Nexus 7 (2013) review
An extraordinary compact tablet that improves on the original in almost every way, once again showing rivals how it’s done
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.
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.
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.
|Price ex VAT||£166|
|Price inc VAT||£199|
|Warranty||1 yr return to base|
|Features & Design||6|
|Value for Money||5|
|Dimensions||114 x 8.5 x 200mm (WDH)|
|Resolution screen horizontal||1,200|
|Resolution screen vertical||1,920|
|CPU frequency, MHz||2MHz|
|Camera megapixel rating||5.0mp|
|Upstream USB ports||1|
|Mobile operating system||Android|