Nexus 7 (2013) review

4 Sep 2013

An extraordinary compact tablet that improves on the original in almost every way, once again showing rivals how it’s done

Price when reviewed 
199
Buy it now for 
5

The name hasn’t changed, but the new Nexus 7 looks taller and thinner than last year’s model. Actually, the two devices are the same height, and use identically sized screens; however, Asus has slimmed down the side bezels, making the new model 114mm wide – 6mm less than last year’s model.

This has the slightly unfortunate effect of making the top and bottom bezels feel even bigger than they did before – an effect that’s only exacerbated by Android’s black notification and button bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Still, you quickly become accustomed to the shape, and it’s hard to complain about getting the same amount of screen in a slightly smaller package.

The new Nexus 7 is also lighter, down from 340g to 290g – a palpable 15% reduction in mass over the previous generation – and thinner, measuring only 8.5mm thick.

Nexus 7 (2013)

That isn’t quite as slim as Apple’s 7.2mm iPad mini, but if you’re specifically looking for an Android tablet, this is the thinnest and lightest we’ve seen. Don’t think it’s flimsy, however: there’s very little flex to the back of it, and with scratch-resistant Corning glass covering the front, we’d have no qualms about tossing this tablet into a bag.

There’s good stuff on the inside, too. The 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro is a beast of a processor, delivering much stronger performance than last year’s 1.3GHz Tegra – and it’s here supported by an unusually generous 2GB of RAM, plus a 400MHz Adreno GPU.

This makes flicking around the Android 4.3 interface a stupendously snappy experience, and the full power of the hardware shone through in our benchmarks.

Nexus 7 (2013)

It completed the SunSpider JavaScript test in 1,202ms – almost 30% faster than the original model – and smashed the Geekbench 2 test with a score of 2,639, a 65% improvement on last year’s hardware. The Nexus 7 also managed an impressive 15fps in the taxing GFXBench T-Rex 3D test, around three times the frame rate of the older version.

This 3D score is even more impressive when you realise that the 2013 Nexus 7 is drawing around 40% more pixels than the 2012 model. A new 1,920 x 1,200 IPS display represents the highest resolution we’ve seen on a compact tablet, delivering a display density of 323ppi – way higher than the 264ppi of Apple’s Retina iPads.

Detail

Price ex VAT £166
Price inc VAT £199
Warranty 1 yr return to base
Overall rating 6
Performance 6
Features & Design 6
Value for Money 5

Physical

Dimensions 114 x 8.5 x 200mm (WDH)
Weight 290g

Display

Primary keyboard On-screen
Screen size 7.0in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,200
Resolution screen vertical 1,920
Display type IPS
Panel technology IPS

Battery

Battery capacity 3,950mAh

Core specifications

CPU frequency, MHz 2MHz
Integrated memory 16.0GB
RAM capacity 2MB

Camera

Camera megapixel rating 5.0mp
Focus type autofocus
Built-in flash? no
Front-facing camera? yes
Video capture? yes

Other

WiFi standard 802.1abgn
Bluetooth support yes
Integrated GPS yes
Upstream USB ports 1
HDMI output? yes

Software

Mobile operating system Android

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