Nexus 7 (2013) gets reviewed, kicks off round 2 of the iPad mini fight

The new Nexus 7 offers incredibly high resolution, incredibly low price, and incredibly few tablet-specific apps, all in a form factor that's thinner yet taller than the iPad mini.

The new Nexus 7, the 2013 edition, was unveiled last week, beating the current iPad mini on specs, including display density, and trouncing it on price. Yet in terms of tablet software, the story remained the same - more big phone apps than real tablet apps. But with those specs, that cheap, will anyone care? Android Central's Andrew Martonik has just finished his complete Nexus 7 review and here's his take:

With a great new screen, speedy internal components and sleek casing, Google has hit a home run again with the Nexus 7 in 2013. You can't argue with the incredible value that it offers, even with the $29 (base) price jump over its predecessor [$229 total]. Google is going to sell a whole lot of these to both nerds and regular consumers alike, and each and every one of them will be getting a far greater experience than they paid for.

Just like Apple commoditizes software on the App Store to help sell more hardware, Google continues to push down the price of software to get more people onto their services. I'm hard-pressed to find an example of hardware "dumping" doing anything for manufacturers other than decimating their business (look to VHS makers decades ago, netbook makers more recently). But why should Google care, they're not a manufacturer. And why should customers care, they're not either. They're just getting cheap stuff for as long as the bottom of the market holds.

And that's what Apple has to compete with next. Not only an HD version of Google's premiere Android mini tablet, but one being sold for next to nothing, comparatively. Getting the iPad mini to Retina will be a much greater challenge than getting the N7 to 1080p, but showing the value of Apple's overall offering compared to Google's incredibly low cost of entry could be trickier still, especially for shoppers for whom lowest price is the most important feature.

I have the original Nexus 7. I didn't enjoy it and stopped using it the day the iPad mini launched. I'll almost certainly give this new Nexus 7 a try as well. On paper, it fixes several things I disliked about the original, including the lack of landscape support at launch, and the lack of cellular options at launch. Overall, it looks like a great upgrade. Certainly, if you loved the original N7, there's even more to love with the new one. If you didn't love it, well I'm curious to see what, if anything, will change minds this time around.

Check out AC's full review for more, and then come back here and tell me what you think - is the Nexus 7 v2 going to challenge the iPad mini for the small tablet crown? And what does the iPad mini 2 have to do to keep it's position at the top?

Source: Android Central

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Nexus 7 (2013) gets reviewed, kicks off round 2 of the iPad mini fight

23 Comments

I purchased the original on release day and also sold it once I got an iPad Mini. The (original) Nexus 7 always felt like I was still compromising what a tablet should be in order to have the smaller size. On the N7 2013, specs have gone up, speed has increased, and build quality us hopefully up (took three original N7s before finding one with no issues), so I am sure it is a great value. However, unless they make it where it feels less like a big phone and more like a tablet, then I don't see myself buying this one this time around. It seems that everyone is making a big deal about the screen resolution, but in all honesty, I never saw that as an issue with the original N7 (screen QUALITY on the other hand...) I guess some people just like specs. For me, I couldn't care less about individual specs/numbers; it's more about the overall experience.

The higher resolution makes it a lot easier on the eyes for prolonged reading as the text is substantially sharper. I've had an iPad mini after owning the iPad 3 and although I like the size, it's more straining on the eyes. I ordered the new Nexus 7 to fix that problem as all my books are on the Kindle app anyway.

I have the original N7, and it works great. I also prefer it for reading purposes, what I do on my tablet principally anyhow. I think the N7 is the perfect tablet for me, and it gives me to opportunity to play with Android, always the latest version.

On another note:
But, Android is not ready yet, I am sorry, Jelly Bean is amazing, but iOS is much more amazing. The OS is well built, and so are the 3rd party apps. I don´t spend time looking and playing with the OS, I spend time with apps. And iOS has quantity and quality. I use my phone more than my tablet so for the phone I am sticking with iOS. But I enjoy my N7 as a sort of hobby.

As somebody with lots of Apple products (basically, something from all the lines except for the MacPro), I got the Nexus 7 (1st gen) precisely because it was unlike my iPad in terms of how it conceived of the tablet experience. I don't have a iPad Mini so I can't compare it, but the "oversized phone" aspect of the tablet was what I wanted -- made it easier to use for me. I think that the Nexus 7 2.0 is going to be a challenge for Apple given the screen quality -- to people who surf the net and watch movies and read books on the thing, I think that screen quality and resolution matter. I know they do to me. Apple has great screens (I agree that resolution isn't everything), but at the same time Cupertino made a lot of hay out of the retina display on the iPhone back in the day when that was unique. For ordinary consumers, resolution matters. Maybe only in their heads, but that's where decisions get made about buying products. And in this economy, the price + the specs are going to be a compelling proposition, I think. And as a consumer, that's what I want. I want Google to push Apple, I want Apple to push Google, I want Microsoft to make compelling products -- I want them fighting over me and my money, rather than me fighting over them and paying through the nose.

Yes we would all really be in trouble if Google or Apple became dominant. Innovation in hardware and software would be an issue especially with Google since they make money from ads not devices.

Android Central is quite the fanboy website and you cannot take their reviews seriously. Try Anandtech or Android Police for real reviews.
You will never find Android Central post anything negative about anything Android. Also their technical knowledge is quite low and they get things wrong all the time.
I own both iOS and Android phones and tablets btw and bought three of the new nexus 7 as gifts. One of them died after a few hours use and the person i gave it to asked if I could get them an iPad Mini instead which I did.

The main reasons I prefer the iPad is the 4:3 resolution. It makes so much more sense on a tablet.

Secondly Android needs more tablet apps!! Not to mention I don't trust Android anymore. My original Nexus 7 slowed right down after a few months. The iPad Mini still works as good as new.

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I'll stick with Apple, I don't see anyone else offering a 64gb model which seem a lot of people don't seem to mention. Plus apple products have a better worth than the other makes.

Good point. Why they started ditching SD cards and didn't bother updating the internal storage is beyond me.

Although how many people actually use 64GB?

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Thats true, most people only need a 32gb model but as a high end user; which I think are a lot of people out there, 64gb makes more sense when you start adding more apps, video and music. Plus when you think about it, you're not really getting 32gb to use because the os takes about 4gb. So you're staring with less and since there is no sd memory or a way to add extra storage later, I rather have the extra memory for future use. Video's eat up a lot of memory especially when using apps like garage band and other apps like that. And I agree that the apps aren't there as they are with Apple.

There's some real competition now for apple. when i bought my 4s I was ready to go all in on apple. Switch from pc (don't like windows 7) to mac and buy and ipad. But now, apple's still probalby got me to switch to apple laptops if they ever get the Haswell's out. But ugly changes to ios 7, lack of new phone hardware, improvements to android, good hardware like the galaxy and now this nexus 7 have really made me consider going android if i buy a new phone and tablet. It was never in the running but now it's a potential option.

I got an N7 to replace my iPad mini as I got seduced by the screen. So why am I still going back to the iPad mini?
- I prefer tablet specific apps and virtually none exist for Android
- I prefer the 4:3 resolution to the phone-like 16:10 res of the N7
- I can't stand the scrolling speed on Android. It may be smoother than before but the inertia is not natural
- iOS 7 is really beginning to shine with beta 4
- reality is that I am very entangled in the iOS ecosystem with iPhone, Macs, Apple TVs.
Doesn't mean the N7 is a bad device. In fact I would recommend it in a heart beat. Its just not for me.

This fall we will have a Retina iPad Mini for sure with 8mp camera but a bit bulky. But I can't see that as a problem though.

You obviously got it backwards, 4:3 is a phone resolution and 16:10 is a professional resolution, used by tv's, monitors and films, nothing media related looks good at all on a 4:3 display, it looks like crap actually.

Actually it doesn't. Letter boxing never hurt anyone. Plus. 4:3 is so much better for the other things tablets are good for. (Besides watching movies.)