Tablets break the 320ppi barrier: new vs old Google Nexus 7 specs and size review

Tablets break the 320ppi barrier: new vs old Google Nexus 7 specs and size comparison
The new Nexus 7 tablet by Google is already outed, and with its 1920x1200 pixels of resolution it sports the highest pixel density ever on a tablet. The 323ppi count is just north of the 320ppi mark Apple called Retina Display upon the iPhone 4 introduction, as with that density a person with perfect vision wouldn't be able to tell the individual pixels from the typical distance you look at a smartphone.

Naturally, tablets are looked at from a tad larger distance, blurring the pixels even further, so a record is a record, and the Asus-made Nexus 7 is the first tablet with that high of a pixel density, ensuring crispy clean text and image details without any jaggies. For comparison, the previous record holder, Nexus 10, sports a 300ppi count, while the iPad 4 with its Retina tablet display clocks in at 264ppi, and the best notebook/convertible representative Samsung ATIV Q reaches 276ppi with its record 4.5 million pixel count, but larger 13.3" screen.

Granted, display resolution is just one aspect of a good panel, but the new Nexus 7 seems to get the others right, too, cited with 300 nits of brightness, and 178 degree viewing angles. Now let's see what's changed from the first Google Nexus 7 edition to this year's record-holder. First, the obligatory size comparison:

As you can see, the new Nexus 7 is much slimmer than the one of yesteryear, at only 0.3" (8mm), which is about a quarter of the thickness shaved off of the device. Not only that, but the 2013 edition is 11.2 oz (318 g), about ten percent lighter than before. It is almost as tall when held in portrait mode, but with a much slimmer side bezel, making it more comfortable to hold this way, while the top and bottom bezel is kept thicker, so you can rest your thumbs comfortably in landscape mode.

Looking at the full specs rundown below, the new Nexus 7 keeps it abreast not only in pixel density. It comes with double the RAM and internal storage amount of its predecessor, plus it sports a faster, cooler and more frugal processor design. We are including another 7" tablet around the $200 mark, just for kicks and giggles, as the Galaxy Tab 3 7-incher might cost $30 less than the new Nexus 7 tablet, but it gives so much away in pixel density, RAM, storage, and speed, that it is not even funny, and about the only advantage is the memory card slot it has.


DeviceGoogle Nexus 7 IIGoogle Nexus 7Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7"
OSAndroid (4.3)Android (4.2.2)Android (4.1)
Dimensions7.9 x 4.5 x 0.3 inches (201 x 114 x 8 mm)7.81 x 4.72 x 0.41 inches (198.5 x 120 x 10.45 mm)7.40 x 4.37 x 0.39 inches (188 x 111.1 x 9.9 mm)
Weight11.2 oz (318 g)
the average is 4.5 oz (127 g)
11.99 oz (340 g)
the average is 4.5 oz (127 g)
10.79 oz (306 g)
the average is 4.5 oz (127 g)

Physical size7.0 inches7.0 inches 7.0 inches
Resolution1920 x 1200 pixels1280 x 800 pixels1024 x 600 pixels
Pixel density
323 ppi216 ppi 170ppi
Peak brightness300 cd/m2 (nit)  

Stand-by time 12.5 days (300 hours)
the average is 19 days (446 h)
Video playback 9.00 hours 
Capacity 4325 mAh4000 mAh
TypeLi - PolymerLi - PolymerLi - Ion

System chip
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 ProNVIDIA Tegra 3 T30L 
Quad core, 1500 MHzQuad core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9Dual core, 1200 MHz
Graphics processorAdreno 320ULP GeForce @ 416MHzYes
System memory
2048 MB RAM / DDR31024 MB RAM (1333 MHz) / LPDDR31024 MB RAM
Built-in storage16 GB8 GB8 GB
Storage expansion  microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 64 GB

Camera5 megapixels 3 megapixels
Features  Auto focus
CamcorderYes Yes
Features Video calling 
Front-facing camera1.2 megapixelsYes1.3 megapixels


Wi-FiYes802.11 a, b, g, n802.11 a, b, g, n, n 5GHz
Mobile hotspot  Yes
Wi-Fi Direct  Yes
USBUSB 2.0USB 2.0USB 2.0
FeaturesMass storage device, USB chargingUSB HostMass storage device, USB charging
Headphones connector3.5mm3.5mm3.5mm
Charging connectormicroUSBmicroUSBmicroUSB

In short, Google's Nexus line is getting unbeatable in the value-for-money ratio, and the new Nexus 7 tablet is the perfect example of that, as it even offers a feature no other tablet maker has matched at the moment with the record pixel density of its panel. At a $230 starting price for the 16 GB version, and $270 for the 32 GB one, the best 7" tablet is priced at a level that would make us very, very worried if we were any major tablet maker but Asus, which actually makes the Nexus 7, and will profit from the scale of its sales. 

Google has the power to ship these things at or a little above cost, as its core revenue is elsewhere, and if you are in the market for a small tablet, this year's Nexus 7 is a no-brainer. It is likely to sell like lemonade in the summer, further expanding the Android crusade in the market share game, which is precisely Google's aim with the Nexus line. Are you getting one?
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