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

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.

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Let’s take a quick look at the new Nexus 7 before moving on…

Read the full review at HotHardware.com