The Verge reviews the new Nexus 7 tablet.

David Pierce for The Verge:

Talking about his year-old Nexus 7:

…I looked over at the Nexus 7 I bought last year, which I loved to pieces. But it’s sat dormant for six months. The battery’s dead, maybe permanently. I scratched the screen pretty good, too.

Again, and moving on to the new one:

The first Nexus 7 was a soft, plushy device that felt both comfortable and almost disposable. With plastic edges and a dimpled back, it was more toy than machine. The new model trades up to a sleek, classy, all-black body that very clearly means business. This isn’t a toy anymore; it’s a tablet for serious people who do serious things.

I wonder what he’s gonna say next year…

It’s also about a credit card thicker than the iPad mini, and almost exactly as tall.

Google opted not to shrink the bezels above and below the display, which now look comically gigantic in comparison. The mismatched bezels also make the screen look smaller, and the tablet looks asymmetrical — it’s nice to have a place to put your hands when you hold the tablet sideways, but no one needs this much space. The Nexus 7’s 16:10 aspect ratio already makes it look gangly and tall, but the huge bezels turn it into an eighth-grader that grew a foot without gaining a pound.

From the front, you see no blemishes on the device save for the awkwardly off-center camera lens

The two cameras are both pretty unexciting, but they’re what I’d want from a tablet — the new 5-megapixel rear shooter takes decent, accurate photos, and though the front lens is really hard to align with your face it works just fine.

For me, a good display is the most important feature of a tablet. I don’t need a hugely specialized set of apps

I just need a tablet that makes books and movies look awesome. That’s the new Nexus 7 in a nutshell

I’m sorry, but isn’t it “a tablet for serious people who do serious things”?

Android 4.3:

though Android has made huge progress it’s still not up to par with the iOS app selection. More and more apps I use are available on Android, but too many are still just blown-up phone apps, and there are still plenty of games and great apps (Paper and Djay come to mind) simply missing.

I can’t say for sure how much of a performance improvement Android 4.3 is. There are still some noticeable problems — somehow Google still can’t figure out how scrolling animations work, so the Play Store is as jittery as ever

I bought the original Nexus 7 partly because Joshua Topolsky, Guy Who Knows Things, was impressed; he even called it “particularly slouch-free,” whatever that means. And mine was indeed slouch-free, for a while. After about six months, a half-dozen updates to every app, and a new round of processors from Qualcomm, Nvidia, and others, the tablet went from zippy to comatose. Now it’s unusably slow, an infuriating testament to how fast technology evolves…

…yeah, that must be it…

I rarely encountered stutters, jitters, or problems of any kind. (Except scrolling. Cool job Google.)


But I’m still worried. In our benchmarking tests, even though the new Nexus 7 is far faster than the previous model — 5,602 on Quadrant and 19,765 on AnTuTu — it’s about even with its current competitors, as the original was a year ago. While Apple has a track record for supporting older devices, Android manufacturers don’t, which makes me question the long-term viability of this Nexus 7.

Oh cool…it’s about as fast as last year’s competitors models…for now…

But make no mistake: the Nexus 7’s a seriously powerful machine, and will be for the foreseeable future. And even if a year from now it becomes slow and outdated, it’s still going to have a great screen, and it’s still going to stream Netflix in 1080p. That’s not much of a downside.

…unless you don’t want to upgrade every year, just so…you know…it works.

So, to summarize:
– The first Nexus 7 was unusable after 6 months
– The new one is “meant for business”
– It’s thicker than last years iPad Mini
– Almost no apps that aren’t blow up phone apps
– Scrolling stutters
– About as fast as last year’s model and the competition…from last year…

The score The Verge gave the new Nexus 7? 9/10.


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