The Google Nexus 7 2.0 is the latest update to 2012’s Nexus 7.0. Set to become the first tablet to run on Google Android Jelly Bean 4.3, it is powered by a Qualcomm quadcore 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 processor. Packed with powerful features, it is being touted as the next challenger to the Apple iPad Mini.
Thinner yet powerful.
This is what the Google Nexus 7 2.0 is all about. It is the latest version of Google’s smallest tablet. Initially, it will be available in the United States but will be launched in other markets soon. Considered as the world’s sharpest display, Google Nexus 7 2.0 has retained some of the features of its predecessor but also made some improvements on it.
So what does the new Google Nexus have to offer smart phone users? A collaboration of two technology giants namely Google and Asus, the Nexus 7 2.0 is highly touted as the biggest challenger to Apple’s iPad Mini. Here we will review Google Nexus 7 2.0.
The Physical Features
At the onset, one would see some glaring similarities between the Google Nexus 7 2.0 and its predecessor. However, a closer look would reveal some slight changes in the latest version. Starting off with the weight, the two versions of the new Nexus are lighter than the original which weighed 11.99 ounces. The Wi-Fi and LTE versions weigh 10.23 ounce and 10.55 ounce, respectively.
When it comes to the dimensions, the Google Nexus 7 2.0 is 200 millimeters long, 114 mm wide, and 8.7 mm high making it taller, narrower, and thinner than the first Nexus. At 4.5-inch in portrait orientation, the Nexus 7 2.0 is easier to handle in one hand. It is perfect for reading as it can be easily grasped with just one hand.
Gone are the plastic faux-metal edges and the rubber back from the first Nexus. Taking its place is an all-black, all-plastic external with a matte finished back portion. This makes the matte back protected from fingerprints.
The bezels on the front area surrounding the display are narrower than its predecessor. Asus trimmed down each side of the tablet by 2.75 millimeters but the top and bottom area remained the same. The reason behind the narrower bezels, according to the two companies, is to provide a better user experience when in landscape mode. The front-facing camera is located above the display but is found at a different spot than in its predecessor.
On the right edge of the tablet, one can find the power/sleep button and the volume rocker. The headphone jack rests at the top edge. On the back side of the tablet, there is two speaker grilles (at the top and bottom) near the micro USB port.
The new Google Nexus 7 will be available in three versions: two are Wi-Fi only offering support on 802.11a/b/g/n on the 2.4Ghz and 5.0 bands. The third version will offer support for LTE and HSPA. At 0.64 lbs, it is lighter and more convenient to carry than the original Nexus.
Like its predecessor, Google Nexus 7 2.0 definitely packs a punch. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5 Ghz CPU and a Andreno 320,400 Mhz GPU. It is available in 16GB or 32GB memory varieties and has 2GB of RAM. It runs on a quad core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor.
The Google Nexus comes with a 1,920 x 1,200 high definition resolution and up to 323 pixels per inch. This is slightly better than the 1024 x 768 and 163 pixels per inch of the iPad Mini. Apps like Need for Speed, Prince of Persia, Asphalt, and Riptide will look great on the Google Nexus 7. Its surround sound speaker makes listening to music and watching movies a worthwhile experience.
The new Google Nexus 7 runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.3. It will be the first tablet to do so. The latest operating system brings a wide range of changes to the Nexus. This is Google’s answer to Apple’s Siri. First of these many changes is Google Now. This feature comes with a search box and several on-screen “cards” which can be scrolled to access things such as local weather, traffic update, nearby establishments, flight information, to name just a few.
Another interesting feature that comes with Google Now is voice control. Just like Siri, it will provide information that you require such as the time in a certain region or the location of a nearby establishment. If it does not know the answer to your question, it will google the information.
With Jelly Bean, you can view Maps without the need for Internet access. You can set it on “Make available offline” from the drop-down menu, configure the area you like to use and download Google Maps on your device. This makes the Google Nexus the perfect GPS device.
One of the major updates in Jelly Bean involves face recognition when unlocking the device. It requires the user to blink in order to unlock the device. Although it is still not secure, it will be difficult for another person to unlock your device without your face.
Another new feature that comes with Jelly Bean 4.3 is Restricted Profiles. Previously, users can create several accounts for one device. Now with Jelly Bean 4.3, users can create preset restrictions on apps and content. To do this, the user will need to use a lock screen. Aside from access, the Restricted Profile feature can place restrictions on certain app settings such as in-app purchases and age limit.
Despite all the new exciting additions to Google Nexus 7 2.0, it is not a perfect tablet. It only allows 8 GB of internal storage and does not have a micro USB card slot for additional storage. You may need to shell out additional cash to get the 16GB version.
Yes, the new Nexus comes with a front facing camera ideal for video chats. But you may become disappointed with the sound and video quality if you try to use it in Google Talk or Skype. If you want to listen to your favorite tunes, you may need to attach it to a speaker or headphones as the sound may not be that good.
Just like any Android device, battery life may become an issue. On what Google calls “active use,” Google Nexus may last up to eight hours. The good thing is that Asus and Google has added a wireless charging features so you can extend the juice of your device.
iPad Mini vs. Google Nexus
So Google is laying down the gauntlet against the iPad Mini with the new Google Nexus. When it comes to design level and the number of quality accessories for both devices, Apple still leads the pack. iTunes remains unmatched when it comes to music downloads. The Apple App Store remains to be the iPad Mini’s strongest suit, as well.
The iPad Mini also has the advantage over Google Nexus 7 2.0 with its thin frame. The iPad Mini is only 0.28 inches thick as opposed to the Google Nexus which is 0.41 inches thick. Of course, the iPad Mini has a larger screen making it much more ideal for browsing the Web or viewing media.
When you are looking for a budget tablet, the new Google Nexus 7 2.0 has a lot to offer at an affordable price. It has the speed and the power that can help ensure a worthwhile mobile computing experience.