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July 26,2013. Google finally announced a much anticipated successor to the 7-inch Nexus 7. The original Nexus 7 was perfect. It loved and adored in every respect at the time of its release. It had a 7-inch screen, the latest google software, it was thin enough to be carried and big enough to be cute. But the fairytale came spiraling down as soon as users noticed performance and battery issues. Google felt that it needed to update the lineup if it wanted to assert a presence in the tablet market anytime soon. And boy did they update it. Enter the Nexus 7(2013).
It was not only better than the old nexus, it was better than everything else at that time. Every other tablet.
A thinner, lighter design, a faster processor, more improved cameras, new software, that gorgeous display. And the price. I bought the 32GB Wi-Fi-only model for $269. No, it wasn’t on sale. Every other tablet was at least a good 50 bucks more for even their cheapest model. It was jaw-dropping.
So back to the question. How well has it aged?
Answer: Incredibly well.
The form factor is bang on. I am still first in line for all the vanilla android goodness. Some may argue that anything less than 2K display on a tablet is low, considering even many phones have more. But here’s the thing, anything beyond 300 ppi is just fine. Your eyes can’t see the pixels beyond that anyways. Besides if 323 ppi gives me greater battery life and a better hardware-performance ratio then I am more than happy to trade. It’s the strategy Apple has been employing for years now and I don’t see a reason to change that. The 5MP rear shooter is more than enough for a tablet. After all, all I use it for is to send documents through messenger.
Generally, the performance is fine. I get through Marshmallow without a hiccup. It hasn’t been all rainbows though. The volume buttons have lost their tactility. The speakers are just as poor as they were when it launched. And playing graphics intensive titles such as “Leo’s fortune” causes noticeable thermal change. These things were expected at the time of launch anyways. Such a significant price cut welcomes a few compromises here and there. And I am happy to live with that. This tablet can still compete with the big guns of the 7-8 inch market these days in terms of utility.
Production has been discontinued. And if I could recommend it to you, I would. This is such a great piece of technology. A true benchmark for the expression of “Bang for your buck”.
Don’t be disheartened if you wanted to buy this tablet. There are alternatives now that are really great. The NVidia tegra K1 is highest in that very short list of products. Its revved up for todays demands and it has a stylus and it has added gaming functionality and it has front facing speakers and it is just as cheap. But it still won’t be Googles top priority during updates- a facility that makes the Nexus 7 truly stand out from the competition.