The nexus 7 is Google's second generation 7 inch Android tablet, and it sells for just a little bit more than the first generation model. Like the first Nexus, it's still reasonably priced given the very good hardware, and the WiFi 16 gig version is $229, while the 32 gig model is $269. Google says an unlocked $359 4G LTE model will follow later that's compatible with Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile 4G LTE. The tablet's full HD IPS display is the centerpiece in terms of hardware and the pure Android Jelly Bean 4.3 OS that will get updates first is the software highlight. The tablet has a 5MP rear camera, a front camera, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC.
When the first Nexus 7 shipped, we were impressed with its display and speed-- amazing how quickly technology moves. Now the elder Nexus 7's resolution is just average and it's not the speediest tablet on the block, though Google's frequent OS updates often didn't sit well with old Nexus 7 and caused some of its performance issues (not the norm, usually OS updates make Nexus products even better). With faster RAM, TRIM support to keep storage speedy and engineering experience behind it, we expect the new Nexus 7 to fare better in the long run.
The 2013 Nexus 7 isn't a flashy looking tablet, in fact its minimalist design won't offend anyone, but I doubt it will excite anyone either. The black plastic back has a matte finish that's not as grippy or interesting as the stippled soft touch material covering the first Nexus 7, but it's still not likely to slip out of your hand. It's also easier to hold since it's narrower than the first Nexus 7, and you won't feel like you're palming a basketball when you hold it with one hand. The tablet is well made and doesn't look cheap. Asus manufacturers the new model, and they made the last generation Nexus 7.
The Nexus 7 second gen performs well on benchmarks, and it gets a graphics performance boost from Android 4.3's added support for OpenGL ES 3.0. It has 2 gigs of RAM and 16 or 32 gigs of storage. Google detests removable storage and thus like previous Nexus tablets, it has no microSD card slot. In fact, it doesn't even support mass storage devices like flash drives via a micro USB to USB host OTG adapter, though the app Nexus Media Importer (available on the Google Play Store, no root required) gets mass storage devices working. The tablet runs on a 1.5GHz quad core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, much like last year's high end Android phones and the Sony Xperia Tablet Z. It uses the QCT APQ8064 FLO with Adreno 320 graphics, which is a bit tweaked from last year's smartphone offerings and it has updated cores and uses the faster DDR3L RAM rather than DDR2. Does it feel fast and responsive? Yes it does, and the stock Android UI no doubt helps.
Here's our Nexus 7 2013 edition video review. Our full written review will follow shortly.