Google’s new Nexus 7 gets slimmer, packs a 1080p screen, Android 4.3

Check out our full review of the Google Nexus 7 (2013) review.

Best Buy leaked it early and then Google finally made it official: the second generation Nexus 7 is here. The 7-inch Android tablet to beat got some upgraded specs and the newest version of Android, 4.3. It’s thinner, lighter, and more drool-worthy. Will it make the iPad Mini nervous?

The Nexus 7 keeps the 7-inch display of its predecessor rather than adding a few fractions of an inch as other tablets have done recently. Instead, Google upped the pixel density by adding a full HD 1920 x 1200 resolution, 323ppi panel. This should make reading magazines and small print in e-books much easier on the eyes. It also makes the Nexus 7 the highest resolution 7-inch tablet on the market today. Yes, even higher than the Nook HD, which previously held that distinction.

Design-wise, the Nexus 7 is sleeker, slimmer, and better looking than the first gen. Wrapped in an all-black design with a soft-touch back, the tablet comes off as more modern and beautiful. Google slimmed the whole affair down by reducing bezel size by about 6mm and reducing overall thickness to 0.3 inches. The Nexus weighs just 11.2 ounces and looks like it will be easier to hold in one hand.

Specs-wise, the Nexus 7 is now faster with a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor and 2GB of RAM. Google showed off some fancy graphics and games in their demo this morning that show this tablet’s appeal for mobile gamers. Riptide GP 2 is much richer and more detailed in this version and the graphics engine renders the 3D water, background elements, and player realistically. We’re also excited about the Android version of Prince of Persia 2, out tomorrow.

In addition, the Nexus 7 sports stereo speakers on the top and bottom edges. Google claims that virtual surround sound technology will make the speakers sound like a 5.1 stereo system. Multimedia lovers will also appreciate the HDMI out via the USB port and Bluetooth 4.0.

Even with this extra power, Google says it will last an hour longer than the previous generation. That means up to 9 hours of video playback and 10 hours of normal use.

The Nexus 7 will be available on July 30th from the Google Play store as well as several brick & mortar retailers. This time around there are three models: 16GB Wi-Fi for $230, 32GB Wi-Fi for $270, and 32GB LTE for $350.

There’s finally a 4G LTE version of the Nexus 7 compatible with major wireless carriers. Unlike the iPad Mini, you don’t have to limit yourself to one carrier. The Nexus 7 LTE will work with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless — all the radios are in one device. This model will be available in “coming weeks.”

Excited yet? Best Buy is taking pre-orders.

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