When the original Nexus 7 was announced, I was eager to get my hands on it. I already owned the Motorola Xoom — the very first “official” Android tablet, and felt that it was simply too big to be practical. The Nexus 7, in its compact shell, just felt better in-hand. Sure, the screen isn’t as big, but it’s not supposed to be. This device is meant to go with you, rather than lugged around behind you. I love my old Nexus 7, but I can’t wait to get the new Nexus 7.
Over the time that I’ve used it, I’ve become aware of some of the old Nexus 7’s shortcomings. Android 4.1 ran like a champ, but Android 4.2 doesn’t run well at all on it. It’s slow — okay, it’s very slow. When the internal components heat up they get quite hot, so hot that my screen now has two yellowish spots from the heat. They’re somewhat annoying, but don’t hurt anything.
Even with its shortcomings, I still use my old Nexus 7 as my go-to device today.
When Google and Asus got together with the design of the old Nexus 7 device, they got it right. It’s not too heavy, but heavy enough to feel “substantial”. It’s not too thick, but thick enough that it doesn’t feel “fragile”. The screen is just big enough to be more useful that a smartphone, but small enough to make it something you don’t mind carrying around with you all the time. The materials that some called “cheap feeling”, to me feel great, and even semi-rugged.
All these put together are why I love my old Nexus 7 — it’s greater than the sum of its parts.
Out with the old, in with the new Nexus 7
The new Nexus 7 picks up where the old one left off.
It’s got a bigger screen, without sacrificing the overall size of the device. It’s got a faster processor, more storage space, side-firing speakers, and a higher resolution screen (which we hope will have better color and saturation). It’s got more internal storage space and is available in an (almost) universal LTE version.
Let’s drill into those specs
The new Nexus 7 includes what some may consider a “dated” processor: the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, running at 1.5GHz. We talked about why the Snapdragon S4 Pro performs so well last year. What’s changed since then? We’ve seen a newer line of Snapdragons emerge. That’s it. Even today, the S4 Pro is an amazing processor that performs remarkably well. You’re not going to be disappointed by the chip powering the new Nexus 7.
A processor is only as powerful as the amount of RAM supporting it. 2GB seems to be the “sweet spot” for RAM on Android-powered devices these days. As you might expect, the new Nexus 7 comes with just the right amount.
What about the battery? The battery inside the new Nexus 7 holds 3,950 mAH of go-juice. Put another way, that’s reportedly up to 9 hours of active use. “Active” meaning screen-on time. I suspect this may have something to do with the new energy optimizations that I suspect are in Android 4.3 — which is the version of the OS that ships with the new Nexus 7.
And for all you wireless charging afficionados out there (myself included), you’ll be pleased to hear that Qi Wireless charging is built-in!
Take my money!
I have high expectations of the new Nexus, but based on everything we’ve seen so far, I doubt many will be disappointed.
The new Nexus 7 goes on sale at the Play Store on July 30, 2013, but other resellers are already taking pre-orders.