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Nexus 7 (2013) review

Verdict

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

Review Date: 4 Sep 2013

Reviewed By: Darien Graham-Smith

Price when reviewed: £166 (£199 inc VAT)

Buy it now for: £156
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
6 stars out of 6

Features & Design
6 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Performance
6 stars out of 6

PCPRO A-List

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.

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User comments

Pity about the SD slot

It looks good. The missus and I usually take a cheap Dell laptop on holiday with us on holiday. I'm thinking about getting a tablet to replace it - but I'd definitely need an SD slot for films and music.

Can anybody recommend a cheap, decent tablet with an SD slot?

By grimerking on 4 Sep 2013

My Nexus 7 2013 Version

Having stated here that due to the higher cost I would not but one,temptation got in the way and I bought one, however its currently sitting next to the front door awaiting pick up by Tesco's carrier, the WiFi was unreliable and the nexus required rebooting to reconnect, not good, now i am waiting for clarification from Tesco as to when I shall get a replacement

By Chrisfjr1300 on 4 Sep 2013

Weight....

Does your spec say that it ways 290kg? that seems awfully heavy....

By Namos on 4 Sep 2013

SD Slot solution for Nexus 4 / 7 & 10

@ grimerking

Just get the Nexus 7 and the Adata DashDrive Air AE400.
link - http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prod
id=HD-036-AD&groupid=1657&catid=1659&subcat=2469

problem solved !

By Jaberwocky on 4 Sep 2013

Dropbox

Just install Dropbox on Nexus and your computer so you can upload your photos from your computer.

By barnettgs on 4 Sep 2013

@Namos

It's probably correct on the basis that the processor only runs at 2Mhz and only has 2MB RAM.

We'll have to wait until the future arrives to get one that weighs less, runs faster and has more capacity I guess.

By Fraz_pro on 4 Sep 2013

Another (cheaper) alternative to the SD slot

Not quite as elegant as Jaberwocky's suggestion, but seeing as the Nexus 7 has a Micro USB connector, could you maybe just use a Micro B to type A USB cable adapter and then use an old USB pendrive? £1.12 compared to £53.99...

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/14cm-scan-usb20-on-
the-go-cable-adaptor-micro-b-%28m%29-to-type-a-%28
f%29

You don't have to leave it dangling out the side, just move your films / TV onto it then unplug it again - job done!

By Mr_John_T on 5 Sep 2013

Very Disappointed

As with Chrisfjr1300 above waiting for Tescos to pick it up (Not their Prob though, they were very good).
Ipad Killer... I dont think so! Received last Wednesday (28Aug) for the Wife, had all sorts of issues culminating in it not getting past the start screen... What i dont get is having looked at the forums these issues were present on the 2012 version! Teach me to read the forums first wont it.
Issues; poor WiFi, flickering screen, will not start up. Seemed good the the 24hrs that it worked. Pity they didnt iron these known problems out before launcing the 2013 version. Note for ASUS.... Stick to making Motherboards. Wife... Well she now has a Ipad Mini!

By SteveRickman on 5 Sep 2013

Very Disappointed

As with Chrisfjr1300 above waiting for Tescos to pick it up (Not their Prob though, they were very good).
Ipad Killer... I dont think so! Received last Wednesday (28Aug) for the Wife, had all sorts of issues culminating in it not getting past the start screen... What i dont get is having looked at the forums these issues were present on the 2012 version! Teach me to read the forums first wont it.
Issues; poor WiFi, flickering screen, will not start up. Seemed good the the 24hrs that it worked. Pity they didnt iron these known problems out before launcing the 2013 version. Note for ASUS.... Stick to making Motherboards. Wife... Well she now has a Ipad Mini!

By SteveRickman on 5 Sep 2013

Very Disappointed

As with Chrisfjr1300 above waiting for Tescos to pick it up (Not their Prob though, they were very good).
Ipad Killer... I dont think so! Received last Wednesday (28Aug) for the Wife, had all sorts of issues culminating in it not getting past the start screen... What i dont get is having looked at the forums these issues were present on the 2012 version! Teach me to read the forums first wont it.
Issues; poor WiFi, flickering screen, will not start up. Seemed good the the 24hrs that it worked. Pity they didnt iron these known problems out before launcing the 2013 version. Note for ASUS.... Stick to making Motherboards. Wife... Well she now has a Ipad Mini!

By SteveRickman on 5 Sep 2013

Very Disappointed

As with Chrisfjr1300 above waiting for Tescos to pick it up (Not their Prob though, they were very good).
Ipad Killer... I dont think so! Received last Wednesday (28Aug) for the Wife, had all sorts of issues culminating in it not getting past the start screen... What i dont get is having looked at the forums these issues were present on the 2012 version! Teach me to read the forums first wont it.
Issues; poor WiFi, flickering screen, will not start up. Seemed good the the 24hrs that it worked. Pity they didnt iron these known problems out before launcing the 2013 version. Note for ASUS.... Stick to making Motherboards. Wife... Well she now has a Ipad Mini!

By SteveRickman on 5 Sep 2013

Very Disappointed

As with Chrisfjr1300 above waiting for Tescos to pick it up (Not their Prob though, they were very good).
Ipad Killer... I dont think so! Received last Wednesday (28Aug) for the Wife, had all sorts of issues culminating in it not getting past the start screen... What i dont get is having looked at the forums these issues were present on the 2012 version! Teach me to read the forums first wont it.
Issues; poor WiFi, flickering screen, will not start up. Seemed good the the 24hrs that it worked. Pity they didnt iron these known problems out before launcing the 2013 version. Note for ASUS.... Stick to making Motherboards. Wife... Well she now has a Ipad Mini!

By SteveRickman on 5 Sep 2013

repeated postings

Were you so disappointed you had to post your comment 5 times Steve :-)

By UK_Snapper on 5 Sep 2013

ANOTHER GREAT NEW TABLET

A "Best Buy" for tablets for 2013 is the September release of the Novo 7 EOS 3G tablet - a 3G HSPA+ 7-inch tablet that provides both Internet and Phone Call capability like a regular Android phone -- the new Novo 7 EOS is priced at £119($189) at a site called TabletSprint and this new model works with GSM Wireless carriers worldwide, including EE and O2 -- and a SIM card may be used interchangeably with both a phone and tablet; and with Bluetooth it's easy to use a Wireless headset for phone calls.

The Novo 7 EOS is made by Ainol Electronics -- which won runner-up for Best-Tablet-of-the-Year at CES 2012 -- and offers a 7-inch HD screen (1280x800), 16GB Memory,
Bluetooth connection (for headsets, keyboards, printers), dual cameras, built-in GPS, MicroSD memory and a 4400 mAh battery. While the Novo 7 EOS may not offer 4G speeds, overall
connection is sufficient for most needs and it doesn't cost £300-£500 typical of 4G enabled tablets.

By chriscarlton10k on 5 Sep 2013

Impressed

First time tablet user here. Very impressed with this, although can anyone tell me how i can get the BBC i-player app onto the device?? when i try to download the app it tells me "your device isn't compatible with this version".
Apart from this minor niggle; i'm very impressed.

By ajcajc12 on 5 Sep 2013

Impressed

First time tablet user here. Very impressed with this, although can anyone tell me how i can get the BBC i-player app onto the device?? when i try to download the app it tells me "your device isn't compatible with this version".
Apart from this minor niggle; i'm very impressed.

By ajcajc12 on 5 Sep 2013

Corning scratch resistant glass

Bought the original model last Dec, as iPad mini's not available. Within 3 months radiating cracks appeared from the usb port.
After s tussle Office Works (I'm in Australia)finally provided a refund, goods not fit for purpose.

I am MAc convert, however the android operating system is brilliant, the whole concept of the Nexus 7 to my mind is brilliant, just let down by poor build quality.Corning scratch resistant glass is NOT gorilla glass that Apple use.Now Android on an iPad... theirs a thought!!

By Bcsiltd on 5 Sep 2013

Impressed

First time tablet user here. Very impressed with this, although can anyone tell me how i can get the BBC i-player app onto the device?? when i try to download the app it tells me "your device isn't compatible with this version".
Apart from this minor niggle; i'm very impressed.

By ajcajc12 on 5 Sep 2013

doubly impressed

just checked and there's an updated app for BBC i player. all working fine now!! fully sorted.

By ajcajc12 on 5 Sep 2013

My Nexus7 is fine

Received mine on 23rd August from Ebuyer. Smooth set up, fine on wifi, no flickering screen issues, no problems at all (so far).

My wife's old Nexus 7 is still fine but the new one looks and feels significantly nicer. It's got a solid yet practical heft that makes it feel kind of Nokia-like, if that makes any sense.

By TheHonestTruth on 5 Sep 2013

UK Snapper ...grimerking

No Idea what happened there only submited once!
Personally i'm the last person to buy Apple 8¬).
However i hope that those that have purchased the 2013 N7 dont get the problems i had.
Grimerking, look at Sumvision Cyclone Voyager Tablet 7
•Mini Hdmi,
•1 Micro usb,
•micro sd card port
•headphone port
Cheep and works well have one for work, dropped it, thrown in back of tool case, spilt coffee over it, 10 months later still working. Battery is a little light, but not bad and for £70. http://www.ebuyer.com/407319-sumvision-cyclone-voy
ager-tablet-pc-cycvoy7
PS Iplayer on Andriod install Dolphin Browser.
Cheers Steve

By SteveRickman on 5 Sep 2013

Nexus 7 2013 Thoughts

Did upgrade and can see benefits. Personally think the N7 2012 was well built and looks more premium than plain 2013 version from a side and back casing perspective at least. 2013 screen is indeed a lovely thing and hi-res photos and reader texts all look great. Shame about price hike but am able to live with 16GB version at £199 - 32GB is too close on pricing for comfort to iPad Mini in my view. Will be interesting to see if Retina version comes and at same price point as now. Got nearly £100 for my N7 2012 from a friend so cost to change to 2013 was modest. Not too bothered by lack of SD. More trouble for me comes from positioning of switches, narrow nature of left / right bezels and slippy back are a small pain. Trying out a third party case soon to see if that resolves for me.
Regards
DJP

By davidprice4 on 5 Sep 2013

After trying out my aunts Tab 2 in the 'real world' I ended up wanting a tablet but didn't want to spend too much. However I found 7" tablets to be too small, no 10" ones in my budget (even then I thought they were too big) and ended up buying the 9" Lenovo A2109.

Has a few flaws (earphones with inline don't work at all, a bit sluggish at times, no official cyanogenmod support, screen not as good as others) but overall I'm happy and it has built in micro-hdmi with decent battery life plus I got it with a years free accidental damage from Tescos for £140 (£10 discount for first purchase).

(Before anyone mentions the Nook, it requires an adapter for HDMI).

By tech3475 on 5 Sep 2013

Nexus 7 2013 Thoughts

Did upgrade and can see benefits. Personally think the N7 2012 was well built and looks more premium than plain 2013 version from a side and back casing perspective at least. 2013 screen is indeed a lovely thing and hi-res photos and reader texts all look great. Shame about price hike but am able to live with 16GB version at £199 - 32GB is too close on pricing for comfort to iPad Mini in my view. Will be interesting to see if Retina version comes and at same price point as now. Got nearly £100 for my N7 2012 from a friend so cost to change to 2013 was modest. Not too bothered by lack of SD. More trouble for me comes from positioning of switches, narrow nature of left / right bezels and slippy back are a small pain. Trying out a third party case soon to see if that resolves for me.
Regards
DJP

By davidprice4 on 5 Sep 2013

Nook HD

@grimerking

Nook HD is a great 7" tablet with Micro SD slot - has CM 10.2 support (http://liliputing.com/2013/08/cyanogenmod-10-2-br
ings-android-4-3-aging-kindle-fire-nook-tablet.htm
l)

Also Nook HD cost has just come down again and if you sign up to something like isme as a new customer and make sure you pay off your account then you can enjoy it for £55! Or even at £80 its a bargain:

http://www.vouchercodes.co.uk/isme.com?rc=1384986

http://www.isme.com/nook-hd-8gb-7-inch-tablet-smok
e-grey/1216528706.prd

By sipart on 6 Sep 2013

Get a Life

Come on who needs an SD slot. Just go to Amazon & buy a "On The Go Lead" for about £1.99 THIS will allow you to Plug ANY USB card reader or memory stick you will need to download a file management app from Google Play for free...NO you DON'T need to modify your Tablets in anyway!

By BadApple on 7 Sep 2013

Nook HD at £80

Bought the 8GB Nook HD for £80 from John Lewis for a 90th birthday present. Very happy with it so far, great screen, battery life and smooth OS installed a Kindle reader, BBC iPlayer, Dropbox from Google Play without issue.
Downside - no micro USB only Nook's own 30 pin connector.
Questions:
1. Does anyone know how to get anything other than films onto the SD Card? Particularly want the Dropbox files and photos there.
2. Without a GPS how does Google Maps find my location to within 30 metres?

By pcbacfv1 on 12 Sep 2013

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