BuildAsus has manufactured both Nexus 7 tablets, and this year there are some small changes in size and weight. The Nexus 7 (2012) measures 120 x 198.5 x10.5 mm, while the Nexus 7 (2013) now measures a slightly more compact 114 x 200 x 8.6 mm. The new Nexus 7 now weighs just 290 g, down 50 g from last year’s 340 g model. This also makes the new Nexus 7 one of the lightest tablets in the market. The iPad Mini 2 weighs 331 g, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 8.0 weighs 314 g. Additonally, the 2013 Nexus 7 sports a soft finish rear panel, as opposed to the textured, rubberized material featured on its predecessor.
While Asus has retained the LED-backlit IPS display on the new Nexus 7, there has been a significant change in resolution. Last year’s 1280×800 display has now been replaced with a Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution one. With a pixel density of 323 ppi, the new Nexus 7 has become the first tablet to cross the 300 ppi pixel density mark offering better and crisper visuals.
CameraThe old Nexus 7 was criticized because it lacked a primary camera. It only had a front-facing 1.2 meg camera for making video calls. This year, the front camera remains unchanged, but Asus has added a 5-megapixel rear-camera to the tablet. Don’t expect much in terms of performance though, because results are reported to be just about average in daylight and quite grainy in low-light.
SoftwareBoth Nexus 7 tablets run on Android’s latest 4.3 Jellybean operating system, putting them on par in the software department. As a Google device, the Nexus 7 will receive Android updates as and when they are released. Both the old and new Nexus 7’s will be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat as soon as Google rolls it out.
PerformanceThe old Nexus 7 was quite a fast tablet, with a 1.2 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor and 1GB RAM. This year, Google went a step ahead and fitted the new Nexus 7 with a 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and 2GB RAM, which makes it a real powerhorse.
BatteryThe new Nexus 7 gets a smaller 3950 mAh battery, as compared to it’s predecessor’s 4325 mAh unit. But don’t be put off because the Nexus 7 (2013) is more power efficient, and manages to deliver the same amount of battery life as last year’s tablet – about 9 hours of multimedia usage.
Variants and PricingThe Nexus 7,2012 was initially released in 8 GB and 16 GB Wi-Fi variants. Google later discontinued the 8GB version and added a 32GB 3G model with the 2013 version of Nexus 7. The new Nexus 7 now ships in 3 variants – 16 GB Wi-Fi, 32 GB Wi-Fi and 32 GB LTE. Online retailers like Flipkart are offering the old Nexus 7 (16 GB) for just Rs 8,999. You can pick up the 32 GB Wi-Fi model for Rs 11,999 and the 3G variant for Rs 16,999. As of now, the 2013 Nexus 7 is available only on the Play Store. The 16 GB Wi-Fi model is listed at Rs 20,999, while the 32 GB Wi-Fi is priced at Rs 23,999. The unlocked LTE 32 GB model is priced at Rs 27,999.
Which one should you buy?If you require a tablet just for browsing, checking email and light multimedia usage, we would advise picking up the old Nexus 7. But be advised that since the Nexus 7 tablets don’t have expandable storage, you need to keep your media requirements in mind before deciding on the storage capacity of the device. More advanced users will definitely prefer the new Nexus 7 tablet, with it’s Full HD Screen and faster processor. If you already own a Nexus 7 tablet and are wondering whether it’s worth it to upgrade, we suggest waiting for a few months. With the kind of price drop we’ve seen on the old Nexus 7, you’re likely to find a good deal a few months from now. We’ll update you with details as soon as they are available.