When Google released the original nexus 7 (2012) it gained great attention among the tablet lovers. The 7 inch form factor of nexus 7 made it very portable and Asus sold millions of those. Old one had an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor which is still powerful enough to carry out day to day tasks,but the new nexus 7 packs far more powerful specs than its predecessor.
Nexus 7 2013 vs 2012
1) Lightweight,50 grams lesser 2) Decent 5 MP Rear camera 3) Solid build quality - rubbery back and better design. 4) 1920 x 1200 resolution - 323ppi pixel density,you would need a microscope to see the pixels on it.Makes it a great multimedia device 5) Official updates for another 1 and a half years ie 2015. Nexus 7 2012 wont get any more updates after Kitkat. 6) 1.5GHz quad-core chip and 2GB of RAM. - Powerful 7) Stereo Speakers ( 2012 version had a mono speaker ) 8) Wireless charging 9) Bluetooth v4
Overall a great product for its price.
Dont get me wrong, the old Nexus 7 2012 is still a great device to own,and it comes for half the price of the 2013 version. But it has an old processor and 1 GB of ram. If your need for a tablet is just for reading,a little bit of casual gaming and browsing, the old 2012 version will be the ideal device. But i strongly recommend going for the 2013 version as it has got better performance and the device feels better in one hand.
The nearest competitor is Nvidia Tegra 4 devices,they are cheaper but they are still stuck on Android 4.3 and official updates can take a while to hit the device.
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For anyone on the fence, and especially for those frustrated by the performance slowdown issues with the original Nexus 7 tablet, don't let that scare you off from buying the second generation model.
Google made all of the right improvements to the product, and the result is a significantly improved product for a marginally higher cost. Only time will tell if this unit suffers the same performance fate as the original model (for those not familiar, over time, the first generation tablets tended to quickly slow down and struggle to perform even basic tasks like browsing the internet). However, Android 4.3 feels ultra-smooth so far, and I am hoping that Google and Asus learned from their original mistakes.
SCREEN: The new screen is absolutely stunning. Some people argue that the resolution of 323 pixels per inch is unnecessary, but you can really see the difference when you use it in person. Text is significantly sharper and a little easier on the eye to read. Using the tablet to watch videos and see pictures produces a stunning result.
PROCESSOR: This is the #1 reason I'd recommend this new, upgraded Nexus 7 over the older version. The speed upgrade is unquestionably immense, and to those who have used the older and newest model Nexus 7, you will notice and appreciate this immediately. Apps load instantly; the internet browsing experience is smooth and a very welcome upgrade over past performance. It's strange; a few days ago I was satisfied with the decent albeit declining performance of my 1st Gen Nexus 7. Now that I have this new one, I use them both side by side and the older model feels like a dinosaur. This alone is reason enough to upgrade.
SIZE/WEIGHT: The reduced thickness and weight of the tablet is very noticeable. I often times used my old Nexus 7 tablet while sitting in bed, to check email and browse the web prior to going to sleep. Holding the old Nexus in one hand, and the new one in the other, the differences in size and weight are VERY noticeable. No doubt will provide a more comfortable long term usage experience, especially for extended sessions while on flights or the subway.
BATTERY LIFE: After a couple days of using this new Nexus 7, I can confidently say that the battery life has been significantly improved over the original model. My previous session of about 2 hours straight of use (screen on, using apps that draw semi-frequent data over wi-fi) drained only 20% of the battery life. If I project this out, it would tell me that I could get 10 hours of constant use on one full charge. I haven't run through an entire charge yet from 100% down to 0% (I've been recharging after each use), but I'll try to get to that sometime this week and report back on my total real-world battery life.
CAMERAS: Google added a rear-facing Camera on this new second gen Nexus. While I typically wouldn't use my tablet as a camera, I have tried it out and it takes excellent pictures. Focuses quickly, the images are sharp and the low light performance, while not great, is better than I would have expected. The front-facing camera gets more use for me (I use my tablets to Skype with family). The new front facing camera is noticeably sharper and better in lower light situations than the original Nexus 7 camera was. In low light, the old model was almost unusable. The 2nd gen Nexus 7 low light performance is very acceptable.
SPEAKERS: I've now spent some time using this second-gen Nexus 7 side by side with my original Nexus 7. Separately, they both sound very acceptable for speakers from small tablets. Using them side by side, the improvements to the Nexus 7 are very noticeable, and the sound is more clear even at high volumes. I'd say that this new model sounds far less "tinny" than the original Nexus did. Personally, I don't use the built-in speakers often (I'm normally either listening with headphones, or using bluetooth audio to my Logitech Boombox). But for people who do use the built-in speakers to play music or watch movies, you will appreciate the improvement in the speakers.
OTHER FEATURES: Last night, I realized that this tablet is compatible with Qi Wireless Charging, a discovery which made me VERY happy. I use a Nexus 4 cell phone, and I keep it on my nightstand on the Google Nexus Charging Orb. I attempted to use the orb with this new Nexus 7 tablet, and it worked perfectly. You have to sit the tablet landscape, with the orb centered on the tablet, and it synced up and began charging instantly.
COMPARISONS: I will update this section shortly with my comparison review between this 2nd Gen Nexus 7, the iPad Mini, and the Kindle Fire HD, as soon as I've had more time to test them all side by side.
GRIPES AND COMPLAINTS: Here, I'll list any gripes that I have about the tablet. My first major gripe is that I am not a huge fan of the texture/material used on the back of the tablet. It's a slightly rubberized feeling coating, which I assume they did to create additional grip. However, I've been finding that after holding with one hand for a few minutes, I notice the tablet starting to slide a little bit in my hand. I think this is a combination of the new texture plus the fact that it's thinner than it used to be. I'm probably going to be purchasing a case for it shortly, which should alleviate this problem, but it is still worth noting. This is just a personal preference things (if you normally hold it landscape w/ two hands, you'll probably prefer this new texture over the old one).
All in all, I am VERY impressed with how much faster this tablet is than my original Nexus 7 tablet. As long as this model doesn't suffer the performance slowdown issue of the original Nexus 7, I don't anticipate moving this away from a 5 star product anytime soon, but only time will tell I guess. I will keep this review updated as I go, and add thoughts on more features once I test them out further (the speakers, longer term battery life tests, performance slowdown, etc). If you have anything else you want me to address, please let me know in the comments section and I will be glad to address it.
1,384 of 1,487 people found the following review helpful
Seems to be a snappy little tablet...27 July 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
*** This review is for a 32GB, WiFi only tablet.
I just picked one of these little guys at my local BB presale because I'm impatient and had to try one. Yes, I actually have one and I'm not BS'ing.
Being an IT professional, I've used a variety of Android and Apple devices, probably dozens at this point. I'm well versed in Apple, Android and Microsoft world, and have a MCSE/MCSA and half a dozen other MS/IT certs, so I know what I'm talking about.
I suspect it will take a month or two before I'm fully versed in the eccentricities of this tablet, but here is my 3 hours of use review:
Upon receiving the box, I was pleasantly surprised by how small and minimal it is. Very similar to Apple packaging, which is best in the business in my opinion. Upon turning it on and signing into my Google account, I was immediately greeted by several updates. 0-day updates to be expected from a major release and are appreciated.
As usual, my Google account wanted to sync all my previous Play Store apps onto the device which I immediately stopped. No stupid Verizon apps for you! One of my primary reason for getting this tablet was for gaming. I'm disappointed by the horridly slow memory on my old Kindle Fire, and I hate the uphill battle that comes with trying to Jailbreak and install emulators on Apple tablets. I nearly bought a Nexus 7 Gen1 until I heard it had slow storage as well. Once I heard that Nexus 7 Gen2 had greatly improved storage speeds, as well as better specs down the board, I was sold. I won't bore you with all the specs, as you can read those in the Amazon description above. However, I must point out one particularly great spec that this tablet has, and many covet: a 1080p screen on a 7" tablet. There are no current 7" tablets on the market that match that PPI, but I'm sure Apple's iPad mini 2 will match or come close to it. (when it comes out)
I have no gear to officially test the dynamic contrast and black levels of the screen, but CNET (Normally Apple biased) gave a very impressive 570/0.44 cd/m2 for it's max brightness/black level, putting it at 1,295:1 contrast ratio, beating the socks off the iPad Mini's 814:1, and the old Nexus 7 at 1,028:1. I notice this most in black and white movies like Casablanca, (my usual test) but color also pops much better too. The color levels are more accurate across the board than the greenish tint of the first N7, and give Apple a run for the money.
If gaming is your target, it's interesting to find that the Nexus 7 Gen2 meets or exceeds the iPad Gen4. GFXBench tests put the N7g2 consistently in line with the iPad, no small feat for a sub-$300 device. I confirmed this performance by playing a number of games and finding that I couldn't slow this little guy down; Galaxy on Fire's new android release, Project Y, and a host of old standbys. It runs an Adreno 320, the same as the mighty HTC One, so if an HTC One plays it well, the Nexus 7 will too. It also typically beats a Nexus 10 in all tests, so if your choice between these two tablets is speed, the N7 is the obvious winner.
When I got the tablet it was at 50% battery life. It took about 2 hours before it was at 100%. I'm guessing it will take 3-4 hours with the shipped charger to bring it from 0 to 100.
The improvements in Android 4.3 are not going to be apparent for a while, as the main improvements are OpenGL ES 3.0 and app security permissions. However, it also includes battery improvements which seem to stretch an additional hour of video watching despite it's slightly smaller battery. It's also a little thinner than the 1st gen Nexus 7, by around 1.8mm. Usually thin tablets annoy me and are awkward to hold, but the Nexus 7 has comfortable rounded sides and a soft rubber back. The front is a fingerprint magnet of course.
Value and software:
Last but not least, the Nexus 7 is only $230 for a 16GB model, or $270 for 32GB. Compare this to an iPad mini at $330 for a 16GB model, or a 32GB at $430. The original Nexus 7 seems to be going for under $200 now, so if all you need is a nice internet browser and like to dabble in everything else, the Nexus 7 Gen 1 is actually a great deal.
A last positive comes in the form of the Apple/Android philosophy. This baby comes ready to be loaded up with any ROM you chose, as do all of the Nexus series. There aren't any real releases yet, but I expect there to be some great ones over the next few months. Apple does it's best to prevent Jailbreaking. If you don't know the benefits of either, and consider yourself a tinkerer, then you may want to brush up on them.
The other part of this Android/Apple philosophical difference takes the place of Apple censorship. I HATE IT. Apple tries it's best to keep it's store locked down with American prude censorship. Google doesn't. Apple also nixes nearly any emulator apps they can. This means no DOSBox, SNES, NES, Genesis and Playstation emulators for you if you're stuck on an Apple device. That sucks a big one. One of the big reasons I will not pick up an IOS device.
Now for negatives:
1.) The obvious being that the Google Play Store gets some games later than the Apple App Store. Nearly all the "good" games are available on both within months, but the tendency is for Apple to get the initial release followed closely. by Play Store. However, the total number of Apps in either store is now shifted into Google's favor, as it now has over 1,000,00 apps compared to Apple's 900,000+, with the lead growing each month. So let the stupid, "My tablet has more apps" argument die, as it doesn't matter anymore.
2.) The widescreen format and shape can be awkward for some, but I got used to it quickly.
3.) There is no SD card slot. We already expected this as the previous didn't have one, but I really wish it had one so I could load it up with music and movies. Heck, I've got a 64GB microSD card in my phone. Why can't a much larger tablet have one too?
Other than that, I am struggling to find a negative with this tablet. Once again, I think I'll give it a few weeks before I can fully flesh out this review. Until then, I'm gonna enjoy messing with this little guy.
Edit: 48 hours later...
Now that I've had the tablet for a couple days and kicked it around a bit more, I'm still holding firm on my previous statements. I've loaded up Jet Set Radio, Dolphin, Labtech Control Center and a number of other apps to see how well it handles a variety of content. I must say, I'm not having any issues. I loaded up 3DMark so I could see for myself how well it handles a heavy load on it's GPU, and it breezed through even on Extreme, achieving a score of around 6300. The first Nexus is only able to pull off around 1900, making the new model over 3 times faster.
The battery life has been good, as it seems to still have 25-50% charge after a day of moderate to heavy use.
One detail I didn't realize before, but now find apparent is that while the speakers sound good for built in tiny tablet speakers, the volume levels are capped to achieve this. Before the speakers begin to distort bass, the top volume levels out. I kind of wish it could go little further so I could use it for a portable radio while I'm cleaning, but I suppose headphones will fix that. It fits in a pants pocket like a big mp3 player, something I can't pull off with an iPad mini. The iPad mini is 5.3 inches wide, while the Nexus 7 is about 4.7 inches. The widescreen just barely makes it into a back or side pocket without being too tight.
Another detail I've heard from at least one reviewer is that of dead pixels. I HIGHLY recommend running the free app, "Dead Pixel Test" as soon as you can. I discovered only two dead pixels on my tablet, both in the top. One is incredibly hard to see except at an angle, and only then in complete black. The other is slightly more visible, but only at an angle again. Dead pixels are to be expected on an high density display, so be extra diligent to identify whether or not your display has a serious problem with dead or stuck pixels. Mine are minor, but a few significant reports have surfaced.
After around 2 weeks of use, I'm very happy with the tablet. It has done well with battery life throughout a day or two of moderate use and occasional gaming. I'm waiting on an ultra-slim case from Moko, but would like to see that "Premium Official Case" come out so I can decide if it's worth it. Word on the street is the official travel case is not worth the $20 they are asking.
I've now had the tablet for almost 2 months and I'm 100% sold on it. It's fast, reliable and just about the perfect size for taking anywhere. I take it to customer sites to use WiFi-Analyzer, take notes, check email, Remote Desktop into PCs/Servers, change configs on network equipment and many other things. My Kindle Fire is now converted into a semi-dedicated iTunes remote because I'm so spoiled by the responsiveness of my Nexus 7.
Also, I rooted it about a week or so ago and put a lean version of 4.3 on it. It's even faster now! I also love the Moko ultra-slim case I put on it. It doesn't add bulk, the magnetic clamps seem to be holding up, and it looks nice.
738 of 846 people found the following review helpful
Best Android Tablet to date but has issues31 July 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
I have both the Original Nexus 7 and Second Generation Nexus 7 and I've been using the new Nexus 7 constantly for over 3 weeks now.
ISSUES: ***GPS - Issue resolved with Android Build Number JSS15Q There was an issue with all Nexus 7 FHD Tablets where the GPS location would freeze and the only way to get it working again was to reboot the tablet.
Wifi - In my home the new Nexus has issues finding and connecting to my home network and it drops occasionally despite not having this issue with my old Nexus 7 (running 4.1), TV, PS3 and other devices on my WiFi in the area. ***This is a confirmed issue with Android 4.3, not the Nexus 7 FHD. I've experienced the same issue on my old Nexus 7 once I updated it to 4.3 and it has never had a Wifi issue before now.
Initial Reboot Issue - The first night using the new tablet I was playing a game when it just instantly powered off mid-game. When I booted it back up I got a "Enter password to decrypt Storage message" despite never decrypting or setting a password on anything. There was no way to get past this screen short of restoring the entire tablet back to factory condition which was relatively simple but I lost everything I had on my tablet at that point. *** I still get a random reboot in the middle of using my tablet every couple of weeks but haven't had to rebuild it yet
*** Battery - One key difference I'd like to point out as a major advantage over the old Tablet isn't as much the battery life which lasts slightly longer than the old Nexus 7, but the fact you can use the tablet while it is plugged into the charger and it will slowly CHARGE, while the old Tablet would slowly DRAIN. This is important for power users and people who will be using it for long periods to watch movies/Netflix etc.
Look and feel - I love the way the new Nexus feels in your hand compared to the old one. The difference in the width makes holding the new nexus in your hand much more comfortable. It is slightly longer however and I wish they had taken the opportunity to shorten it as well.
Screen - Everyone has been saying how noticeably better the screen is but honestly despite having a much higher resolution and pixel density I haven't been able to see a marked difference although the new screen is definitely brighter. I've played Netflix side by side with the old one on the same show and they look identical in every way. I've tested dozens of websites side by side now and there is no discernible difference between the screens when viewing web content. I haven't had a chance to try out any non-streaming movies yet but I think for every day usage you're not going to notice a difference when comparing it to the old Nexus 7. This isn't because the new screen is bad, only that the old Nexus 7 has an excellent screen and there are rapidly diminishing degrees of noticeability beyond that point.
Camera - The new camera for a 5MP camera actually takes pretty fair shots and I'm glad they included it. They actually look better than the photos taken with the 5MP camera on my Galaxy Nexus and the new Nexus 7 is much better at taking low light shots.
Speakers - In my Netflix test I could detect slightly better sound on the new Nexus in stereo but it was barely noticeable to me. The difference between the two is hardly worth mentioning and neither one is going to give you any sort of quality sound.
Performance - This is where the new Nexus is noticeably faster and the UI feels more responsive. I tested out several games that would be choppy on my old Nexus at times and experienced none of that on the new Nexus. One thing I haven't seen people note however is that although the new GPU is approximately 4 times faster, the resolution on the new Nexus has 2.3 times the pixels so your true performance increase from a hardware perspective graphically is going to be less than double, similar to the CPU performance increase. There has never been a time where I experienced any latency, stuttering or hesitance on the New Nexus 7, it operates flawlessly in this regard
Operating System - 4.3 Android was just pushed to my old Nexus 7 last night. This includes TRIM support which is one of the reasons many people experienced a slow down with time on their old Nexus (which I never have experienced since I wasn't a heavy installer/uninstaller). The update also includes Open GLES 3.0 so it is possible that games will run smoother on the old Nexus as well. Nothing really to contrast here now.
HDMI Out (With Slimport Adapter) - I picked up a new Slimport adapater and the HDMI out functionality works flawlessly, but when you plug in your AC charger into it, the Nexus 7 only registers it as "USB" charging which still slowly drains the battery. I tested it using Netflix against my Playstation 3 on my Samsung 52" 1080P TV running the same show and the two looked and sounded identical with the exception of the Nexus 7 having a slightly clipped black border around the edges of the Television. I tested it for an hour with the charger plugged in and lost 8% Battery so as long as you start using it with a full battery you shouldn't run into issues there.
PROs: Better form factor and higher quality "feel" Noticable Performance Improvements HDMI Out (With Slimport adapter) Improved Battery Life and more efficient power useage 5 MP Front facing Camera Brighter screen with a higher pixel density
CONs: Wifi Issues Occasional Reboots More Expensive than old Nexus 7
SUMMARY: If you currently own a Nexus 7 I would say the extra expense isn't worth the marginal upgrades unless you need something the new one in particular offers(HDMI Out/Front Facing Camera). In my case I'm giving my old Nexus 7 to my wife so my upgrade serves a dual purpose. If you don't currently own an android tablet or want a small form factor tablet then this tablet is the best money can buy.
75 of 87 people found the following review helpful
Great! make sure to run updates7 August 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
I am going to defer 99% of my review to others. Yes it's got an amazing form factor. The screen is impeccable. blah blah blah. If you are reading this, then you probably have read a dozen other reviews already. So let me focus my review on two things:
1) Wifi streaming of DLNA server content: The biggest knock on the original Nexus was the poor wifi adapter. When I first started using my new Nexus 7 for DLNA streaming 1080p mkv files a couple of days ago, nothing worked. In fact, the new Nexus 7 couldn't even stream 720p mkv files. For DLNA streaming, I run PS3 media server on my computer. On the Nexus 7, I use Bubble uPnP as my DLNA client and MX Player as my player. After the most recent MX Player patch and the Nexus 7 patch, I am able to stream 1080p mkv content flawlessly. That which would not work pre-patch is now working without stutter. So the wifi adapter appears to be a lot better than the original Nexus 7. I am sustaining anywhere from 70-150 Mbps speeds. More than adequate for my needs.
2) So with the streaming thing fixed, I only have one remaining issue with the Nexus 7. Chrome, yes Google Chrome. I find it difficult to select hyperlinks on chrome. There is a delay before my touch activation of a hyperlink takes effect. It's not always like this, but this delay occurs about 50% of the time. 4.3 is still being patched and app makers are still optimizing their content, so it is possible that this is just an early Nexus 7/4.3 issue. Hopefully it isn't the actual touch sensor on the screen. I wouldn't call it a show stopper, but it is a significant nuisance. Additionally, there is slight tearing of the page when i scroll. I am a fast reader, so I tend scroll webpages and read simultaneously. With the tearing, it is quite annoying. All these issues seem to be related specifically to chrome.
One final addendum: 4.3 defaults. The wireless adapter doesn't run on high settings out of the box. You actually have to go into the settings to change this. I guess they did this to increase battery life for the majority of users. But if you are a power user, then I recommend you go into wifi settings and change it. Unchecking "Wi-Fi optimization" changed my Nexus 7 from wireless G(54Mbps) to wireless N(~70Mbps@2.4 Ghz and ~150Mbps@5Ghz for this model). So the "optimization" is a misnomer. It doesn't optimize the wifi, it optimizes the battery and weakens the wifi. The other feature I would shut off is "scanning always available". When I shut off my wifi, I don't want my wifi to be scanning for open networks, for battery conservation and for security reasons. So if you change those two settings, you should be green on your wifi.
Regarding all the other features, I defer to others' comments. This is a fantastic product. Not only is it the best 7" tablet right now, I believe it to be the best tablet PERIOD. I do read the comments, so if you would like me to test other features, please let me know. I have quite a bit of technical knowledge and experience with android, and I will try to help where possible.
UPDATE When I use Dolphin browser, the hyperlink issue stated above and the tearing when scrolling is gone. So for now, I will be using the Dolphin Browser. Chrome seems to be buggy/laggy in android 4.3/nexus 7. So it appears the touch sensor is not the problem, which is good news.
ADDENDUM I have been asked to speak on the GPS issue that is being reported on Nexus 7 FHD. I use my phone for gps and don't plan on using the Nexus 7 for GPS...but I tested it any ways for you all. Currently, I am unable to get any type of GPS satellite lock. "Searching for GPS" is the error I get continually. Google recently stated they are aware of this issue and are currently working to resolve it. Now ASUS is notorious for having horrible GPS antennas in their devices. If you think GPS is a make or break feature, then I would hold off on buying the Nexus 7. There is no guarantee that the GPS issue is a software issue, i.e. can be resolved with a patch. If it is a hardware issue, which is yet unclear, then you may be buying a device incapable of real-world GPS functionality. If this changes, and I will test it the next time I see a patch, I will return here with another addendum.
UPDATE 9/23/2013 GPS is now working. Well, let me rephrase that. I am some times able to get GPS lock. By no means is it reliable yet. At least I can now some times get GPS lock. If you have a phone, use that. I wouldn't rely on this tablet currently as your sole source of GPS.
UPDATE 11/25/2013 KitKat is out for the Nexus 7. So far, I notice a vast improvement while web browsing.
115 of 136 people found the following review helpful
The tablet I've been waiting for29 July 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
The original Nexus 7 tablet was a favorite among many. I made the decision to get a Nexus 7 a few months ago, but decided to wait it out for the new version, and I'm glad I did for the most part. The new Nexus 7 (2013) is better than the old Nexus 7 (2012) in every way, except possibly the material used for the back.
PROS - Gorgeous 7-inch screen - Great build quality - Fast performance - Latest version of Android (4.3) - Qi compatible wireless charging - Solid battery life - Very thin and light - Easy to hold one handed - Stereo speakers
CONS - Average front and rear cameras - No microSD card expansion - Big bezels
DESIGN The new Nexus 7 is very thin and light. It's lighter than the iPad Mini and almost as thin. The narrow width of the Nexus 7 actually makes it easy to hold one-handed, even for people with small hands. It does have a fairly significant bezel on the top and bottom, when held in portrait mode, but it's no worse than the bezel around the Kindle Fire HD 7". Presumably, the big bezel helps when gripping the Nexus 7 in landscape mode, so your fingers aren't accidentally tapping on the active screen. The big bezel doesn't bother me in the least, but some people may be bothered by the aesthetics.
The micro-USB port is actually a special dual purpose port called a SlimPort. It allows you to use a special SlimPort HDMI adapter to connect your Nexus 7 to an external display. I actually found it a little hard to tell which way the micro-USB cable plugged in to the port. I have gobs of devices that use micro-USB and this was the first time I wasn't sure which way to plug it in. I eventually figured out that the short end goes toward the back, or just plug the charging cable in to the Nexus 7 with the USB icon facing up.
Speaking of the back, the back of the new Nexus 7 uses a soft-touch material that's common in a lot of devices these days, including the Kindle Fire HD. I don't mind the feel of the material and I actually quite like it in most devices. However, a lot of people really liked the feel of the old Nexus 7's back, which I've heard described as a leather-like driving glove. I've personally never held the old Nexus 7, so I can't say which I prefer.
The only physical buttons on the new Nexus 7 are the power/lock and volume keys, which are located on the upper part of the right side. The 3.5mm headphone jack is located on the top and the previously mentioned micro-USB/SlimPort is located at the bottom of the Nexus 7.
There's a fixed focus 1.2MP camera in the front and a 5MP autofocus camera in the back. Neither are that great, but work OK in a pinch. I would personally prefer a higher quality camera in the front and no camera in the back. Video hangouts and Skype chats over video are so convenient with a tablet, but often lack quality because the cameras are blah. Omitting the camera in the back would also solve a pet peeve of mine: people taking photos and videos in public with their tablets.
The overall build quality of the new Nexus 7 is excellent. The entire tablet feels solid and dense, which makes it feel like a premium piece of gear.
DISPLAY In my opinion, if you can only have one personal tablet, 7-inch tablets are the best option for most people. 10-inch tablets are great for watching videos, but can be awkward to hold. There's a reason why the Apple iPad Mini is so popular now, despite what Steve Jobs said about smaller tablets. I nearly got the iPad Mini when it was released, but its disappointing screen kept me from plunking down money on the first gen version.
The new Nexus 7's display has 323 ppi (pixels per inch), which makes it currently the sharpest screen available on a tablet -- even better than the retina iPad (4th gen). The screen resolution goes up from 1280 x 800 on the original Nexus 7, to 1920 x 1200 on the 2013 version. There a lot of screen real estate to work with here; I can fit 36 1x1 icons on a single screen.
Text on the new Nexus 7 is extremely sharp and 1080p HD videos look terrific. Colors look accurate and well saturated to my eyes, but I'm certainly not a color expert. Also worth noting is that the glass is made by Corning, but I'm not entirely sure if it's Gorilla Glass. It's just described as "scratch resistant Corning glass."
Below are the display specs on some other tablets:
324 ppi iPad Mini 2 2048 x 1536 * rumored 323 ppi Nexus 7 (2013) 1920 x 1200 264 ppi Retina iPad (4th gen) 2048 x 1536 216 ppi Nexus 7 (2012) 1280 x 800 216 ppi Kindle Fire HD 7" 1280 x 800 189 ppi Samsung Note 8 1280 x 800 163 ppi iPad Mini 1024 x 768
PERFORMANCE The Nexus 7 (2013) uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU clocked at 1.5GHz and a 400MHz Adreno 320 GPU. Navigating the Nexus 7 is very responsive and peppy. 1080p HD videos I loaded on it played without any stuttering or artifacts and games looked terrific. Riptide GP2 by Vector Unit was heavily demoed during the release of the new Nexus 7, but they have another game called Beach Buggy Blitz (Free) that also does a good job of showing off the Nexus 7's graphics prowess. Of course, continuous run-games like Subway Surfers, Temple Run, Iron Man 3, etc., all load up quickly and run well on the new Nexus 7.
The Wi-Fi card in the new Nexus 7 supports dual-bands and up to 802.11n. It always pains me when I have to put a new device on my 2.4GHz network, so I'm very happy that I can put the new Nexus 7 on my 5GHz network. My connection has been very good and I haven't experienced a single dropout or other wireless connectivity problems.
The new Nexus 7 now has stereo speakers built in, like the Kindle Fire HD. They sound pretty good, but the Kindle Fire HD's speakers still sound better. In noisy environments, however, neither one of them are easy to hear. I still prefer a Bluetooth speaker or headphones, if I'm going to watch a movie or listen to music. I haven't done enough critical listening yet to say whether or not the Fraunhofer Cingo virtual surround sound works, but I haven't been disappointed in the few hours that I've listened to the Nexus 7 using my Logitech UE 6000 headphones.
When I plugged the new Nexus 7 into my PC, Windows 7 recognized it immediately and installed the driver. It showed up as a device and I was able to transfer files back and forth, albeit a little slowly. I should also mention that on the 32GB model, there is 25.57GB of free space available after you're done setting it up and installing the updates.
ANDROID The new Nexus 7 comes pre-installed with Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean), which is the most current version of Android available. Some of its new features include restricted user profiles, Bluetooth Smart, and OpenGL ES 3.0 (3D graphics). The version of Android 4.3 on a Nexus device like the Nexus 7, is of course, pure Google. Not only does the Nexus 7 not have any third-party skins like HTC's Sense or Samsung's TouchWiz, but it doesn't have any third-party crapware either; it's all Google. The following apps come preloaded on the Nexus 7: Chrome, Gmail, Calendar, Currents, Drive, Earth, Keep, Keyboard, Play Books, Play Magazines, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, Search, Google+, Hangouts, Maps, Street View (Maps), and YouTube.
Android, as a mobile operating system and as an ecosystem, has matured a great deal in a very short amount of time. Android devices are very stable these days, at least those from the major manufacturers. I remember when app force closures were a common occurrence. System hangs and random reboots also happened on a fairly regular basis. But that's just not the case anymore. Google, hardware makers, and app developers, have all done a great job in making Android an amazing ecosystem well worth investing in. And if you want that pure Google experience, there's no better way to get it than from a Nexus device. The only drawback, for now, is that developers still aren't very quick to optimize their apps for tablets, but that's certainly been improving.
BATTERY The new Nexus 7 has a 3950 mAh battery, which is rated at about nine hours of "active use." It also has built-in support for wireless charging via Qi-compatible chargers, like the Nexus 4's wireless charger. From my own observations, it seems like I can easily go a full day with heavy use, or a few days with casual use.
CONCLUSION Hardware-wise, the Nexus 7 is absolutely the best small tablet available right now. Its screen quality, performance, and build quality are all top notch. Its size makes it very easy to hold, even one-handed, and is great for reading, checking emails, watching videos, and playing games. It's also running the latest version of Android, so you get the most advanced and feature-rich version of Android yet. If you're looking for a small tablet right now, the new Nexus 7 (2013) has to be at the top of your list. Other small tablets I'd recommend considering are the iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, Kindle Fire HD 7", and the old Nexus 7 (2012). But if I'm being honest here, the one I'm really recommending is the new Nexus 7 (2013).