If you're looking for a small tablet and you're working on a budget, then you can do much worse than the Nexus 7. After today, though, the Google and Asus mini-tablet just became a much better deal, with the arrival of a new second-generation Nexus 7 that gets upgrades in every nook and cranny.
Google announced the heavily-leaked new Nexus 7 today at a special "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai" (the new head of Android) event in San Francisco. The new mini-tablet runs the all-new Android 4.3, and squeezes a high-res 1920 x 1200 seven-inch display into a body that's just 7.6 mm (0.3") thick.
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It drops the Nvidia processor from the original Nexus 7, in favor of a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, clocked at 1.5 GHz. There are 16 GB and 32 GB versions, both with 2 GB of RAM. The new tablet weighs just 317.5 g (11.2 oz). These are some pretty high-end specs crammed into a light and thin chassis.
Display resolution wasn't the only spec that went up in the new Nexus 7. The second-gen version gets a price hike, jumping to US$230 for the 16 GB model, and $270 for the 32 GB model. Those Wi-Fi only models are also accompanied by an unlocked 32 GB 4G LTE model for $330.
There's a lot for budget tablet shoppers to be excited about here, but the most cutting-edge aspect of the new Nexus 7 is its display. Up to this point, none of the seven- to eight-inch tablets have managed to pack what Apple would call a "Retina" display into that smaller form factor.
Now, with rumors that Apple might not upgrade the iPad mini's screen until early 2014, Google and Asus beat them all to the punch with 323 pixels per inch (PPI) spread out over seven inches. That's much sharper than the 300 PPI in the Nexus 10 and the 264 PPI in the iPad with Retina Display.
The Wi-Fi version of the Nexus 7 launches on July 30, with the LTE model following "in the coming weeks."
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