Google Nexus 7: Small Tablet To Beat - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Mobile // Mobile Devices
11:58 AM

Google Nexus 7: Small Tablet To Beat

Google announced the second-generation Nexus 7 tablet Wednesday with a low price and high-definition 7-inch screen, raising the standard for small Android tablets.

Tablet Buying Demystified: 10 Tips
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Tablet Buying Demystified: 10 Tips
Google on Wednesday announced an updated Nexus 7 tablet that boosts specs and features across the board. The low-cost 7-inch tablet, which goes on sale as soon as July 30, furthers Google's attempt at being a relevant hardware company.

Google didn't change much about the Nexus 7's cosmetic design. It is about the same size and shape as before, although Google says it is about 6mm narrower thanks to thinner framing. It is about 1.76 ounces lighter. Google's Hugo Barra said the new tablet is much more comfortable to hold due to the thinner and lighter profile. It will be sold in all black and features the same soft-touch finish that adorned the first version. It is being manufactured for Google by Asus.

The Nexus 7's defining feature is a new screen. It has been dramatically improved from 1280 by 800 pixels to 1920 by 1200 pixels, making it a full HD screen. The pixel density improved from 216ppi to 323ppi, a significant jump. Google says it will be an ideal device on which to watch HD content. The Nexus 7's processor also has been improved, from a dual-core chipset to a 1.5-GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with 2 GB of RAM for apps. The new chip nearly doubles the processing power and boosts graphics performance by a factor of four.

[ Thinking about integrating tablets into your workforce? Read The Good And Bad Of Tablets At Work. ]

Google added stereo speakers to the Nexus 7 and uses Fraunhofer's virtual surround sound technology to improve how movies and other video content sounds. The speakers are located at the top and bottom, so they provide a stereo effect when the device is held sideways in landscape mode. The Nexus 7 now has two cameras. The user-facing camera rates 1.2 megapixels and the new rear-facing camera rates 5 megapixels. It does not have a flash, but it can record 1080p HD video.

Connectivity options are solid. It ships with 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy, HDMI out, NFC and wireless charging via the Qi standard. In addition to a Wi-Fi-only model, the Nexus 7 comes in an LTE variant. A single SKU will support AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon Wireless's LTE networks. (Sorry, Sprint fans). The device will be sold unlocked so it can be used with any of those three networks. The battery is good for nine hours of video playback or 10 hours of Web browsing, according to Google.

The Nexus 7 will come in three models: 16 GB with Wi-Fi, 32 GB with Wi-Fi, and 32 GB with Wi-Fi and LTE. The Wi-Fi models will cost $229 for 16 GB and $269 for 32 GB. They both go on sale beginning July 30. The 32-GB Wi-Fi and LTE model will become available in the coming weeks and is priced at $349.

As good as the new hardware is, Google made it plain that it wants users to think of its latest tablet as an entertainment device. The Nexus 7 ships with Android 4.3, which has several new content-friendly features, such as control over user profiles and new DRM tools. Google also officially launched its Play Store-based gaming service, and support for textbooks within Google Play.

With its high-definition screen and low price, the Google Nexus 7 is a bargain.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Shane M. O'Neill
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
7/26/2013 | 2:55:04 PM
re: Google Nexus 7: Small Tablet To Beat
Big fan of the 7-inch tablet space. As a Nexus 7 owner, I'm glad to see Google focus on it and release a new version. I've been happy with it but wondered why the device wasn't getting more attention, coverage, advertising. It has been that rare thing in consumer tech: a quiet success story (seems high-profile devices either succeed or fail LOUDLY). I can say from experience that the Nexus is a huge bargain at $200.
User Rank: Apprentice
7/26/2013 | 2:30:57 PM
re: Google Nexus 7: Small Tablet To Beat
Been thinking about getting a not-expensive (read: not an iPad) tablet. Perhaps this will be the one.

Jim Donahue
Managing Editor
User Rank: Apprentice
7/24/2013 | 7:21:42 PM
re: Google Nexus 7: Small Tablet To Beat
Eric, I read your stuff all the time and really appreciate your coverage. What I'm surprised about is that I'm not seeing a story about Chromecast. In my mind, Google just completely won the connected TV wars. Forget an Apple TV and Microsoft's Xbox One. Google just beat them all with this cheap device. Developers will add the Casting capability to more and more applications (think games) and soon we'll all be able to use the best screen in the house, as they repeatedly said, for any content we can get on any of the devices we have. This is a huge win in my mind and I'm surprised at how little coverage it's getting. Am I missing something?
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll