The new Nexus 7 tablet is now official in an unveiling that proved anti-climactic at best. Despite the second-generation device sporting some impressive updated specs as well Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which was also unveiled by Google, most information about the Nexus 7 was already known thanks to a number of leaks.
The new Nexus 7 was unveiled at Google’s “Breakfast with Sundar Pichai” media event in San Francisco, as predicted. Pichai, Google’s senior vice president for Android, opened the event with some statistics about the growth of tablets in recent years, detailing that overall 225 million Android tablets will have sold by the end of 2013, with nearly 40 million Android tablets activated in 2012 and more than 70 million so far this year. According to Pichai, more tablets have been bought in 2013 than PCs. He credits the explosion in the Android tablet market to the launch of the 2012 Nexus 7.
Vice President of Android Product Management Hugo Barra then took over to talk about Google’s Android developments, noting that the success of the Nexus 7 was due to its portability, quality and easy information access.
"We're staying focused on the same things that made the original so successful," Barra said, introducing the Nexus 7.
Among the main specs of the new Nexus 7 are its frame, which is 1.8mm slimmer than the original Nexus 7, its black-on-black design and soft touch. Donning the same 7-inch display size, the new Nexus 7 features 1,920 x 1,200 display resolution with 323ppi, which Barra calls the world’s highest resolution on a 7-inch tablet. The display also features a 30 percent increase in its color range.
Google collaborated with Fraunhofer in order to bring surround-sound speakers to the new Nexus 7. The tablet introduces a 5-megapixel rear camera in addition to a 1.2-megapixel front camera. Hardware specs include a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 processor, which has a 1.8x faster CPU and 4x better GPU, 2GB of RAM and full connectivity including Bluetooth 4.0 and LTE to will be provided in a single U.S. version, which will be available on AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. According to Barra, the new Nexus 7 will allow for nine hours of HD video playback and 10 hours of web browsing.
The new Nexus 7 also introduces the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system, which has a host of new features including restricted profiles, which will allow for more “PC like” account management and easy parental controls.
The Nexus 7 will be the first device to ship with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. The device will roll out onto several devices including the original Nexus 7, the Nexus 4, the Nexus 10 and the Galaxy Nexus this week, with the Google Play Editions Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One receiving the update “soon.”
There will be three models available: The 16GB Wi-Fi, 32GB Wi-Fi, and 32GB LTE selling for $229, $269 and $349 respectively.
The new Nexus 7 is available at the Google Play Store and will ship July 30. Reports indicate the Nexus 7 should be available in retail stores within days. Best Buy will reportedly begin selling the Nexus 7 on July 30 while Staples should have the tablet available on July 31.
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