Google Announces New Nexus 7 (2013)

It here! Google's new Nexus 7 (2013) was launched today at the company's "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai" event, in California. The tablet embodies the three things that made the original Nexus 7 a runaway success for Google - portability, performance, and the power of Google. On the portability front, it has the same length and breadth of the original, but is 1.8 mm slimmer (dimensions: 198.5 x 112 x 8.65 mm).

The device was made narrower by simply slimming the bezels along the screen's x-axis, by 3 mm, which makes it easier to hold by one hand. Its design entails a piano-black front; with a matte-black rubberized/soft-touch back. The screen size is unchanged, at 7.02 inches diagonal, but features a native resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, giving it the highest pixel density for a 7-inch class tablet, at 323 ppi. The new-generation display panel has a 30 percent wider LUT (lookup table), so it displays colors more accurately. Its cameras remain unchanged, at 2-megapixel front, and 5-megapixel rear. The tablet features two physical stereo-oriented speakers, backed by a 5.1-channel virtual surround DSP by Fraunhofer IIS, the people who invented MP3.

Under the hood, the Nexus 7 packs a new 28 nm-fabbed Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC, with a 1.50 GHz quad-core Krait CPU that offers 80 percent higher performance than the original Nexus 7's Tegra 3; and an Adreno 320 GPU that offers a 400 percent graphics performance improvement. System memory is up from 1 GB in the original, to 2 GB. Hardware additions include Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and wireless charging.

The biggest component of the Nexus 7 is the operating system it ships with, Android 4.3 "Jelly Bean." This latest version of Android introduces support for a multi-user environment with "restricted" user types (more akin to the user-admin system of Windows), where more privileged users get to control what apps, content, and purchasing rights the other users have access to. This should work great as a parental control method.

Other features include support for the new OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics API, a new hardware-based DRM system, which already has a taker with Netflix, support for Bluetooth Smart, Background Wi-Fi location, and an upgraded text-input system.

Nexus 7 will ship in Wi-Fi only, and a special 4G LTE enabled version for the US market, that's factory-unlocked to work with any US LTE network. The Wi-Fi only variant comes in 16 GB and 32 GB trims, priced at $229 and $269, respectively; while the LTE-enabled variant comes with 32 GB of storage, and is priced at $349.