So the Nexus 7 has been refreshed and it brings with it a new version of Android this year too. But there’s more to be excited about than just the software. This time around, there’s no skimming on the hardware specs. There’s an insanely-dense 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, 7-inch display and a new processor too. And while it’s no $199 tablet, its base price is still very good. Will it be the tablet kingpin this year?
7-inch display with a very high resolution
The refreshed Nexus 7 would be an amazing proposition if priced around Rs 16,000-18,000 thereabouts for the base model. At this price point, its spec sheet would be almost impossible to beat. And if rumours are to be believed, then the iPad mini 2 with better display and specs may not launch this year at all!
So if a future proof spec sheet at a sweet price is all that you're looking for, then the Nexus 7 could have everything going for it — in that regard, the Nexus 7 is clearly the tablet to beat this year.
On the other hand, the iPad mini's strength comes not so much from its hardware specs, but from the services it's able to offer. The unavailability of purchased music via the cloud, or a service similar to iTunes Match does keep the Nexus 7 tablet series, and all the other Android tablets a step behind on the multimedia consumption front, at least for now.
The iPad mini had been cruising along, but the new Nexus 7 is definitely a roadblock that looks too sizeable for Apple's smaller tablet to overcome. With the 1920 x 1200 pixel display, a more power-efficient, yet powerful Snapdragon S4 Pro, like its Nexus 4 sibling, and a decent-sounding camera on the back, this slate has the right set of specs, especially when considering the $229 price tag for the base model. There's Android 4.3 out of the box too, something no other Android tablet can boast of. In addition, the tablet is narrower and seems more suited for one-handed handling, if not usage. Of course, there's still the small matter of not having enough tablet-optimised apps for Android, but when considering most tablet buyers will buy it for multimedia consumption, this seems like a sweet deal. With time, there will be more tablet-optimised apps on the Play Store. Google is already pushing for this and it is evident with the launch of Android Studio and the tablets section of the Play Store. Of course, a new Nexus 7 will also encourage developers who were still hesitant on Android tablets. Google has the big (small) gun now. Your move, Apple.
The refreshed Nexus 7 was a long time coming and is definitely the tablet I’d put my money on right now. The two main features that are compelling enough for me are the new high-res display and the updated and more efficient Qualcomm chipset. It’s definitely a better buy compared to the recent crop of Android tablets (Samsung’s Tab 3 comes to mind), as you know you’ll always be the first for an update and a much stronger development community. The one thing that I miss (and will probably never see) is expandable memory in a Nexus device. Its closest competitor will be the new Retina iPad mini, which is inevitable. However, the Nexus 7 will still manage to have edge when it comes to the pricing.
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