First look: Google’s new Nexus 7

Google’s update to last year’s well-received Nexus 7 a step forward, though asking price slightly higher.

Nexus 7 tablet
Nexus 7, too

Google Android boss Sundar Pichai today announced a wide-ranging upgrade of the Nexus 7 tablet, bringing a new design, boosted hardware and a 1080p screen to the table in exchange for a moderately elevated starting price of $230. Here’s a look inside.

Nexus 7 tablet
Credit: Google Play
New screen

Where last year’s original Nexus 7 had a screen resolution of 1280x800, the upgrade boasts a full 1080p – actually 1920x1200, though on-buttons presumably take up a little space – display, giving it an impressive 323 ppi pixel density.

Nexus 7 tablet
Credit: Droid Life
New processor

The new Nexus 7 packs a muscular Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, giving it substantially more horsepower than last year’s model, which ran a Tegra-based SoC.

Nexus 7 tablet
Credit: Wikipedia
New RAM

Hey, 2GB is better than 1GB – let’s just hope it’s not the same type of RAM that some blame for a widespread slowdown issue with first-generation Nexus 7s.

Nexus 7 tablet
Credit: Google Play
Wireless charging

The new Nexus 7 can use the Qi wireless charging system – though it doesn’t look like it’ll ship with the wireless charger itself.

Nexus 7 tablet
Credit: Google Play
Thinner and lighter

The new model, while very slightly taller than the predecessor Nexus 7, is thinner by almost 2mm, narrower by 6mm, and weighs fully 50g less.

Nexus 7 tablet
Credit: Google Play
A rear camera

The original Nexus 7’s omission of a rear-mounted camera was much-discussed at its release, but the new model falls into line by including a 5MP shooter on the back.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.