When Google rolled out the Nexus 7 last year, it was the best tablet you could buy for the money. And why wouldn’t it be? Google makes its money by showing you ads; it’s in their interest that you have the best possible gear at the lowest possible price, so you’ll keep buying apps, listening to music, and watching YouTube videos with all those ads slathered all over them.
And Google has continued the tradition with the new Nexus 7, which is still being built by Asus. Here’s what you get for $230:
- A 1920×1200 resolution screen, putting the pixel density at 323ppi, about a third more than the original Nexus 7.
- A 1.5 Ghz quad-core processor, the Qualcomm S4 Pro, with an Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM.
- Bluetooth 4.0 support, which is pretty much all a lot of people needed to hear.
- A rear-facing five-megapixel camera. Sorry, the front-facing camera is pretty much the same.
- An LTE version is on the way, but won’t be out for a little while.
- Dual stereo speakers, which is a pretty big step up audio-wise as well.
- And, of course, Android 4.3.
Yep, Google’s packing a lot of tablet into a small space. The big question, of course is… should you upgrade? Personally, as a Nexus 7 owner, while I find this tablet drool-worthy, and if you don’t own a tablet, I think this is the tablet to own, I’m holding off. This is a nice bump up from the original, but the original has only been out a year or so. And it supports Android 4.3, so you’ll be getting all the software features, even if those speakers and that camera are a nice addition.
So if you don’t own a Nexus 7, or a tablet, buy this when it becomes available on July 30th. But if you do, put the money aside; one suspects next year’s model will be even better.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.