Google have unveiled the latest generation of its Nexus 7 tablet, offering possibly the highest screen quality of any tablet – with true 1080p HD, a resolution of 1920x1200 and a pixel density of 323ppi.
Of course, there are tablets with higher resolutions (Google’s own Nexus 10 offers a 2,560 x 1,600 screen) but it seems that the new Nexus 7’s seven-inch screen will certainly have the sharpest picture as judged by pixel density.
It’s a big step-up from the original Nexus 7 (1280x800 with 216ppi) and even Apple’s latest Retina-display iPad can only claim 264ppi. Most impressive though is that Google have managed to increase screen quality whilst making the tablet smaller. Side bevels have been slimmed by 2.75mm on either side to reduce the width, and the new tablet is also 1.8mm thinner and 50 grams lighter than its predecessor.
It’ll also run faster, using a new 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor (Google claim it is 80% faster than the old Nexus) and doubled RAM of 2GB (though this is half what some had hoped for). All this will allow for speedier apps and better multi-tasking, though some wonder if 2GB will be futureproof enough to avoid a sluggish experience in years to come.
The Nexus will ship in three models: a 16GB Wi-Fi version for $229, a 32GB Wi-Fi version for $269 , and a 32GB LTE version allowing for 4G data connections for $349. PC World and Currys are currently offering the two Wi-Fi devices for £199.99 and £239.99 with shipping dates of mid-September. Whether or not the LTE version will ever make it to UK shores is currently unknown.
Alongside the expected tablet features (5-megapixel camera facing out - 1.5-megapixel cam facing you; Bluetooth 4.0; gyroscope and stereo speakers) there were some relatively surprising announcements including the option of wireless charging.
Google are promising nine-hours of battery life whilst watching video and ten hours whilst browsing the web, but as well as charging through the standard micro-USB connection consumers can also choose to buy a Qi-compatible charger. The Nexus 4 has offered this in the past, but this is the first tablet to do the same.
The new Nexus 7 will also be the first device to ship with the latest version of the Android OS – Jellybean version 4.3, which will offer support for multi-users (meaning parents can create logins for children with restricted content), support for the latest low-powered Bluetooth devices, and a graphics upgrade to Open GL ES 3.0. Not an earth-shaking lot of improvements, but all you would expect for moving up an extra point-something.