Feeds
Google Nexus 7 2013

Google Nexus 7 2013: Fondledroids, THE 7-inch slab has arrived

Probably the best tablet in the world

The Power of One Infographic

Improvement all round

One of the major problems with the first Nexus 7 was the wholly wretched loudspeaker. Thankfully the new incarnation features two speakers wired up to a surround sound system designed by Fraunhofer, the folk behind the MP3 audio format. The new speaker arrangement is a massive improvement on the old. It pumps out ample volume and wallop, though it still sounds a bit puny alongside an HTC One.

Google Nexus 7 2013

Could almost be a unibody

There’s no need to talk too much about the operating system because, being a Nexus-branded device, it runs unadulterated Android - now version 4.3 - and updates are rolled out directly from Google not from the manufacturer. It’s worth mentioning here how much Android has evolved in the last 18 months. If you only know it from its two-point-something days you will be stunned to see how it has come on in terms of features, design and usability.

The most notable changes to Android 4.3 include improved multi-user support with the introduction of restricted profiles; spiced-up notifications; and support for OpenGL ES 3.0 for improved graphics. These aren’t the sort of headline-grabbing improvements we saw in Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean, but Android is getting more mature so that is only to be expected.

Google Nexus 7 2013

There’s still a Micro USB port on the bottom, but it’s not On-The-Go

Inside the new Nexus you’ll find that the old model’s Nvidia Tegra 3 chipset has been replaced by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro component with a quad-core 1.5GHz Krait CPU, 2GB of Ram and an Adreno 320 graphics processor. It’s a combination that makes the new Nexus 7 as fast and as powerful as any tablet on the market, including the likes of the iPad 4, Google’s own Nexus 10 and the Xperia Tablet Z.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the absence of a memory card slot, and the Micro USB port still doesn’t support On-The-Go USB hosting. Those are aggravating and wholly unnecessary omissions in my book. Wireless connectivity is bang on the money, though, with dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. Qi-standard wireless charging is supported too, as is NFC touch-to-share data exchange.

Google Nexus 7 2013 benchmark results

Benchmark results: not bad performance for a 200 quid tablet

Making the 2013 Nexus 7 thinner than than the 2012 model has had an impact on battery capacity which has dropped from 4325mAh to 3950mAh. But thanks to the more efficient chipset you can expect to see broadly similar times between trips to the wall socket. Looping a 720p MP4 video file with the screen brightness set at 50 per cent drained the battery in just shy of eight hours.

I’ve already touched on the matter of price but it warrants repeating: the 16GB device only costs £199, the 32GB model £239. No matter which way you look at it this is exceptional value. At the time of writing, a Play Store price or release date has yet to announced for the 32GB LTE model though O2 will apparently be selling it for the £320 later this month. As I understand it, the LTE-model doesn’t support cellular voice calls which is a shame. If it did, it could replace your phone and tablet and be the ultimate Very Large Phone™.

The Reg Verdict

The new Nexus 7 once again redefines how much tablet you can expect for under two hundred quid, just as the original did. In every single measurable way the new model is a big step forward from the old, being smaller, lighter, more powerful and possessed of a much improved display.

Despite one single niggle - there’s still no physical storage expansion - the Nexus 7 still easily deserves the title of the Best Tablet in the World. ®

Top three mobile application threats

Google Nexus 7 2013

Google Nexus 7 2013: Fondledroids, THE 7-inch slab has arrived

Google takes its near-perfect seven-inch slate and makes it better. An ideal tablet if you don’t need removable storage.
Price: £199 (16GB),£239 (32GB), £319 (32GB LTE) RRP

More from The Register

next story
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Big Blue Apple: IBM to sell iPads, iPhones to enterprises
iOS/2 gear loaded with apps for big biz ... uh oh BlackBerry
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.