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Google Nexus 7 (2013) Review

I have decided to upgrade my Google Nexus 7 (2012) to the new version (2013) that was released at the end of July 2013.  Here is a link to my previous review of the 2012 version.


The main reasons I think this new version (2013) in the base model configuration (WIFI only with 16-GBs)  is a big improvement over the last base model version (2012):

  • Form factor: the width is less so it is easier to hold in one hand
  • Upgraded internal specs (processor, sensors, etc)
  • Front and back facing cameras
  • Improved speakers
  • Improved screen
  • Also comes with Android v4.3 (the 2012 edition is also supported)

That being said, one of the reasons that it took me more than six weeks (I'm writing this on 9/2/2013) to feel comfortable recommending this version was that the GPS interface had a bad hardware bug that made it pretty much useless for navigation.  Since this is a critical feature for me I wanted to make sure there was a fix (released late in August) that addressed the problem. The fixes to v4.3 list below from Google did solve my issues.  These fixes were also suppose to fix some touch screen issues but I never had those.

2013-11-24 22.07.05

One of the reasons that I decided to not get the 1st generation of the Apple iPad Mini (released in November 2012) and try out the Google Nexus 7 (2012) was mostly: form factor (pretty wide to hold in one hand), cost ($299), no integrated GPS on the WIFI model, and non-Retina display. Plus I was able to get my Nexus 7 (2012) for $150 used via Craigslist (see review).

The one thing that I'm still not 100% happy about is that the camera on the back for "standard pictures" (5-MB) is not that great except in ideal lighting situations.  But that is pretty much my only complaint.

So, with all things considered, I do recommend the Google Nexus 7 (2013) tablet if you are in the market for a 7" tablet.  I use it everyday effectively for: email; personal productivity; social media; consuming media (news, podcasts, blogs, RSS, video, etc); navigation; games; and tracking stuff (notes, references, health, etc). 

UPDATE (11/24/2013): Now that there is a 2nd generation Apple iPad Mini with Retina display I did consider purchasing it, but decided that since I use the GPS everyday for navigation that I'm staying with the Google Nexus 7 (2013).  Plus the price difference is something to consider.  There are rumors that the 2013 edition will get a new list price of $199 which will mean there is a $100 price difference.


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