Google Nexus 7 (2013): The Best Android Tablet Yet

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Google made a brilliant decision last year to take the bull by the horns and deliver its own brand Android tablet to the masses. Built by ASUS to Google's specifications, the original Nexus 7 awarded a patient (and eager) audience with a stock Android experience wrapped in an affordable package that was high on value and low on feature concessions. It was precisely the kind of tablet the Android camp had been clamoring for, because for whatever reason, most third-party manufacturers were tying to push larger, overpriced slates onto an audience that simply wanted a solid tablet without paying a premium. Up until the Nexus 7 arrived, the only viable alternatives, other than cheap off-brands with questionable build quality, were Amazon's Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet, a fine pair of slates for their intended purposes, but also deeply rooted in each company's own ecosystem.

A year later, Google isn't taking a breather and is once again showing the competition how to deliver an Android tablet that caters to consumer demand. The new model Nexus 7 is a worthy successor to the original, boasting an improved design both internally and externally. It's thinner and lighter for improved portability, has a faster processor to handle a new crop of games and applications, and wields a higher resolution display that allows viewers to watch Full HD 1080p movies as they're intended to be viewed.

It's not just a hardware upgrade, either. Like before, the new Nexus 7 introduces a new version of Android, though the software upgrade isn't as dramatic this time around. Android 4.3, which makes its debut on the 2013 model Nexus 7, is still labeled Jelly Bean, presumably because Key Lime Pie (Android 5.0) still has some baking to do. In the meantime, Android 4.3 brings some new features to the table, including support for OpenGL ES 3.0, location detection through Wi-Fi, virtual surround sound, and more.

Let's take a quick look at the new Nexus 7 before moving on:

Google's challenge the first time around was fitting enough features into an affordable tablet to draw a significant crowd. Certain sacrifices had to be made, for instance the lack of a rear-facing camera. The challenge Google faces this time is in justifying the price upgrade over the original. This year's model sees a price bump to $229 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model, $269 for the 32GB Wi-Fi model, and $349 for the upcoming 32GB LTE model.

Google Nexus 7 (2013)
Specifications & Features
Operating System
Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean)
7.02 inches 1920x1200 HD IPS display (323 ppi)
Scratch-resistant Corning glass

1.5GHz Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro; 400MHz Adreno 320 GPU
Internal Storage
16 GB or 32 GB
Dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4G/5G) 802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
3.5mm Audio
NFC (Android Beam)

Optional 4G LTE
1.2MP front-facing camera; 5MP rear-facing camera w/ auto focus
Ambient Light

200 x 114 x 8.65mm
290 grams

3950 mAh
Up to 9 hours active use
Wireless charging built-in (Qi compatible)

Box Contents
Nexus 7
microUSB cable
USB charger
Quick Start Guide
Warranty papers

$229.00 (16GB)
$269.00 (32GB)

Opening the box won't yield any immediate surprises. Like last time, the Nexus 7 comes with a microUSB cable and charger (slimmed down from the original), a Quick Start guide, warranty papers, and of course the tablet itself. We'd like to see a scratch-free microfiber cloth included to wipe away inevitable finger smudges, but it's not part of the bundle.

We already pointed out that the 2013 Nexus 7 is thinner, lighter, and faster than the original with an upgraded display, but in terms of comparing the two spec sheets, it also has twice as much RAM, wireless charging support, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, HDMI output (via microUSB with optional adapter), and a 5MP rear-facing camera.

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DanJChiccino one year ago

Picking one up on Friday when i get paid. Already sold my last years nexus 7, cant wait to see that 7" 1200p screen.

LLeCompte one year ago

Its awesome, I'm typing this from it now !

RinaldsEgle one year ago

Can You make calls over GSM with it?

RWilliams one year ago

Nice, an EC! I think I might hold off for the third-gen since nothing is holding me back that much on the original-gen, but it IS tempting the heck out of me. The performance-boost is intense.

drrjv one year ago

I have one and it is a nice device. Big step up from last year's model, which I sold on eBay.

My main issue is that the GPS function works poorly. No way to use GPS in the car while tethered (why does my iPad work and my Nexus 7 doesn't!)

SmogHog one year ago

No micro SD card slot so I hope USB OTG works well.

TonyColeman one year ago

For a device that has all the bells and whistles, great looks and a massive appeal to the tech-savvy, why, why, WHY leave out a microSd Card slot?? Someone please give me ONE good reason.

Dave_HH one year ago

No reason except for maybe cost but that's a pretty weak reason.

Dodge Rules one year ago

Can you play Facebook games on it like The Price Is Right slots?

VineetKhosla one year ago

Check out Swipe Slate Tab. Loved the new look. Swipe Slate Tablet is Marvelous!. Swipe Team definitely comes up with new Innovative Tabs which are just breath taking . Will definitely go for one 

AchalKGupta 6 months ago

After using a number of tablets had pretty much decided that all kind of product was not for me. Had problems getting Apple and Dell touch screens for even my iTunes found detection to be the Devil's spawn, used Android devices with proprietary crippleware installed (Archos and Amazon coupons) and had two Windows 8 tablets whose operating systems lasted less than a week before disabling the hardware completely.

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