Another Take on the Nexus 7

Hugo Barra with Nexus 7

With the Nexus 7 giveaway scheduled for later tonight I thought I’d fan the flames of anticipation a bitĀ  with my own thoughts on Google’s second-generation cheap and cheerful tablet. I bought one to call my own last week, so you don’t have to worry about competing against me in the contest.

You’re welcome. šŸ˜‰

Why 7 Inches?

I’ll begin with the story of how I came to be a fan of this particular device size. Before I bought my first Nexus 7 in September, 2012 I was pretty wary of tablets in general, with only a vague notion of their convenience for consuming content and playing games. I ended up rolling the dice on this diminutive device for one reason alone:

Books.

A 7-inch tablet is, for me, the perfect ebook reader — portable enough to take with you wherever you go but big enough to read a full page of a PDF in portrait mode. I could have gone for a Kindle for Kobo but a proper tablet has the added benefit of doing what every other tablet does.

A 10-inch screen would probably make for an even better gaming machine but I’ve no complaints with 7 (that’s what she…) — anyway, I was actually going to wait for the new Nexus 10 but some review somewhere reminded me of how perfect the N7 was for reading.

This Canadian got his from Best Buy at $20 off the original price. Futureshop has them for even cheaper than that. So here we are.

Now onto how this year’s Nexus 7 compares with the last…

Hardware

Make no mistake, despite the low price tag the original Nexus 7 felt in every way like a premium device. The new version is even better; the faux leather back has been replaced by a grippy, rubbery material that’s every bit as satisfying to hold in your hand.

The 2013 N7 is slightly taller than the original but it’s also noticeably thinner and lighter, pretty amazing when you consider the improved tech inside. At least one game that was specifically designed for the Nvidia Tegra 3 in last year’s model plays better with this year’s SnapdragonĀ S4Pro replacement.

Screen

Dat screen

Look, you don’t need a 1080p screen on a mobile device. That said, once you experience it you won’t want to settle for anything less. It makes almost little to no difference with text, but games and videos — if they were done right — will jump out of the screen, punch you in the face and make off with your stuff.

It helps that the stereo speakers are also better than the single speaker on the original N7 but seriously, 1080p is reason enough to upgrade.

Camera

I’d be fine if the new Nexus 7 didn’t have a camera; you might find it useful to scan a QR code here and there, but I’m one of those people who thinks that if you’re buying a tablet for photography you’re doing it wrong.

It’s a Nexus

This last, obvious fact should not be overlooked.

If you’re a modder, rooting this thing and making it yours is as easy as unlocking the bootloader, installing a custom recovery and then using that to install Chainfire’s SuperSU.

If you’re not a modder you’ll still be among the first in line to get system updates directly from Google. It’s win-win either way.

And now that you know how awesome this new Nexus 7 is, you can get your name in the draw if you haven’t already. Good luck to everyone!

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