New Nexus 7

A new Nexus 7 to provide another year of great Android tablet experiences

It's been a year since the release of the original Nexus 7, and following up on the undeniable success of the device Google has released a new tablet by the same name with a completely new look and feel. Our full in-depth review of the new Nexus 7 is under way, but we just couldn't hold back our excitement and need to share some of our initial thoughts on the device.

Hang with us after the break for an in-depth video look at the new Nexus 7 now that we've had a little time to give it a proper once-over. If after watching you still have some burning questions about the tablet, be sure to ask us in the forums!

More: In pictures: Two generations of Nexus 7

Hardware

I feel like I've said it a hundred times over now, but it still needs to be said: the new Nexus 7 has stepped up its game in terms of hardware look and feel. I always enjoyed the solid build of the original Nexus 7, but you'll instantly feel the difference when holding the new one in your hand for a few minutes. Being that the case is now narrower and thinner, the entire device feels more dense and therefore has a premium feel. The case itself has been put together tightly, and there clearly has been an improvement in the fit and finish of the construction.

Around the front of the device Google has again made a serious improvement in the quality of the screen. We've bumped up from 1280x800 to 1920x1200, while sticking with the same 7-inch screen size. That's well above 300ppi and it shows. Beyond the resolution bump, the new display is notably brigher, more vivid and retains the same great clarity and viewing angles as the original.

Software

Be it the software optimizations alone or the pairing with updated hardware specs, the Nexus 7 is insanely quick and smooth all around. I personally had one of the original Nexus 7's that never felt completely snappy, with frequent sluggishness and software lags. In this regard the new Nexus 7 is in a completely different league. We are looking at the same internal specs (more or less) as the Nexus 4, and even with that higher density screen we have yet to find a slowdown or glitch. Time will tell if that holds up once we get loads of apps installed and everything set up for daily use, but we have to say how impressed we are with the speed and fluidity currently.

 

Reader comments

New Nexus 7: First impressions and detailed video

65 Comments

You mentioned that it was smooth on the left side, does that mean there are no pogo pin connectors for the desktop dock? Were they move or removed?

Check the photo comparison posted earlier - they specifically mention the pogo pins are gone. I thought I read somewhere that wireless charging is in the new version though.

Meant to specify would it actually stay and charge with how the orb is built. I understand it is a Qi charger.

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A shame really, as pogo pin charging is far more reliable and accurate than Qi wireless charging....oh and a lot cheaper.

I can't justify buying this tablet, my current Nexus 7 is running beautifully and don't need the updated hardware as I barely use it anyway thanks to my Nexus 4 and laptop. Maybe I'll get the Nexus 10 revision 2 or Nexus 7 revision 3 in a year.

Slightly off topic, but... One question I had on your coverage of the Chromecast dongle: Does it support connections to more than one wifi network? If I want to use it at both my house and my girlfriend's, will I have to configure the wifi connection each time?

For me it's the improved storage speeds, so it doesn't constantly lag. The camera and notification light are nice touches too. Plus, I really want 32GB of storage and held off on getting a 32GB OG Nexus 7 because I was waiting for this. That screen is a nice addition too, even though I don't have a particular problem with the current N7 screen.

I've been frustrated by the sluggishness of the first one, especially when browsing news.google.com (which is one of my favorite sites). It also seemed to hitch lots when moving between screens. Don't get me wrong, I still really liked it, but that was my #1 complaint with it.

So, the significantly increased processing power plus the sharper screen are the two key reasons I just ordered mine from Best Buy to pick up later today! :-D

Camera isn't the fastest or the best. Needs more testing still though.

No word on an official N7-specific wireless charger. It'll work with any Qi charger though.

Had the orginial Nexus 7, returned it for Note 10.1. I want something smaller and more portable. I'll be picking this up.

Has anyone checked to see if it still has the sleep/wake feature that's activated by a magnet?

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It does! just like with the original N7. We'll have to wait for cases that are made for the new N7 to integrate magnets though.

IMO chrome is not the best on any device. The aosp browser seems to be smoother. But that's just my opinion.

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This was not the full review. Just a quick first impression. Being this the most anticipated tablet of the year, I assume AC will have quite the lengthy review.

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I know this question is jumping the gun, but does anyone have an idea if the LTE version will support being a mobile hotspot (unlike the last version)?

Sporting KC.....til the move down the road from you to Timbers country!

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Looks excellent hope to be able to find it on day one. Still loathe the volume rocker & power button on top of each other on any device! And put a larger gap between them.

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Does this suffer from the slowdown issues when the storage is less than 4GB like on the regular N7? If so then I'll be passing on getting this new one, but if not I'll be picking this up ASAP for sure.

The flash chip was benchmarked by Ars the other day. Shows that it shouldn't have any issues. (You should see just how bad the access and especially write speeds are on the old Nexus 7. They're seriously atrocious.)

I'm just happy they decided to focus on landscape orientation as the primary way to hold it. I have a BlackBerry PlayBook and always use it in landscape mode.

Some questions...

1. Dose it have an up-to-date unlock/root system yet (like a toolkit)?

2. I know that I maxed my original 32GB (Unlocked/Rooted/Custom OS) Nexus 7 within a week and have about 368 apps installed (including system apps) and I have SOME lag but not unnoticed at anytime (but nothing the apps Seeder and Entropy Generater can't speed up a little!) but I was wondering if the new one could handle this type of excessive use (because I know it is).

3. Finally a deal breaker question. How good is the battery life because that is an important factor to me. Dose it last around 2-3 hours of back-to-back HD videos on YouTube or CPU intensive games/use?

I know my questions are... well... not the normal use type of questions but this will also answer questions like how much the CPU can take before it dies or how stable the 4.3 android version is.

Thanks for reading my questions and possibly answering them.

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Great quick, down and dirty review. As I type from my Nexus 7 (2012), I can't help but feel like it just isn't good enough anymore. Even though it is. Nexus 7 2013 is my next toy to purchase!

The wait for the LTE version is killing me.... I am having my dashboard custom molded to dock the new nexus 7 LTE where the double din radio was with a wireless charger pad as the back stop. already have the bluetooth and amps setup from my OG nexus 7 dash. I'm sick of tethering from my phone and the OG nexus 7 has really crappy wifi so LTE on board will be like going from dial-up to cable modem. If you haven't tried using your 7 inch tablet in lieu of a car stereo your missing out. I highly recommend it!

I just picked up the device a couple hours ago at Walmart... Gotta say, this device is Awesome!

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@Andrew Martonik

Thanks for the post.

seems like Google release a awesome device from Asus. Nexus 7 cool stuff.

Thanks in advance

Thanks, Andrew. Pithy post, as usual. My 16G N7 is showing its age, I'm inclined to update and sell off the last one.

Splattered for your amusement... via the AC App

Picked up my 2013 Nexus 7 32Gb at Walmart this morning. (Monroe, GA store) So far it exceeds all expectations!

While I love new tech, I am just having trouble with tablets, clearly they are consumption devices but what can it do that my laptop cannot?

That is the question I struggle with even though my inclination is to buy a Nexus 7 second gen.

Dan

Read and watched a lot of review on the new Nexus 7 already. Let's just say that in this video the big thumbs are both a distraction and a turn on. Let's leave it at that. Ha-ha! :-))