/// Google’s New Nexus 7: The Budget Tablet to Beat

July 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital

[ See post to watch video ] Does size still matter? Just a year ago, Google introduced its Nexus 7, a mini tablet for $199 that posed a real challenge to Apple’s bigger, pricier iPad. Three months later, Apple retaliated with its own small tablet, the iPad Mini, though its $329 price wasn’t, well, mini enough for some. Now, a year after the introduction of the first Nexus 7, Google has unveiled a revamped version of its mini tablet with better features and a slightly bigger $229 price tag. Starting July 30, this new Nexus 7 is available in a dozen retail outlets including Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Amazon. I tested it for the past week and found myself drawn to this sturdy, elegant, responsive device from a company once known primarily for its search prowess. The most notable difference between this new Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini is screen quality: The Nexus has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 with 323 pixels per inch, and the iPad Mini’s screen resolution is just 1024 x 768 and 163 pixels per inch. It is also slightly lighter than its Apple rival. So what’s not to like about the new Nexus 7? For one thing, its 7-inch screen isn’t as big as the nearly 8-inch iPad Mini’s. While an inch of difference isn’t remarkable, smartphone screens are growing to over 5 inches, making the Nexus 7 look more like one of those than a tablet. Another drawback: In my test, the new Nexus 7′s battery life was underwhelming. Compared with the same battery test of the iPad Mini and first Nexus 7, it fell short at just six hours; the others clocked in at 10 hours and 27 minutes and 10 hours and 44 minutes, respectively. Google claims the battery life can last over nine hours, but the company tests it in Airplane mode (Internet connection off), with screen brightness set to 44% while playing video.

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Google’s New Nexus 7: The Budget Tablet to Beat


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