Google Nexus 7 FHD Tablet (7-Inch, 16GB, Black) by ASUS (2013)


Rating: 
Amazon Price: $229.00 $214.99 You save: $14.01 (6%). (as of June 22, 2014 9:33 PM – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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The all new 7" tablet from Google
Now thinner, lighter, and faster – Nexus 7 brings you the perfect mix of power and portability and features the world's sharpest 7" tablet screen.

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Grab-and-Go Greatness
Smart, thin and gorgeous
The clean, simple design features a slim body, a thin bezel and a soft-touch, matte back. So it sits comfortably in the palm of your hand while the bright, beautiful 7" display brings your entertainment to life.
Lighter than ever, lasts longer
At just 0.64lbs (290g), the all-new Nexus 7 is light enough to take anywhere and fits easily in bags, backpacks, and even back-pockets. With up to 9 hours of HD video playback and 10 hours of web browsing or e-reading, there's plenty of juice to get you through the day, and built-in wireless charging means you can charge, grab, and go.
Connect from anywhere
With dual-band Wi-Fi and optional 4G LTE, including support for hundreds of networks worldwide, you'll stay entertained – and connected – wherever you are (select models only).

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Eye-Popping Performance
The sharpest 7" tablet screen ever
The world's highest-resolution 7" tablet puts over 2.3 million pixels in the palm of your hand. With 323 pixels packed into every inch, you can read text that's sharper than the printed page, see images more vivid than the highest quality photo magazine, and watch videos come to life in vibrant 1080p HD.
Fast and smooth
Nexus 7 is made by ASUS and packs a serious punch. With a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 Pro processor and 2GB of RAM, everything runs faster. Plus, high-performance rendering ensures 3D graphics are smooth and dynamic.
Sound that surrounds
Nexus 7 features stereo speakers and Surround Sound powered by Fraunhofer3 (the MP3 inventors) so you get rich and immersive audio. Hear it all more clearly with finely tuned volume boost technology that makes dialog and sound crisp and easier on the ears.

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All your stuff, your way
Best of Google
Nexus 7 comes loaded with your favorite Google apps – like Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, Hangouts and Google Now – so you can browse, watch, share and stay connected wherever you go. And because Google apps are designed for the cloud, everything is simple and works seamlessly across your phone, tablet and computer. Now you have all the stuff you need, when you need it.
Powered by Android
Nexus 7 is the first tablet to ship with Android 4.3, the latest version of the world's most popular mobile operating system so it's fast, fun and easy to make your own. Share your tablet with friends and family – each person has a separate customizable space, including personal homescreen, wallpaper, apps, storage, and more. You can also manage access to apps and content to create an experience that's appropriate for each member of the family.
Ready to Play
Nexus 7 is great for gaming and with favorites like Prince of Persia, Asphalt 8, and Riptide GP 2, you can tilt, tap, and touch your way to the top. The brand new Play Games app also lets you track your achievements, play with (or against) friends and gamers around the world, and discover new exciting games. And with an ever-expanding number of tablet-optimized apps like Flipboard, Expedia, or The Fancy, you'll find all the apps you love, and love the many new apps you'll find.
Kick back with the world's largest collection of eBooks, listen to millions of music tracks with All Access, and immerse yourself in thousands of movies and TV shows on Google Play.

Specifications Operating System: Android™ 4.3 (Jelly Bean) Display: 7.02" 1920×1200 HD IPS display (323 ppi); Scratch resistant Corning® glass Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, 1.5GHz Graphics: Adreno 320, 400MHz Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4G/5G) Memory: 2GB RAM Storage: Available in 16GB or 32GB Camera: Front 1.2MP fixed focus; Rear 5MP auto focus Sensors: GPS, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, Compass, Ambient Light

Audio: Stereo speakers, Surround Sound – powered by Fraunhofer3 Battery: Up to 9 hours1 Dimensions: 114 x 200 x 8.65 mm Weight: 0.64 lbs Ports & Connectors: Power and Volume buttons 3.5mm audio Microphone 1 x Micro USB port SlimPort™ enabled

What's in the Box NEXUS 7 FHD by ASUS Tablet AC Adapter & Power Plug Manual Card
Warranty Card

Protect your NEXUS 7 FHD with official ASUS Accessories (sold separately)

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ASUS Official Nexus 7 FHD Travel Cover Made from light yet durable polymer Provides improved damage resistance everywhere you go Special inserts for connectors allows you to charge without removing the cover, keeping your Nexus 7 FHD protected at all times. Available in 5 vibrant colors: Orange, Blue, Pink, Green, and Dark Grey

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ASUS Nexus 7 FHD Official Premium Cover Soft microfiber and durable polyurethane construction. Features a folding-cover that can prop up the tablet like a stand. Two positions – One to watch movies, one to type on the tablet. Cut-outs and inserts tailored for all of Nexus 7 FHD's camera, ports, and buttons. Slim and sturdy design fully protects the Nexus 7 FHD front and back from everyday bumps and scratches. Available in black and white.

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ASUS The Official Nexus 7 FHD Screen Protector Two screen protectors in one packages: 1x Matte Screen Protector, 1x Glossy Screen Protector. Includes 1x Squeegees and 1x Cleaning Cloth to help you apply the screen protector smoothly without bubbles Proprietary technology to resist bubbles, glare, fingerprints and guards against scratches

ASUS- Top 3 Global Consumer Notebook Brand
As the world's top three consumer notebook brand and maker of the world's best-selling motherboards, ASUS prides itself by making products that always "START with PEOPLE." With a persistent approach to innovation, ASUS goes beyond satisfying current consumer needs to surpass expectations and spark the imaginations of people everywhere. ASUS designs and manufactures a diverse range of products as part of our relentless search for incredible, including motherboards, graphics cards, displays, desktop and all-in-one PCs, notebooks, netbooks, networking devices, servers, smartphones and tablets. Driven by innovation and committed to quality, ASUS won 4,168 awards in 2012 and recently received the recognition for the 2013 PC Magazine Reader's Choice Award.

1. Actual battery life varies with usage. Operation lifetime subjects to product model, normal usage conditions, and configurations
2. Actual formatted capacity will be less
3. Fraunhofer Cingo™ mobile audio technology. Learn more: www.fraunhofer-cingo.com
©2013 ASUS Computer International. All Rights Reserved. ASUS is a registered trademark of ASUSTeK Computer. All specifications and terms are subject to change without notice. Please check with your supplier for exact offers on selected models. Products may not be available in all markets. Product may not be exactly as shown in photos. Actual colors may differ from their appearance due to variation of monitor restrictions and color processing. All trademarks are registered to their respective companies. ASUS shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Technical Details

  • Processor: 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4
  • Number of Processors: 1
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • RAM Type: Unknown
  • Hard Drive: 0 GB Unknown

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.5 x 0.3 inches ; 10.2 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00DVFLJDS
  • Item model number: NEXUS7 ASUS-2B16
  • Batteries: 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: July 25, 2013

Customer Reviews

HUGE improvement over the original model

 July 26, 2013
By Dangs "Dan"
**REVIEW UPDATED ON 7/30/13 – Updated speakers, “other features”, battery life, gripes**

For anyone on the fence, and especially for those frustrated by the performance slowdown issues with the original Nexus 7 tablet, don’t let that scare you off from buying the second generation model.

Google made all of the right improvements to the product, and the result is a significantly improved product for a marginally higher cost. Only time will tell if this unit suffers the same performance fate as the original model (for those not familiar, over time, the first generation tablets tended to quickly slow down and struggle to perform even basic tasks like browsing the internet). However, Android 4.3 feels ultra-smooth so far, and I am hoping that Google and Asus learned from their original mistakes.

SCREEN: The new screen is absolutely stunning. Some people argue that the resolution of 323 pixels per inch is unnecessary, but you can really see the difference when you use it in person. Text is significantly sharper and a little easier on the eye to read. Using the tablet to watch videos and see pictures produces a stunning result.

PROCESSOR: This is the #1 reason I’d recommend this new, upgraded Nexus 7 over the older version. The speed upgrade is unquestionably immense, and to those who have used the older and newest model Nexus 7, you will notice and appreciate this immediately. Apps load instantly; the internet browsing experience is smooth and a very welcome upgrade over past performance. It’s strange; a few days ago I was satisfied with the decent albeit declining performance of my 1st Gen Nexus 7. Now that I have this new one, I use them both side by side and the older model feels like a dinosaur. This alone is reason enough to upgrade.

SIZE/WEIGHT: The reduced thickness and weight of the tablet is very noticeable. I often times used my old Nexus 7 tablet while sitting in bed, to check email and browse the web prior to going to sleep. Holding the old Nexus in one hand, and the new one in the other, the differences in size and weight are VERY noticeable. No doubt will provide a more comfortable long term usage experience, especially for extended sessions while on flights or the subway.

BATTERY LIFE: After a couple days of using this new Nexus 7, I can confidently say that the battery life has been significantly improved over the original model. My previous session of about 2 hours straight of use (screen on, using apps that draw semi-frequent data over wi-fi) drained only 20% of the battery life. If I project this out, it would tell me that I could get 10 hours of constant use on one full charge. I haven’t run through an entire charge yet from 100% down to 0% (I’ve been recharging after each use), but I’ll try to get to that sometime this week and report back on my total real-world battery life.

CAMERAS: Google added a rear-facing Camera on this new second gen Nexus. While I typically wouldn’t use my tablet as a camera, I have tried it out and it takes excellent pictures. Focuses quickly, the images are sharp and the low light performance, while not great, is better than I would have expected. The front-facing camera gets more use for me (I use my tablets to Skype with family). The new front facing camera is noticeably sharper and better in lower light situations than the original Nexus 7 camera was. In low light, the old model was almost unusable. The 2nd gen Nexus 7 low light performance is very acceptable.

SPEAKERS: I’ve now spent some time using this second-gen Nexus 7 side by side with my original Nexus 7. Separately, they both sound very acceptable for speakers from small tablets. Using them side by side, the improvements to the Nexus 7 are very noticeable, and the sound is more clear even at high volumes. I’d say that this new model sounds far less “tinny” than the original Nexus did. Personally, I don’t use the built-in speakers often (I’m normally either listening with headphones, or using bluetooth audio to my Logitech Boombox). But for people who do use the built-in speakers to play music or watch movies, you will appreciate the improvement in the speakers.

OTHER FEATURES: Last night, I realized that this tablet is compatible with Qi Wireless Charging, a discovery which made me VERY happy. I use a Nexus 4 cell phone, and I keep it on my nightstand on the Google Nexus Charging Orb. I attempted to use the orb with this new Nexus 7 tablet, and it worked perfectly. You have to sit the tablet landscape, with the orb centered on the tablet, and it synced up and began charging instantly.

COMPARISONS: I will update this section shortly with my comparison review between this 2nd Gen Nexus 7, the iPad Mini, and the Kindle Fire HD, as soon as I’ve had more time to test them all side by side.

GRIPES AND COMPLAINTS: Here, I’ll list any gripes that I have about the tablet. My first major gripe is that I am not a huge fan of the texture/material used on the back of the tablet. It’s a slightly rubberized feeling coating, which I assume they did to create additional grip. However, I’ve been finding that after holding with one hand for a few minutes, I notice the tablet starting to slide a little bit in my hand. I think this is a combination of the new texture plus the fact that it’s thinner than it used to be. I’m probably going to be purchasing a case for it shortly, which should alleviate this problem, but it is still worth noting. This is just a personal preference things (if you normally hold it landscape w/ two hands, you’ll probably prefer this new texture over the old one).

All in all, I am VERY impressed with how much faster this tablet is than my original Nexus 7 tablet. As long as this model doesn’t suffer the performance slowdown issue of the original Nexus 7, I don’t anticipate moving this away from a 5 star product anytime soon, but only time will tell I guess. I will keep this review updated as I go, and add thoughts on more features once I test them out further (the speakers, longer term battery life tests, performance slowdown, etc). If you have anything else you want me to address, please let me know in the comments section and I will be glad to address it.

Seems to be a snappy little tablet…

 July 26, 2013
By S. Sale
*** This review is for a 32GB, WiFi only tablet.

I just picked one of these little guys at my local BB presale because I’m impatient and had to try one. Yes, I actually have one and I’m not BS’ing.

Being an IT professional, I’ve used a variety of Android and Apple devices, probably dozens at this point. I’m well versed in Apple, Android and Microsoft world, and have a MCSE/MCSA and half a dozen other MS/IT certs, so I know what I’m talking about.

I suspect it will take a month or two before I’m fully versed in the eccentricities of this tablet, but here is my 3 hours of use review:

First Impressions:

Upon receiving the box, I was pleasantly surprised by how small and minimal it is. Very similar to Apple packaging, which is best in the business in my opinion. Upon turning it on and signing into my Google account, I was immediately greeted by several updates. 0-day updates to be expected from a major release and are appreciated.

As usual, my Google account wanted to sync all my previous Play Store apps onto the device which I immediately stopped. No stupid Verizon apps for you! One of my primary reason for getting this tablet was for gaming. I’m disappointed by the horridly slow memory on my old Kindle Fire, and I hate the uphill battle that comes with trying to Jailbreak and install emulators on Apple tablets. I nearly bought a Nexus 7 Gen1 until I heard it had slow storage as well. Once I heard that Nexus 7 Gen2 had greatly improved storage speeds, as well as better specs down the board, I was sold. I won’t bore you with all the specs, as you can read those in the Amazon description above. However, I must point out one particularly great spec that this tablet has, and many covet: a 1080p screen on a 7″ tablet. There are no current 7″ tablets on the market that match that PPI, but I’m sure Apple’s iPad mini 2 will match or come close to it. (when it comes out)

Performance:

I have no gear to officially test the dynamic contrast and black levels of the screen, but CNET (Normally Apple biased) gave a very impressive 570/0.44 cd/m2 for it’s max brightness/black level, putting it at 1,295:1 contrast ratio, beating the socks off the iPad Mini’s 814:1, and the old Nexus 7 at 1,028:1. I notice this most in black and white movies like Casablanca, (my usual test) but color also pops much better too. The color levels are more accurate across the board than the greenish tint of the first N7, and give Apple a run for the money.

If gaming is your target, it’s interesting to find that the Nexus 7 Gen2 meets or exceeds the iPad Gen4. GFXBench tests put the N7g2 consistently in line with the iPad, no small feat for a sub-$300 device. I confirmed this performance by playing a number of games and finding that I couldn’t slow this little guy down; Galaxy on Fire’s new android release, Project Y, and a host of old standbys. It runs an Adreno 320, the same as the mighty HTC One, so if an HTC One plays it well, the Nexus 7 will too. It also typically beats a Nexus 10 in all tests, so if your choice between these two tablets is speed, the N7 is the obvious winner.

When I got the tablet it was at 50% battery life. It took about 2 hours before it was at 100%. I’m guessing it will take 3-4 hours with the shipped charger to bring it from 0 to 100.

Other improvements:

The improvements in Android 4.3 are not going to be apparent for a while, as the main improvements are OpenGL ES 3.0 and app security permissions. However, it also includes battery improvements which seem to stretch an additional hour of video watching despite it’s slightly smaller battery. It’s also a little thinner than the 1st gen Nexus 7, by around 1.8mm. Usually thin tablets annoy me and are awkward to hold, but the Nexus 7 has comfortable rounded sides and a soft rubber back. The front is a fingerprint magnet of course.

Value and software:

Last but not least, the Nexus 7 is only $230 for a 16GB model, or $270 for 32GB. Compare this to an iPad mini at $330 for a 16GB model, or a 32GB at $430. The original Nexus 7 seems to be going for under $200 now, so if all you need is a nice internet browser and like to dabble in everything else, the Nexus 7 Gen 1 is actually a great deal.

A last positive comes in the form of the Apple/Android philosophy. This baby comes ready to be loaded up with any ROM you chose, as do all of the Nexus series. There aren’t any real releases yet, but I expect there to be some great ones over the next few months. Apple does it’s best to prevent Jailbreaking. If you don’t know the benefits of either, and consider yourself a tinkerer, then you may want to brush up on them.

The other part of this Android/Apple philosophical difference takes the place of Apple censorship. I HATE IT. Apple tries it’s best to keep it’s store locked down with American prude censorship. Google doesn’t. Apple also nixes nearly any emulator apps they can. This means no DOSBox, SNES, NES, Genesis and Playstation emulators for you if you’re stuck on an Apple device. That sucks a big one. One of the big reasons I will not pick up an IOS device.

Now for negatives:

1.) The obvious being that the Google Play Store gets some games later than the Apple App Store. Nearly all the “good” games are available on both within months, but the tendency is for Apple to get the initial release followed closely. by Play Store. However, the total number of Apps in either store is now shifted into Google’s favor, as it now has over 1,000,00 apps compared to Apple’s 900,000+, with the lead growing each month. So let the stupid, “My tablet has more apps” argument die, as it doesn’t matter anymore.

2.) The widescreen format and shape can be awkward for some, but I got used to it quickly.

3.) There is no SD card slot. We already expected this as the previous didn’t have one, but I really wish it had one so I could load it up with music and movies. Heck, I’ve got a 64GB microSD card in my phone. Why can’t a much larger tablet have one too?

Other than that, I am struggling to find a negative with this tablet. Once again, I think I’ll give it a few weeks before I can fully flesh out this review. Until then, I’m gonna enjoy messing with this little guy.

Edit: 48 hours later…

Now that I’ve had the tablet for a couple days and kicked it around a bit more, I’m still holding firm on my previous statements. I’ve loaded up Jet Set Radio, Dolphin, Labtech Control Center and a number of other apps to see how well it handles a variety of content. I must say, I’m not having any issues. I loaded up 3DMark so I could see for myself how well it handles a heavy load on it’s GPU, and it breezed through even on Extreme, achieving a score of around 6300. The first Nexus is only able to pull off around 1900, making the new model over 3 times faster.

The battery life has been good, as it seems to still have 25-50% charge after a day of moderate to heavy use.

One detail I didn’t realize before, but now find apparent is that while the speakers sound good for built in tiny tablet speakers, the volume levels are capped to achieve this. Before the speakers begin to distort bass, the top volume levels out. I kind of wish it could go little further so I could use it for a portable radio while I’m cleaning, but I suppose headphones will fix that. It fits in a pants pocket like a big mp3 player, something I can’t pull off with an iPad mini. The iPad mini is 5.3 inches wide, while the Nexus 7 is about 4.7 inches. The widescreen just barely makes it into a back or side pocket without being too tight.

Edit: 7/29

Another detail I’ve heard from at least one reviewer is that of dead pixels. I HIGHLY recommend running the free app, “Dead Pixel Test” as soon as you can. I discovered only two dead pixels on my tablet, both in the top. One is incredibly hard to see except at an angle, and only then in complete black. The other is slightly more visible, but only at an angle again. Dead pixels are to be expected on an high density display, so be extra diligent to identify whether or not your display has a serious problem with dead or stuck pixels. Mine are minor, but a few significant reports have surfaced.

Edit: 8/6/13

After around 2 weeks of use, I’m very happy with the tablet. It has done well with battery life throughout a day or two of moderate use and occasional gaming. I’m waiting on an ultra-slim case from Moko, but would like to see that “Premium Official Case” come out so I can decide if it’s worth it. Word on the street is the official travel case is not worth the $20 they are asking.

Edit: 9/18/13

I’ve now had the tablet for almost 2 months and I’m 100% sold on it. It’s fast, reliable and just about the perfect size for taking anywhere. I take it to customer sites to use WiFi-Analyzer, take notes, check email, Remote Desktop into PCs/Servers, change configs on network equipment and many other things. My Kindle Fire is now converted into a semi-dedicated iTunes remote because I’m so spoiled by the responsiveness of my Nexus 7.

Also, I rooted it about a week or so ago and put a lean version of 4.3 on it. It’s even faster now! I also love the Moko ultra-slim case I put on it. It doesn’t add bulk, the magnetic clamps seem to be holding up, and it looks nice.

http://www.amazon.com/MoKo-Google-New-Nexus-Case/dp/B00CKA1IYU/ref=pd_cp_pc_2

I’m a very satisfied fan of this tablet.

Great! make sure to run updates

 August 6, 2013
By S. Lee "spamination"
I am going to defer 99% of my review to others. Yes it’s got an amazing form factor. The screen is impeccable. blah blah blah. If you are reading this, then you probably have read a dozen other reviews already. So let me focus my review on two things:

1) Wifi streaming of DLNA server content: The biggest knock on the original Nexus was the poor wifi adapter. When I first started using my new Nexus 7 for DLNA streaming 1080p mkv files a couple of days ago, nothing worked. In fact, the new Nexus 7 couldn’t even stream 720p mkv files. For DLNA streaming, I run PS3 media server on my computer. On the Nexus 7, I use Bubble uPnP as my DLNA client and MX Player as my player. After the most recent MX Player patch and the Nexus 7 patch, I am able to stream 1080p mkv content flawlessly. That which would not work pre-patch is now working without stutter. So the wifi adapter appears to be a lot better than the original Nexus 7. I am sustaining anywhere from 70-150 Mbps speeds. More than adequate for my needs.

2) So with the streaming thing fixed, I only have one remaining issue with the Nexus 7. Chrome, yes Google Chrome. I find it difficult to select hyperlinks on chrome. There is a delay before my touch activation of a hyperlink takes effect. It’s not always like this, but this delay occurs about 50% of the time. 4.3 is still being patched and app makers are still optimizing their content, so it is possible that this is just an early Nexus 7/4.3 issue. Hopefully it isn’t the actual touch sensor on the screen. I wouldn’t call it a show stopper, but it is a significant nuisance. Additionally, there is slight tearing of the page when i scroll. I am a fast reader, so I tend scroll webpages and read simultaneously. With the tearing, it is quite annoying. All these issues seem to be related specifically to chrome.

One final addendum: 4.3 defaults. The wireless adapter doesn’t run on high settings out of the box. You actually have to go into the settings to change this. I guess they did this to increase battery life for the majority of users. But if you are a power user, then I recommend you go into wifi settings and change it. Unchecking “Wi-Fi optimization” changed my Nexus 7 from wireless G(54Mbps) to wireless N(~70Mbps@2.4 Ghz and ~150Mbps@5Ghz for this model). So the “optimization” is a misnomer. It doesn’t optimize the wifi, it optimizes the battery and weakens the wifi. The other feature I would shut off is “scanning always available”. When I shut off my wifi, I don’t want my wifi to be scanning for open networks, for battery conservation and for security reasons. So if you change those two settings, you should be green on your wifi.

Regarding all the other features, I defer to others’ comments. This is a fantastic product. Not only is it the best 7″ tablet right now, I believe it to be the best tablet PERIOD. I do read the comments, so if you would like me to test other features, please let me know. I have quite a bit of technical knowledge and experience with android, and I will try to help where possible.

UPDATE
When I use Dolphin browser, the hyperlink issue stated above and the tearing when scrolling is gone. So for now, I will be using the Dolphin Browser. Chrome seems to be buggy/laggy in android 4.3/nexus 7. So it appears the touch sensor is not the problem, which is good news.

ADDENDUM
I have been asked to speak on the GPS issue that is being reported on Nexus 7 FHD. I use my phone for gps and don’t plan on using the Nexus 7 for GPS…but I tested it any ways for you all. Currently, I am unable to get any type of GPS satellite lock. “Searching for GPS” is the error I get continually. Google recently stated they are aware of this issue and are currently working to resolve it. Now ASUS is notorious for having horrible GPS antennas in their devices. If you think GPS is a make or break feature, then I would hold off on buying the Nexus 7. There is no guarantee that the GPS issue is a software issue, i.e. can be resolved with a patch. If it is a hardware issue, which is yet unclear, then you may be buying a device incapable of real-world GPS functionality. If this changes, and I will test it the next time I see a patch, I will return here with another addendum.

UPDATE 9/23/2013
GPS is now working. Well, let me rephrase that. I am some times able to get GPS lock. By no means is it reliable yet. At least I can now some times get GPS lock. If you have a phone, use that. I wouldn’t rely on this tablet currently as your sole source of GPS.

UPDATE 11/25/2013
KitKat is out for the Nexus 7. So far, I notice a vast improvement while web browsing.

The tablet I’ve been waiting for

 July 29, 2013
By Ed
The original Nexus 7 tablet was a favorite among many. I made the decision to get a Nexus 7 a few months ago, but decided to wait it out for the new version, and I’m glad I did for the most part. The new Nexus 7 (2013) is better than the old Nexus 7 (2012) in every way, except possibly the material used for the back.

PROS
- Gorgeous 7-inch screen
- Great build quality
- Fast performance
- Latest version of Android (4.3)
- Qi compatible wireless charging
- Solid battery life
- Very thin and light
- Easy to hold one handed
- Stereo speakers

CONS
- Average front and rear cameras
- No microSD card expansion
- Big bezels

DESIGN
The new Nexus 7 is very thin and light. It’s lighter than the iPad Mini and almost as thin. The narrow width of the Nexus 7 actually makes it easy to hold one-handed, even for people with small hands. It does have a fairly significant bezel on the top and bottom, when held in portrait mode, but it’s no worse than the bezel around the Kindle Fire HD 7″. Presumably, the big bezel helps when gripping the Nexus 7 in landscape mode, so your fingers aren’t accidentally tapping on the active screen. The big bezel doesn’t bother me in the least, but some people may be bothered by the aesthetics.

The micro-USB port is actually a special dual purpose port called a SlimPort. It allows you to use a special SlimPort HDMI adapter to connect your Nexus 7 to an external display. I actually found it a little hard to tell which way the micro-USB cable plugged in to the port. I have gobs of devices that use micro-USB and this was the first time I wasn’t sure which way to plug it in. I eventually figured out that the short end goes toward the back, or just plug the charging cable in to the Nexus 7 with the USB icon facing up.

Speaking of the back, the back of the new Nexus 7 uses a soft-touch material that’s common in a lot of devices these days, including the Kindle Fire HD. I don’t mind the feel of the material and I actually quite like it in most devices. However, a lot of people really liked the feel of the old Nexus 7’s back, which I’ve heard described as a leather-like driving glove. I’ve personally never held the old Nexus 7, so I can’t say which I prefer.

The only physical buttons on the new Nexus 7 are the power/lock and volume keys, which are located on the upper part of the right side. The 3.5mm headphone jack is located on the top and the previously mentioned micro-USB/SlimPort is located at the bottom of the Nexus 7.

There’s a fixed focus 1.2MP camera in the front and a 5MP autofocus camera in the back. Neither are that great, but work OK in a pinch. I would personally prefer a higher quality camera in the front and no camera in the back. Video hangouts and Skype chats over video are so convenient with a tablet, but often lack quality because the cameras are blah. Omitting the camera in the back would also solve a pet peeve of mine: people taking photos and videos in public with their tablets.

The overall build quality of the new Nexus 7 is excellent. The entire tablet feels solid and dense, which makes it feel like a premium piece of gear.

DISPLAY
In my opinion, if you can only have one personal tablet, 7-inch tablets are the best option for most people. 10-inch tablets are great for watching videos, but can be awkward to hold. There’s a reason why the Apple iPad Mini is so popular now, despite what Steve Jobs said about smaller tablets. I nearly got the iPad Mini when it was released, but its disappointing screen kept me from plunking down money on the first gen version.

The new Nexus 7’s display has 323 ppi (pixels per inch), which makes it currently the sharpest screen available on a tablet — even better than the retina iPad (4th gen). The screen resolution goes up from 1280 x 800 on the original Nexus 7, to 1920 x 1200 on the 2013 version. There a lot of screen real estate to work with here; I can fit 36 1×1 icons on a single screen.

Text on the new Nexus 7 is extremely sharp and 1080p HD videos look terrific. Colors look accurate and well saturated to my eyes, but I’m certainly not a color expert. Also worth noting is that the glass is made by Corning, but I’m not entirely sure if it’s Gorilla Glass. It’s just described as “scratch resistant Corning glass.”

Below are the display specs on some other tablets:

324 ppi iPad Mini 2 2048 x 1536 * rumored
323 ppi Nexus 7 (2013) 1920 x 1200
264 ppi Retina iPad (4th gen) 2048 x 1536
216 ppi Nexus 7 (2012) 1280 x 800
216 ppi Kindle Fire HD 7″ 1280 x 800
189 ppi Samsung Note 8 1280 x 800
163 ppi iPad Mini 1024 x 768

PERFORMANCE
The Nexus 7 (2013) uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU clocked at 1.5GHz and a 400MHz Adreno 320 GPU. Navigating the Nexus 7 is very responsive and peppy. 1080p HD videos I loaded on it played without any stuttering or artifacts and games looked terrific. Riptide GP2 by Vector Unit was heavily demoed during the release of the new Nexus 7, but they have another game called Beach Buggy Blitz (Free) that also does a good job of showing off the Nexus 7’s graphics prowess. Of course, continuous run-games like Subway Surfers, Temple Run, Iron Man 3, etc., all load up quickly and run well on the new Nexus 7.

The Wi-Fi card in the new Nexus 7 supports dual-bands and up to 802.11n. It always pains me when I have to put a new device on my 2.4GHz network, so I’m very happy that I can put the new Nexus 7 on my 5GHz network. My connection has been very good and I haven’t experienced a single dropout or other wireless connectivity problems.

The new Nexus 7 now has stereo speakers built in, like the Kindle Fire HD. They sound pretty good, but the Kindle Fire HD’s speakers still sound better. In noisy environments, however, neither one of them are easy to hear. I still prefer a Bluetooth speaker or headphones, if I’m going to watch a movie or listen to music. I haven’t done enough critical listening yet to say whether or not the Fraunhofer Cingo virtual surround sound works, but I haven’t been disappointed in the few hours that I’ve listened to the Nexus 7 using my Logitech UE 6000 headphones.

When I plugged the new Nexus 7 into my PC, Windows 7 recognized it immediately and installed the driver. It showed up as a device and I was able to transfer files back and forth, albeit a little slowly. I should also mention that on the 32GB model, there is 25.57GB of free space available after you’re done setting it up and installing the updates.

ANDROID
The new Nexus 7 comes pre-installed with Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean), which is the most current version of Android available. Some of its new features include restricted user profiles, Bluetooth Smart, and OpenGL ES 3.0 (3D graphics). The version of Android 4.3 on a Nexus device like the Nexus 7, is of course, pure Google. Not only does the Nexus 7 not have any third-party skins like HTC’s Sense or Samsung’s TouchWiz, but it doesn’t have any third-party crapware either; it’s all Google. The following apps come preloaded on the Nexus 7: Chrome, Gmail, Calendar, Currents, Drive, Earth, Keep, Keyboard, Play Books, Play Magazines, Play Movies & TV, Play Music, Search, Google+, Hangouts, Maps, Street View (Maps), and YouTube.

Android, as a mobile operating system and as an ecosystem, has matured a great deal in a very short amount of time. Android devices are very stable these days, at least those from the major manufacturers. I remember when app force closures were a common occurrence. System hangs and random reboots also happened on a fairly regular basis. But that’s just not the case anymore. Google, hardware makers, and app developers, have all done a great job in making Android an amazing ecosystem well worth investing in. And if you want that pure Google experience, there’s no better way to get it than from a Nexus device. The only drawback, for now, is that developers still aren’t very quick to optimize their apps for tablets, but that’s certainly been improving.

BATTERY
The new Nexus 7 has a 3950 mAh battery, which is rated at about nine hours of “active use.” It also has built-in support for wireless charging via Qi-compatible chargers, like the Nexus 4’s wireless charger. From my own observations, it seems like I can easily go a full day with heavy use, or a few days with casual use.

CONCLUSION
Hardware-wise, the Nexus 7 is absolutely the best small tablet available right now. Its screen quality, performance, and build quality are all top notch. Its size makes it very easy to hold, even one-handed, and is great for reading, checking emails, watching videos, and playing games. It’s also running the latest version of Android, so you get the most advanced and feature-rich version of Android yet. If you’re looking for a small tablet right now, the new Nexus 7 (2013) has to be at the top of your list. Other small tablets I’d recommend considering are the iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, Kindle Fire HD 7″, and the old Nexus 7 (2012). But if I’m being honest here, the one I’m really recommending is the new Nexus 7 (2013).

A must buy!

 July 26, 2013
By M.D.
Let me preface this by saying that I am by no means a casual tablet user; I’m a tech geek. I got the original Nexus 7 on the release date and I have been lucky to get the new Nexus 7 before its official release. I will be reviewing this tablet as it suits me, and my needs from a tablet are most likely going to be different from those of the typical user. However, I’ll do my best to shed some light on this tablet even if I’ve only had it for a couple of days. I’m going to be dividing my review into several sections.

Design: The new Nexus 7 definitely is lighter than its predecessor; that’s apparent right away. While it isn’t quite as thin as the iPad Mini, I am not one to get into the hype on thinness. It is thin enough, and that is all that I care about. One of the things highlighted by Google was the thinner bezels on the side. This may just be me, but I don’t really like the new bezel. I like resting my thumbs on the side of the device and it seems like I won’t be able to do that anymore. Also, the top and bottom bezels look a lot longer. (I don’t know whether they actually are or that is just how they look in relation to the thinner side bezels.) I use my tablet almost exclusively in portrait mode, so this new bezel layout doesn’t suit me too well. However, if you like using your tablet in landscape, I can definitely see how the new bezel layout would be an improvement. Maybe I’ll get used to the new bezel after a couple weeks of use.

Screen: I was more than happy with the 720p screen of the original Nexus 7. It looks even better with the new 1080p screen. However, the thing which was even more apparent to me than the higher resolution was the increased color saturation. Everything on my original Nexus 7 seemed washed out and dull, but that is not the case with the new Nexus. And there is no flickering or any of the other issues the original nexus’s had. Also, a thing that is worth mentioning: with my original nexus, I noticed that sometimes when I tried to flip between home screens with a very light stroke it would not register. It would flick back to the screen I had started at. This seems to have been fixed with the new Nexus 7.

Speed: The 2GB of ram on this device are absolutely crucial. That was (in my opinion) the main thing holding the original nexus 7 back. While the new processor isn’t the snapdragon 600 we were all hoping for, it is far better than the Tegra 3 processor in the original nexus 7. Note for people considering upgrading: the architecture of the Tegra 3 doesn’t allow for Open GL 3.0, so original Nexus 7 users will not be getting it. Overall, the speed of the tablet doesn’t appear to be much faster; the original nexus 7 is by no means slow. But I feel that with time the speed difference will become much more apparent.

OS: Android 4.3 is nothing new: far from the long awaited Key Lime Pie. It is a great operating system that functions well, but if you are looking for a new interface, look elsewhere.

Speakers: They are a definite improvement over the original nexus 7. I wish they would have been front facing, but you can’t get everything you want.

Cameras: The cameras are nothing special. Your phone most likely has a better rear and front facing camera. But for video chatting, they work well enough. I personally have no need for the additional rear camera (and I refuse to look like a fool taking pictures and videos with my tablet), but I do know others will appreciate the rear camera.

Overall, this device improves on the original Nexus 7 in nearly every way. I haven’t gotten too much time to test everything on the device (cut me some slack; I’ve only had it for two days) but from what I have seen, it looks to be a good tablet for a great price. At the moment, it is the best 7″ tablet on the market – no doubt. If you don’t have a 7″ tablet and are interested, you should definitely buy this. If you are considering upgrading from the original Nexus 7, then it matters what your individual preferences are. If you are frustrated with the old Nexus 7’s dull screen, lack of a rear camera, or like living on the cutting edge of technology, then you should definitely jump on the new Nexus 7. For $229 and $269, the Nexus 7 is a no-brainer.

One gripe I have with the new Nexus 7 is the lack of a new name. It makes writing a review much harder because I always have to refer to it as the “old” Nexus 7 or the “new” Nexus 7. But that has nothing to do with the device. :) - Google Nexus 7 FHD Tablet (7-Inch, 16GB, Black) By ASUS (2013)

Solid introduction to the Android world.

 August 1, 2013
By Callanish
I’m an IOS user. Have been for a long time. Currently I’m running an iPad 4, Ipod touch 5th gen 64gb and an Iphone 5 with generations of Apple music players also lying around the house, but I wasn’t going to just worship at the alter of Apple just because the Mini existed. That low resolution screen was a deal breaker for me, so knowing that I was in the market for a 7 inch tablet, the only one that stood out was the new Nexus 7.

So, my intent was to have it mimic everything that the Ipad 4th generation does with apps, function and see if it could handle itself in the real world, so I put most of the apps that I have on the iPad 4 on the Nexus 7 to see if there was any truth to the limitation of Android apps in the Google Play store. So far, I found them all, except HBOGo with Jellybean 4.3, which isn’t compatible yet at this point, nor is the BBC iPlayer, but everything else works fine including apps that run through a VPN or Proxy.

I also use Bluetooth GPS hardware (Dual Electronics XGPS150 ) running Navigon mapping software with this Nexus 7 and have not only been impressed with the clarity of the screen, but everything has worked great as a navigation device so far. My understanding is that there’s a GPS issue with the built in GPS that will need an O.S upgrade to fix, but I prefer using my external GPS and so far I’ve had no problems with Navigation using that external device.

I’m also running the Nexus 7 through a 3G/4G mifi wifi spot and that’s also been pretty consistent. No drop offs and it’s as quick to web surf as any IOS device.

I’ve also had a great experience with Seagate’s 1TB wireless plus full of movies that I stream and import from the drive to the Nexus 7. With IOS, I use Nplayer, which does the job flawlessly. With the Nexus, I use Es File explorer to access the files on the drive, move them to a folder and play them with B.S player or stream them directly from B.S player through the wi-fi on the device and it’s played everything I’ve thrown at it. Picture quality is great with the 16:9 ratio and sound is much better than on my IOS devices. 4:3 media files playing on the iPad IOS created either a stretched or squashed experience or showed the movie playing with letterbox black bars. Not the best of experiences. The 16:9 format is a much better experience for viewing your media.

The thing I like about the Nexus 7 and maybe now Android in general is it doesn’t take the jailbreaking of the device just to do basic things like move around files. Plugging it in to a computer through USB and it shows up as a drive on my Windows P.C makes things really easy to transfer files as does connecting to my LAN to get something off of a connected device. The free ES file explorer app in the Google play store is just an excellent app allowing me to access all my files on the Nexus. I use iFile on my jailbroken IOS devices and Nplayer to run media, but somehow it’s not as elegant and easy as it is with Android’s open O.S.

For me, the device is pretty solid. I haven’t used any Android tablets to compare it with, but the quality is solid, the screen is a huge leap up from the Mini ( friend has one ) and I’d say it has the edge over the Ipad 4. The O.S is pretty snappy. I’d say that IOS still is in front when it comes to the web surfing experience ( the screen’s tactile feel with the web feels faster to respond to commands on IOS), but it’s still very good on the Nexus and the ability to customize all aspects of Android without resorting to jailbreaking is welcome.

The other noticeable thing is that the ipad 4 now feels big and bulky, and the screens on the iphone and touch now seems too small, so I’m now seeing the benefits of a 7 inch screen which provides better clarity over the smaller IOS devices because of screen size and better portability over the iPad 4 because of its weight and dimensions.

Battery life, so far has been good, and most of the time I don’t need the brightness setting so high which maximizes battery life. The only glitch I found was with auto brightness; the screen flickered a bit now and then. Turning that off solved the problem, so it’s not a deal breaker for me that the screen is no longer working with auto-brightness. I’m used to that on my 5th generation touch….no auto-brightness setting.

I’ll be curious to see in the coming months how the Nexus 7 handles the wear and tear of life. So far, I’ve had a very positive experience and I really like the form factor, the brilliant screen and the challenge of doing things the Android way rather than the IOS way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still an IOS fan and the iPad 4, iphone 5 and ipod touch 5th gen are excellent devices. I guess I was just getting a bit bored and was looking for something new. Glad I did, because the new Nexus 7 is an excellent device at an excellent price.

Best 7-inch Tablet. Period.

 October 4, 2013
By zerokelvin520
When my 1.5 year old laptop decided its time was up, I thought it would be an opportune time to get a tablet. I already enjoy surfing the web and checking social media on my phone, so why not just get a bigger screen with the same experience? As a longtime Android user, naturally I shopped the Nexus devices first. After spending some time with both the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10, I was convinced that ~7 inches is the sweet spot for tablet screens from a usability and portability standpoint. The Nexus 7 impressed me in-store with its beautiful screen and simple, clean design. However, I also took a look at the latest iPads from Apple, as they are some truly impressive devices. The direct competitor the the N7 is the iPad mini, and while I was equally in love with the iPad’s sleek aluminum body and slightly bigger screen size, the low-resolution screen and outdated hardware made spending $350+ on it difficult to justify.
I’ve had my Nexus 7 for almost 2 weeks now, and I only love it more with each passing day. After 2 weeks, I feel I can write an accurate review and let other tablet shoppers know just how good this thing is.

DISPLAY – The first thing you’ll notice about this tablet is its stunning, gorgeous display. It’s full-HD 1080p resolution, and is an IPS LCD screen, which means the colors are true-to-life and just perfect. You’d be hard pressed to find one pixel on this thing without some serious magnifying power, and from a normal viewing distance it’s, again, simply stunning.

DESIGN – The Nexus 7’s design is very good…clean and simple. The front of the device is glossy black glass, and when the display is off, it’s very slick looking. There’s a slight lip around the display, I assume to protect the display glass should you decide to rest the device on its face. The usual sleep/wake button and volume rocker reside on the right side of the tablet. Around back is a nice, matte black soft touch surface. It feels very satisfying in the hand, and feels far better than competing plastic tablets (albeit not quite as premium feeling as the iPad mini). In gloss black up the middle of the rear is the Nexus logo. Also in gloss black is the ring surrounding the 5MP camera. The Nexus 7 is pretty comfortable to use one handed, and feels like it costs more than it actually does.

PROCESSING HARDWARE – This is a quad core tablet with a quad core graphics processor, and it shows. The Nexus 7 zips through anything I’ve thrown at it, and has never tripped over itself thus far. Games render quickly, and have tons of fine detail that makes the N7 one of the best gaming tablets out there right now. Even with two user profiles set up, both running live wallpapers and tons of custom settings and widgets, it never thumbs its nose and is always up to the job.

AUDIO – I must admit, at first I didn’t think I would use my tablet much for music as I already have 2 MP3 players and a phone. However, my first experience listening to my tunes through the built in stereo speakers with surround sound enhancement was so good, I decided to sync my Nexus with my Google Play library and try out the experience with earbuds. I pulled out my AKG earbuds, and was just blown away with the quality of the sound. Using the built in surround sound enhancer, you get the feeling you’re in your own private concert hall. The sound is just impeccable, and well-balanced. Of course, you can fine-tune your sound output through the Google Play Music app, but the audio is excellent even on apps with no built in sound settings. Watching videos using the stereo speakers is a great experience as well. The sound is crisp, loud, and easy on the ears. Far better than the iPad speakers, and definitely at the top of the list for speaker and overall audio quality.

CAMERA – The 5MP camera actually takes very good pictures. Low-light performance is adequate, and the images are balanced. I think it’s a little ridiculous to carry around a tablet for all your photography needs, however in a pinch where you HAVE to capture the moment, the Nexus 7 won’t disappoint.

Overall, if you’re in the market for a tablet, you have NO excuse to not consider the Nexus 7. It blows the more expensive competition away, and sacrifices nothing to maintain a low price. You get a premium feeling device that performs admirably, with a fantastic display, and the super smooth Android Jelly Bean OS. It’s very easy to use, gives you a very refined and excellent experience, and will exceed all of your expectations. It’s a great device, and I whole-heartedly recommend it.

© 2013, kingjr. All rights reserved.


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