by now, the original Nexus 7 didn’t have a main rear-facing camera, but it did feature a 1.2 MP sensor on the front panel for video calls. The story is different with the new slate as it features not only a 1.2 MP front-facing sensor, but a 5 MP main camera as well. Evidently, most users will probably not take advantage of this feature on a regular basis, but we won’t turn down any type of improvement either.
Software-wise, the new model arrives with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box. The slate is powered by a 3,950 mAh battery and features Bluetooth 4.0 support. According to the official spec sheet, the 3,950 mAh unit will be capable of delivering 9 hours of active use or 300 hours of standby.
Unlike the previous model, the Nexus 7 (2) will arrive from the get go in two main variants. One of them is the WiFi-Only model with the other one boasting LTE connectivity. The latter will support, in the US, the following LTE networks: T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T. It also looks like Europe will get its own LTE model (which makes sense since EU carriers are pretty much using different LTE bands than US-based ones).
We should also mention a few extra details, such as the fact that the tablet features stereo speakers and Surround sound by Fraunhofer, gyroscope, compass, ambient light sensors, GPS, microUSB and a SlimPort.
New Nexus 7 – Price and Availability
Hardware-wise, the new Nexus 7 seems to pack enough punch to be a success, but as explained before, an affordable tablet must not only deliver decent specs, but it also needs to be sold at a good price point. Thankfully, Google and ASUS seem to have a handle on the situation, as the new Nexus 7 will be accessible to almost every gadget enthusiast out there.
The Wi-Fi versions will set you back $229 and $269 for the 16 and 32 GB respectively. In the U.S., the LTE 32 GB model will be accompanied by a price tag of $349.
As for availability, the Wi-Fi variant will be released in the States on July 30. The LTE model is said to follow relatively shortly after, or “in the coming weeks.” The Nexus 7 will be sold by a number of retailers, including Gamestop, Walmart, Best Buy, Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot, HSN, Amazon.com, RadioShack, J&R and B&H.
Outside of the U.S., the new Nexus 7 will also hit the shelves in Germany, UK, Canada, France, Spain, Australia, Japan and South Korea sometime in the coming weeks.
Following the tablet’s unveiling, UK retailers Currys and PC World have started offering the new Nexus 7 for pre-order, listing the 16 GB model at the price of £199.99 and the 32 GB variant at £239.99. However, in terms of availability, prospective customers in the UK might have to wait a bit longer than anticipated, as the retailers’ expected shipping date is set for September 13.
All in all, the new Nexus 7 appears to be a worthy successor to the first model, offering a good price-quality ratio. The price is decent and the hardware has received a noticeable upgrade over the original model. We’re eagerly waiting for this particular device to hit the shelves, and as always, we’re excited about the possible competition it might spawn.
Are you interested in becoming the owner of a new Nexus 7 tablet? Let us know in the comments section.