It took some time before Android tablets hit their stride. In the beginning, they were expensive, as manufacturers tried to compete with Apple's iPad on price, which negated one of the primary benefits of Android -- it's an open source platform and products should be cheaper than their proprietary counterparts. It took Amazon's Kindle Fire (now just Fire) line to drive the point home, though it was Google's Nexus 7 that finally got things right. Fast forward to today and Google's Nexus 7 is sadly discontinued.
It’s hard not to have high expectations of Google’s new Nexus 7—the original was a standout product that offered a satisfying Android experience in a highly portable 7-inch form factor, for less than $200. Now we’ve got the new Nexus 7 (is it us, or is it very annoying that it has the exact same name?) promising a number of refinements to the original, but also asking a higher price: $230 for 16GB, $270 for 32GB (reviewed here). You’re probably wondering if it’s still a compelling product.
Note: This article was originally featured in the December 2013 issue of the magazine
If you're looking to order a Nexus 7 tablet that looks a little different from the ones your friends and family own, we have good news. It's now available in white, though only for the 32GB Wi-Fi model. Those of you shopping the 16GB SKU are still stuck with black. Other than the color of the backside, it's the same Nexus 7 as any other 2013 model, though Google has some more holiday treats of note.
Second generation Nexus 7 shipments may be lower than expected
Google recently launched its second generation Nexus 7 tablet, once again tapping Asus to manufacturer the popular slate. This time around, the new model Nexus 7 comes with an upgraded 1920x1200 display, a faster SoC (1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor), twice as much RAM (2GB), the addition of a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera, and a few other praise-worthy enhancements, but even so, shipments may not be as high as Google hoped.
Learn how to root your Nexus Android, HTC One, and Samsung Galaxy S4
Android offers a wide variety of advanced customization options, but that’s only scratching the surface of everything you can do with Google’s open source operating system. With root access you can get down to the system level and tweak things to your liking, even going so far as completely replacing the OS.
Perhaps the No. 1 reason to buy a mobile device direct from Google is so that you can receive timely updates to new Android builds rather than wait around on a third-party hardware maker and your wireless carrier to get with the program. As it were, Google today announced the next incremental version of Android, version 4.3. It's still Jelly Bean, which means Key Lime Pie is still somewhere on the horizon.
One of the rumors floating around the web today is that Google is planning to launch an upgraded version of the Nexus 7 this summer (specifically, in July). The next generation Nexus 7 is said to feature a thinner bezel and a higher resolution than the current model, which wields an IPS panel with a 1280x800 resolution.
An even lower cost Nexus 7 tablet could be on the horizon.
Google seems to understand that the best way of promoting Android is through low-cost hardware that doesn't suck. Such is the case with the Nexus 4 smartphone (that seems to never be in stock) and the Nexus 7 tablet, the world's first official Jelly Bean device and arguably the only true competitor to the iPad (Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet owners might scoff at that notion). The Nexus 7 is already affordable, but might we see a $99 tablet from Google?
Today's top deals features one of our favorite tablets, the Nexus 7 (32GB version). The Google-powered device features the latest version of Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean to be exact. The deal is running for $250 and includes $40 in gift cards.
For other daily deals that include a 2TB Seagate HDD and wireless headphones, click the "Read More" button.
We hate to break it to anyone who recently purchased a 16GB Nexus 7 device, but it now appears a 32GB version is definitely destined to land in the U.S., and it won't cost any more than what users already paid for half the capacity. The 32GB version was spotted on the Staples Advantage website, which is the company's portal for business users, and it's actually priced a few dollars cheaper than the 16GB model.