Nexus 7 2013 First impressions


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tsupersonic

Nexus 7 (2nd Generation - 2013) is officially being released July 30th 2013. I got mine courtesy of Bestbuy, as they were selling them a little early. 

 

Hardware:

 

?         CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro @ 1.50 GHz (Quad core)

?         Graphics: Adreno 320 @ 400 MHz

?         Storage: 16 or 32 GB

?         Memory: 2 GB RAM

?         Display: 7.02? IPS LCD with 1920x1200 pixels (323 ppi)

?         Battery: Lithium-ion 3950 mAh (non-removable), Qi wireless charging

?         Camera:

o    Front: 1.2 MP

o    Rear: 5.0 MP

?         Dimensions: (7.9? x 4.5? x 0.341? inches) or 200x114x8.65 mm

?         Weight: WiFi: 290 g. (10 oz.) LTE: 299 g. (10.5 oz.)

?         OS: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

 

Design: 

 

                The new Nexus 7 is ever so taller and slightly narrower than its predecessor. It is wonderful to hold in your hands, and like its predecessor, it can be operated in just one hand. The button layout is exactly the same as the first generation Nexus 7. New for this model is the rear facing 5.0 MP camera with 1080P video recording capability, notification light (right below the on-screen home button), and also dual stereo speakers. The display is very crisp and the viewing angles are excellent. Google says it is the highest resolution 7 inch tablet on the market yet. The stereo speakers sound good, and it makes it an ideal portable device for watching videos and listening to music. The bezels on the side of the display have also shrunk, while the top and bottom bezels have grown slightly. My only gripe is the power button is a little flush therefore making it a little difficult to push. Interestingly enough, the headphone port has moved to the top of the device. Overall, it is solid to hold in your hand, and I give it a 4.5/5 on design.

 

Performance:

                The new Nexus 7 is very snappy and is extremely quick to switch between applications. The old Nexus 7 was also very fast when it was released. However, it had a tendency to slow down, and this was particularly the case if you had the 8GB model and had <3 GB of free space. Let?s see if Google can manage to keep this Nexus 7 optimized and speedy.  I tried Doodle Jump and Temple Run 2, both play great, no stutters. I will give it a 5/5 on performance for now.

 

Unboxing:

Included in the box: Nexus 7, USB data/charging cable, AC adapter, and quick start guides.

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Nexus 7 2012 (Left) vs. Nexus 7 2013 (Right)

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I have yet a chance to test battery life. What else would you guys like to know about? 

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Ishanx

Off-topic: love your workstation, man.

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tsupersonic

Off-topic: love your workstation, man.

Thanks, one of these days I have to do cable management. You can see there are a lot of cables just everywhere.

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Arachno 1D

Reviews say its 2mm thinner with better battery life even with a higher resolution screen.

Can you do a comparative test of some applications on the two and give some feedback please?

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cetla

Does the materials feel more durable? My Nexus 7 is getting rather flexy over that last 6 months. I feel like if I drop it the next time, it'll just fall into pieces.

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tsupersonic

Does the materials feel more durable? My Nexus 7 is getting rather flexy over that last 6 months. I feel like if I drop it the next time, it'll just fall into pieces.

Yes, I think it feels solid. I bought my original Nexus 7 a year ago (upon release), and I find that durable. Out of the two, I give the durability/build quality factor to the 2013 Nexus 7. Not sure where you live, but see if you can check out the new model at a store :)

 

Reviews say its 2mm thinner with better battery life even with a higher resolution screen.

Can you do a comparative test of some applications on the two and give some feedback please?

 

Yep, the new device being thinner and lighter is great - it makes it easier to hold and more enjoyable. Any applications you want me to test specifically? I have tried Chrome, Google Maps, Temple Run 2, Doodle Jump,  Flipboard, Baconreader (Reddit client), Youtube, Netflix, and all are snappier on the Nexus 7 2013 compared to the 2012 version. Maps is much smoother on the new device (from opening to panning around), and Chrome is faster (things like scrolling, pinch to zoom, etc.). 

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Steven P.

Nice one, published to main (y)

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Frankenchrist

My only gripe with the old N7 is that since I don't have 20/20 vision, I have to zoom a lot to get text readable.

Is the text smaller than on the old, as the PPI is higher? A comparision screenshot from the same webpage for example would be nice.

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patseguin

Great review. I had no idea Best Buy was selling them so I did an in store search and 1 of the 4 in my area has them so I ordered it for pickup today! Hopefully I can cancel my order on the play store.

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NJ Louch

What webcam is that?

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tsupersonic

Nice one, published to main (Y)

Thank you! :) I'll try and update with a full review.

 

My only gripe with the old N7 is that since I don't have 20/20 vision, I have to zoom a lot to get text readable.

Is the text smaller than on the old, as the PPI is higher? A comparision screenshot from the same webpage for example would be nice.

So, since it's a Nexus device, it only comes with the Chrome browser out of the box. The text isn't smaller due to the resolution increase - it gets scaled. You can go into Chrome settings -> Accessibility -> Change text scaling from 100% (up to 200%). You can also Force Enable Zoom, which allows you to zoom in on websites where you typically can't. You can also change the font size in the Android system settings. I've attached some (crappy) pictures below. I'm sorry for the quality, my next investment is a decent digital camera. 

 

Great review. I had no idea Best Buy was selling them so I did an in store search and 1 of the 4 in my area has them so I ordered it for pickup today! Hopefully I can cancel my order on the play store.

Thanks! Yep! I read on Friday morning Bestbuy was selling them early, so I ordered online for in-store pickup. I then got an email half hour later saying it was ready to be picked up. I went after work to pick it up, simple enough! I also ordered a Chromecast through the Play store (before Amazon/Bestbuy put it up for sale on their sites). I tried to cancel from the Play Store and it wouldn't let me. I got an email from the Play Store saying the Chromecast was shipped on Saturday, and it should be in my possession on Thursday.

 

What webcam is that?

Microsoft Lifecam Studio. It's the 1080p version and is excellent for video chat. Microsoft's website says MSRP is $99, but it can be had for much cheaper. There is also a 720p version - Lifecam Cinema

 

Websites: (Nexus 7 2012 on left. Nexus 7 2013 on right)

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NJ Louch

Thank you

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Brandon H

is it me or does the new nexus 7 have even more bezel on the top and bottom?

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tsupersonic

is it me or does the new nexus 7 have even more bezel on the top and bottom?

Yep, the new Nexus 7 has more bezel on top and bottom, but less on the sides. If you hold it in a landscape orientation (on the side), it works out with people with bigger hands. My only gripe with holding it in landscape orientation is my hand always covers the rear camera, thus getting the lens dirty with my fingerprints. Now, I never expect to take pictures with a tablet (looks silly), but the OCD in me doesn't like it

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patseguin

I ordered the Chromecast too! I have an AV receiver with my TV and everything running through it but it has an HDMI and USB port on the front, hopefully perfect for the Chromecast.

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tsupersonic

I ordered the Chromecast too! I have an AV receiver with my TV and everything running through it but it has an HDMI and USB port on the front, hopefully perfect for the Chromecast.

Yep, same. For $35 and 3 months of Netflix, I just can't say no. I've always wanted a Google TV/Apple TV like device, and this offers pretty much everything I need. I will no longer need my Xbox 360 to stream Youtube or Netflix. I can get rid of my Xbox Live Gold subscription, and this will stream pretty much anything from my NAS/online services (and use less power than the 360). 

 

Outside of Apple's integration with it's own products, you can see Google has a similar vision of integration, and it's slowly getting there. 

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patseguin

Well I got home with my new N7 a couple hours ago. It was pretty low on charge so I set up my Google account and played around with it before plugging it in. My initial 1st impression was how much thinner it was. I think they advertised it 2mm thinner which doesn't seem much but to be it is very noticeable and the device just feels better hold. The display is very crisp and the speed was very noticeably faster than my previous N7. I used my previous N7 kind of rarely because it always felt sort of sluggish but this one seems to have a major performance improvement.

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Sikh

Great review. I had no idea Best Buy was selling them so I did an in store search and 1 of the 4 in my area has them so I ordered it for pickup today! Hopefully I can cancel my order on the play store.

 

For anyone who cares, I've heard horror stories of how asus dealt with warranty claims on the first Nexus. I've only ever had to RMA 1 monitor out of the 7 ive owned from ASUS and they took care of me asap. But apparently the tablet devision is confused. Anyway, as much of us loved best buy for selling them early, I ended up picking one up from bestbuy after my online order with them went "backordered" and I ended up ordering one from the Play Store. Good thing about google is they will Advance replace your Nexus and free shipping. I dont want to have to send my tablet in for 2-4 weeks. I bought this as a reader, but regardless, 2-4 weeks is absurd and no option for ADR is even more absurd.

Just a heads up for those who are thinking of picking it from bestbuy. So far launch issues include pixels and dust under the screen. I expected both as its a very high resolution screen. Same thing happened when apple announced the retina screens on the 4. The yellowing was the glue not drying in time because of how fast they were being manufactured.

Anyway, my bestbuy one is flawless. No issues at all. After I read about the issues I examined it as detail as possible before checking it at work with a high powered magnifying glass and its spotless. Now im waiting for my play order to come in. Hope fully that ones spotless too.

Only reason I mention the warranty bit up above because the original nexus had flexing, lifting screen, trim issues (some actually had bad flash), etc. I would rather not wait 2-4 weeks. Google took care of my nexus 4 in the matter of 3 days. I got the RMA, shipped next day, at my door step the day after. They ship all RMA's via UPS 2 day.

OP: Keep updating the review. I like it so far

Well I got home with my new N7 a couple hours ago. It was pretty low on charge so I set up my Google account and played around with it before plugging it in. My initial 1st impression was how much thinner it was. I think they advertised it 2mm thinner which doesn't seem much but to be it is very noticeable and the device just feels better hold. The display is very crisp and the speed was very noticeably faster than my previous N7. I used my previous N7 kind of rarely because it always felt sort of sluggish but this one seems to have a major performance improvement.

It doesnt feel sluggish, it is sluggish. If you do a factory reset or enable trim, youll get your REAL N7 back.

 

Yep, same. For $35 and 3 months of Netflix, I just can't say no. I've always wanted a Google TV/Apple TV like device, and this offers pretty much everything I need. I will no longer need my Xbox 360 to stream Youtube or Netflix. I can get rid of my Xbox Live Gold subscription, and this will stream pretty much anything from my NAS/online services (and use less power than the 360). 

 

Outside of Apple's integration with it's own products, you can see Google has a similar vision of integration, and it's slowly getting there. 

The chromecast DOES NOT stream stuff locally. Its all "cloud"/html5 based. It needs to find your content on the internet to play it. One of the workarounds is to open it up in chrome on your computer, since you can cast a tab in chrome, load the content in chrome and cast it to your TV. Only problem is, its not meant to do this flawlessly right now, so with video, if you set it to 480p itll work, anything higher and your tv will lag.

I plan on keeping my apple tv, but this is a very nice addition

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patseguin

For anyone who cares, I've heard horror stories of how asus dealt with warranty claims on the first Nexus. I've only ever had to RMA 1 monitor out of the 7 ive owned from ASUS and they took care of me asap. But apparently the tablet devision is confused. Anyway, as much of us loved best buy for selling them early, I ended up picking one up from bestbuy after my online order with them went "backordered" and I ended up ordering one from the Play Store. Good thing about google is they will Advance replace your Nexus and free shipping. I dont want to have to send my tablet in for 2-4 weeks. I bought this as a reader, but regardless, 2-4 weeks is absurd and no option for ADR is even more absurd.

Just a heads up for those who are thinking of picking it from bestbuy. So far launch issues include pixels and dust under the screen. I expected both as its a very high resolution screen. Same thing happened when apple announced the retina screens on the 4. The yellowing was the glue not drying in time because of how fast they were being manufactured.

Anyway, my bestbuy one is flawless. No issues at all. After I read about the issues I examined it as detail as possible before checking it at work with a high powered magnifying glass and its spotless. Now im waiting for my play order to come in. Hope fully that ones spotless too.

Only reason I mention the warranty bit up above because the original nexus had flexing, lifting screen, trim issues (some actually had bad flash), etc. I would rather not wait 2-4 weeks. Google took care of my nexus 4 in the matter of 3 days. I got the RMA, shipped next day, at my door step the day after. They ship all RMA's via UPS 2 day.

OP: Keep updating the review. I like it so far

It doesnt feel sluggish, it is sluggish. If you do a factory reset or enable trim, youll get your REAL N7 back.

 

The chromecast DOES NOT stream stuff locally. Its all "cloud"/html5 based. It needs to find your content on the internet to play it. One of the workarounds is to open it up in chrome on your computer, since you can cast a tab in chrome, load the content in chrome and cast it to your TV. Only problem is, its not meant to do this flawlessly right now, so with video, if you set it to 480p itll work, anything higher and your tv will lag.

I plan on keeping my apple tv, but this is a very nice addition

Thanks for that info, I'm going to examine mine carefully for those issues. Upon first use the screen looked perfect to me. I had an issue on my previous N7 and Google Support was awesome and had a new one in my hands in like 2 days.

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tsupersonic

The chromecast DOES NOT stream stuff locally. Its all "cloud"/html5 based. It needs to find your content on the internet to play it. One of the workarounds is to open it up in chrome on your computer, since you can cast a tab in chrome, load the content in chrome and cast it to your TV. Only problem is, its not meant to do this flawlessly right now, so with video, if you set it to 480p itll work, anything higher and your tv will lag.

I plan on keeping my apple tv, but this is a very nice addition

Yep, that is what I meant by local streaming (uses WebRTC). The caveat is I'm reading not all file formats work. If you can cast tabs, then the options open up to Hulu and other online video services, though casting tabs is 'experimental' and laggy. 

 

Speaking of Asus RMA's, I updated the BIOS on my Asus laptop, and now the laptop won't boot. It just boots straight into the BIOS, and basically I can't set boot order, even though it can see the SSD in the laptop under SATA configuration portion of the BIOS :\ What a pain - this is my first BIOS update gone wrong. I tried to re-flash the newest BIOS (and even the older BIOS that I knew worked), but it won't allow me to update the BIOS unless it is a newer version. I have to send the laptop to Asus sometime this week. 

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Shadrack

Looks like the nicest tablet for its price range at the moment.  They had some at the Best Buy Mobile in the mall yesterday and I almost bought one as an impulse buy.  But my wife was there and talked me out of it... already have an iPad 3 and not a big enough upgrade, but damn a nice light reader would be nice.  I'll probably keep my eye out for next year's model.

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patseguin

Well I have it fully charged and am posting from it right now. I can report no screen flaws whatsoever. The higher resolution screen is a treat to look at and the thinness makes it a true joy to hold, especially compared to the old one. You actually have to hold one to know what I mean and I'm curious if anyone else who got one feels the same way. This four sure is the best 7 inch tablet out right now and it blows away the iPad mini (which I also own). I can see myself using this tablet the most in my household.

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tsupersonic

Well I have it fully charged and am posting from it right now. I can report no screen flaws whatsoever. The higher resolution screen is a treat to look at and the thinness makes it a true joy to hold, especially compared to the old one. You actually have to hold one to know what I mean and I'm curious if anyone else who got one feels the same way. This four sure is the best 7 inch tablet out right now and it blows away the iPad mini (which I also own). I can see myself using this tablet the most in my household.

I have no flaws with my screen either. It is a gorgeous display - from the resolution to the quality of the screen, it is leaps and bounds better than the original Nexus 7's screen. I agree it is a joy to hold, the new dimensions (weight difference + thinness) make it even easier to hold. I am waiting to see what Apple does to the iPad mini - I am thinking improved hardware + retina display. 

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ZakO

Looks good, I'll probably pick one up when they're released in the UK.

 

Websites: (Nexus 7 2012 on left. Nexus 7 2013 on right)

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Is it just the angle of the photo, or does the Nexus 7 2013 have a yellow tint to the screen? 

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patseguin

I wonder if these will be in short supply and I should keep my Play Store order and sell it on eBay...

 

ZakO - It does indeed look yellow and mine definitely doesn't have the yellow cast to it holding it up to my old one. I wonder if it will go away like it did on the iOS device (forget which one) that had that issue and the glue just had to dry. If it were me, I would immediately take it back and exchange it because I like my gadgets to be perfect.

 

Well, I just tried to cancel and it wouldn't let me, stating that it is being prepared for shipping. If anyone here wants it, I will charge my Neowin friends the exact price I paid plus shipping. PM me if interested. I own my own business so once it comes in, I can just ship it right back out the same day and I have a PayPal account to make things easy.

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