Google has launched its new Nexus 7 2 tablet, a great-value seven-inch device rocking the brand new Android 4.3 OS, an impressively sharp HD screen, quad-core processor and five megapixel camera. There’s no info on UK pricing or release dates, but given the original Nexus 7 was one of the best and most affordable tablets to emerge in 2012, we’re hoping there’s not long to wait.
Nexus 7 2
The biggest draw, apart from the inevitable low price point, will be the Nexus 7 2’s beautiful 1920 x 1200 Full HD seven-inch display. That gives an incredible 323ppi (hyped as the ‘world’s highest resolution tablet’, beating the likes of Apple’s iPad). We can’t wait to settle into our commute with some HD movies, or blast through some gorgeous-looking games.
Another big addition is a five megapixel rear camera, something that was missing from the original Nexus 7. We didn’t miss it personally as we’re not fans of snapping shots on our tablets, but for many people that could clinch a sale, and you still get a front-facing 1.2 megapixel lens for Skype chats and so on.
Design-wise the Nexus 7 2 looks very similar to the original tablet, although Google claims it is 2mm thinner and weighs just 290g (the Nexus 7 weighed almost 350g). Packed inside is a 1.4GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a surprising departure from nVidia’s Tegra range. Google reckons you’ll get an extra hour of battery life despite that high-res screen, and we’ll be sure to test that thoroughly.
There’s no memory card slot but you do get a choice of 16GB or 32GB models, and a 4G version will be hitting the US and – if the gods allow – the UK too. The Nexus 7 2 hits the US in under a week, costing from $229.
As expected, Google’s Android 4.3 is more of an increment over 4.2 Jelly Bean than a full-on upgrade. There are a number of changes, the biggest surrounding your ability to set up separate user accounts. It’s now going to be easy to set up new accounts and switch between them (something we already loved about the Nook HD+ tablet). The chief account holder can also now set restrictions for other users, for instance preventing their kid from accessing the internet or certain apps. After all, we don’t want to corrupt poor Timmy’s fragile little mind.
In addition, Android 4.3 packs in some other little updates such as improved user input.