New 2nd Gen Nexus 7 Could Be the Best Tablet for eReading

Nexus 7 2

In one of the worst kept secrets ever, Google officially unveiled the 2nd generation Nexus 7 tablet today. Various leaks before the announcement revealed all the key details ahead of schedule, so there weren’t really any big surprises.

Google’s latest 7″ tablet runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and comes in three varieties, there’s a 16GB version for $229 and a 32GB model for $269, and a 4G LTE model for $349. Among the key features are front and rear cameras (1.2MP front and 5.0MP rear), Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, and wireless charging. The device has a quad-core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM and an Adreno 320 graphics chip.

By far the most impressive feature with the new Nexus 7 is the screen. It has as an unprecedented 1920 x 1200 7-inch screen with an impressive 323 pixels per inch. By comparison, last year’s Nexus 7 has 216 ppi, and the Nook HD, which had the highest resolution screen of any 7″ tablet until now, has 243 ppi. The new Nexus 7 takes screen sharpness to an entirely new level.

Text is going to be incredibly clear and easy to read on the 2nd gen Nexus 7. The screen alone could make it the best tablet for ereading. Couple that with the lightweight design and all the ereading apps available in the Google Play store, this is going to be one formidable tablet for ereading, let alone all the other features it has.

The new Nexus 7 will be available starting July 30th from retailers such as Amazon, RadioShack, Walmart, and Best Buy. It is launching in eight countries initially with more to follow soon.

Google Nexus 7 Specs (2nd Gen)

  • 7 inch, 1920 x 1200 pixel display (323 ppi)
  • 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB/32GB internal storage
  • 5MP rear camera and 1.2MP front-facing camera
  • 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • 4G LTE optional
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC support
  • Micro USB port with SlimPort (allows you to connect an HDMI cable to stream content to a TV with a SlimPort adaptor)
  • Wireless charging
  • Stereo speakers, headphone jack
  • Up to 9 hours battery life
  • Dimensions: 7.9″ x 4.5″ x 0.3″
  • Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Price: $229 for 16GB, $269 for 32GB, $349 for 4G LTE model

Check back soon for a full review of the new Nexus 7 tablet. I look forward to testing it out, especially from an ereading perspective, and not just ebooks but all forms of ereading, from PDFs to comics and magazines to web reading and everything in between.

28 Responses to “New 2nd Gen Nexus 7 Could Be the Best Tablet for eReading”

  1. Why won’t Google and some of these other manufacturers allow you to add memory? I can’t think it’s that expensive to add.

    • Google, Amazon, and Apple have cloud storage services that they want you to use.

      • Exactly. Plus they want a good reason to charge people more for the same exact tablet but with more internal storage, which costs them very little.

        • Maybe if Ubuntu succeeds at selling their new phone they will make an open mobile platform, as PC is. Just a dream I have

  2. Do you think these upgrades are worth the $80 price difference with the hisense pro?

    • No, not really. But I’ll have to wait until I get my hands on the new Nexus to know for sure. $80 more for a better screen and no microSD card slot seems excessive, plus having to buy a special adaptor for HDMI. I doubt the speed difference is going to be very significant for most uses, so the main the difference is going to be the screen resolution. I think Google made a mistake by jacking up the price by $30.

      • A slot and support of up to 128GB microSD would have really made it a gem.

        • No major company with an app or media store will release a tablet with a memory card slot. I guess B&N did, but they were desperate, and the software crippled the device until it was too late.

          • All of B&M’s devices has had the ability to add memory from the very first gen NOOK. It had nothing to do with being ‘desperate’.

      • The $30 price increase actually makes some sense. The Nexus 7 is, in terms of specs, the best Android tablet you can buy. Amazon forces you to use a severely limited UI and inferior app store, and the other android tablets are a gen back in screen and processor tech, and in the case of the galaxy tab 3, two gens back in screen tech. The Nexus is the tablet of choice for hardcore android users, who consider the fire to be a toy. To put it simply, the market google is catering to is less price sensitive than the market amazon is catering to.

        With that said, i currently own a kindle fire hd but i want a full fledged android tablet. I’m perfectly happy with the resolutuon of my fire, and the difference between that and the resolution on the nook tablet doesn’t seem all that great to me. I’m not sure how much i would even notice the superior resolution on the new nexus. I’m still leaning towards the hisense or the memopad that is supposed to be released in August, but i’ll wait until your review of the new nexus before making a decision.

  3. I wonder if the glass display is sturdier. A slight drop and my original Nexus 7 shattered, which is not covered by warranty.

  4. I must comment this “323 pixels per inch”, that one sounds extremely good.

  5. This is the tablet I’ve been waiting for, finally enough pixels so text won’t appear pixelated. Even the Nook HD+ is not there, I can surf, and read a bit of magazine, but reading books is still not entirely comfortable because of pixelated text. It’s been a long wait for *my* tablet. Although I’d like a card slot, 32 GB should do me fine.

  6. If the Nexus 7 has USB host support then you could put an external card reader on it for more storage. The other option is the increased availability of battery powered, pocket-sized hard drives which have WiFi built in. You could have a 1TB server in your pocket which would work fine for streaming your own locally stored video content or housing your own personal copy of the Library of Congress.

  7. Just got one yesterday from best buy. The first one had some problem because I could not get to the home screen. There is a small update right after you connect to WiFi and that one failed to complete in recovery. Went back and got another one. This one is ok, but android 4.3 feels very buggy. Difficulties to connect to wifi, sometimes the back button doesn’t work, chrome freezes … Sheesh, getting tired from these faulty units … Otherwise, great in hand feeling, because is lighter and slimmer than the old 7, and the screen is just awesome. For now, I’ll keep my old nexus 7 because of the bugs and see what comes down the pipe for the holiday season.

    • I picked one up too and have had a few run-ins with bugs. It went through the startup process twice, then Google Play was acting crazy and would keep reverting back to the description of a certain app, and I had the back button not work for a couple of apps too. But then another update installed (a second one after setup) and things seem to be working better now. I think the original Nexus 7 is supposed to be getting Android 4.3 shortly as well.

    • I have android 4.3 on my original nexus 7 and have not experienced major issues so far. Swype, stickmount, and most programs work well. Bluetooth with my Motorola seems to be better. Chrome is still as buggy for me as 4.2 version. The os is snappy, to me although smooth 5.2 rom might be quicker.

  8. Isn’t the Retina display of the Ipad higher in resolution ?

    • It’s higher resolution but the screen is bigger so the amount of pixels per inch is much less at 264. However, I’m finding that it’s hard to see much of a difference between 264 and 323. Both look really good, especially for reading.

  9. Nathan have you tried any of the new galaxy 3 tabs yet ?? if so early comparison to the new nexus 7 ??

    • Samsung’s tablets all have low resolution screens from 2 years ago, so they do not appeal to me as reading tablets. They also have higher prices than most newer Android tablets. I picked up an 8″ Coby tablet awhile back with the same screen size and resolution as the 8″ Galaxy Tab 3 and the screen was so fuzzy I couldn’t stand to use it long enough to even review it. Once you go Retina, it’s impossible to go back.

      • ok thanks for the input. picked up an galaxy tab 3.8.0 and I like it. I will have to cneck out the nexus 7 though.

      • I have to agree with you on the Samsung screens. Also the Samsung tablets feel very flimsy, like you could crush it in your hand like a plastic cup or a Styrofoam burger box.

  10. For reading I think it is overkill. The cameras Re unnecessary, the screen dpi is so high as to be irrelevant and the price is significantly higher than say a Nook HD which has Play access and can use all reading apps out. Coupled with the lack of SD support and I would take the Nook.

  11. I just played with the new Nexus 7 at BestBuy this morning, and I was not that impressed.

    The screen was really very nice, and it seemed well made, but the fact that the home button steals about 1/2 inch of the bottom of the screen seems just crazy for such a minor utility.

    In the chrome browser scaling a page was sort of jumpy and much less predictable than my nearly year old iPad mini.

    Granted BB does an abysmal job of prepping their product displays, so there were hardly any apps and several required accts that were not setup, so the experience was kind of colored by that.

    I tried to take some photos and they seemed OK, but not any better than my mini, and the panorama feature was far less sharp than the IOS version

    I guess that several of my complaints are about the OS, but I am really surprised that after a big jump in performance in JB, 4.3 does not seem any better, and the user interface has not fixed any of its shortcomings.

    I think the nexus 7 would make a nice reader, but with a better OS it could be so much more. BTW they had the smaller NOOK for $129 which is also a nice screen and even nicer form factor IMHO.

  12. I’m personally waiting for a nice W8.1 seven or eight inch tablet with a reasonable screen (i.e. NOT an Acer)… Surface Mini maybe 🙂

  13. I have a Nexus 7 tablet and it sucks! It just keeps on
    turning off then I cannot turn it back on. ASUS refuses to fix it
    nor give me a new one! What a piece of junk! Don’t waist you time
    or money on this piece of sh8989jjjt

  14. I’ve gone into Best Buy 2 separate times to check out the new Nexus. Both times the device wasn’t working. Apps were missing. No “settings” app anywhere. No play store. I let the store know. Not
    a good recommendation. I wasn’t a fan of the first one. This one hasn’t sold me on it, either.