Google’s 2013 version of its Nexus 7 tablet provides a bevy of improvements over its predecessor. With a 1920 x 1200 screen resolution, a faster processor and a rear-facing camera, this $229 device is the most evolved Nexus yet, but is it the best Android tablet on the market?
Aside from the significant display difference between the 2013 Nexus 7 and the competition (most 7-inch Android tablets run at 1280 x 800), the device still stands on pretty even ground with its peers. Android OS fanatics might opt for the new Nexus, as it will be the first one to run the 4.3 software, which will be exclusive to Google devices for a short time before it’s rolled out universally.
At 7.7 x 4.5 x 0.3 and 10.22 ounces, the new Nexus 7 is about the same size but lighter than other 7-inch tablets in its category, including the 11-ounce ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD.
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Google has finally adapted to the growing trend of rear-facing tablet cameras, leaving Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD as the only major 7-inch slate without two camera lenses. Like most of its competitors, the Nexus 7’s front and rear cameras are 1.2-MP and 5-MP respectively.
Despite the improvements made the to the Nexus 7, the device lacks a microSD slot, which is available on other, cheaper tablets such as the upcoming $150 Asus MeMO HD7. Speaking of affordability, the 16 GB model of the 2013 Nexus 7 will launch at a reasonable $229, which is significantly cheaper than larger devices like the Note 8 ($399) and Tab 3 8-inch ($299) but more expensive than $199 Kindle Fire HD as well as the MeMO Pad HD 7.
With Android 4.3, a speedy processor and the highest resolution display in its size class, the new Nexus 7 is shaping up to be one of the strongest tablets around. However, if you’re willing to live with a 1280 x 800 display and slower quad-core speeds, the ASUS MeMO Pad HD 7 is a full $80 less. And if you want a larger display or pen support, you’ll need to go for the more-expensive Galaxy Note 8 or Galaxy Tab 3 8-inch.