Google has unveiled a new Nexus 7 tablet to coincide with the latest version of its Android operating system.
The original 7-inch Google Nexus 7 tablet proved extremely popular with consumers, thanks to its budget-friendly price tag, and inspired a string of 7-inch competitors, like the iPad mini. The new Nexus is similarly affordable, with its UK price set at £200 for the cheapest 16GB version, although that’s still £41 more than the original Nexus.
Google Nexus 7 update
Compared to last year’s Nexus 7, the new tablet has been given a considerable boost in specs. Its scratch-proof touchscreen has an impressive resolution of 1920×1200 for watching TV and movies and is the highest resolution screen on the tablet market – although it could be difficult to see that sort of high resolution quality on a small 7-inch screen.
The device is powered by a speedy 1.5GHz processor and 2GB Ram to ensure a smooth performance when running the latest apps and offers a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera for taking photos. Crucially, it’s significantly more powerful than an iPad mini and cheaper to buy too. Apple is expected to unveil its latest tablet range this Autumn.
What is Android 4.3
The new Nexus 7 was launched in San Francisco at an event designed to showcase Google’s Android operating system for phones and tablets.
Android 4.3 is an incremental update to the Jelly Bean software that was originally unveiled in 2011; it offers improved Bluetooth functionality and multi-user support which lets you set up different accounts for different users. This could be useful for parents who let their kids use the Nexus 7 but want to restrict access to certain functionality, like in-app purchasing.
Introducing Google Chromecast
As well as the Nexus 7 tablet, Google also unveiled its new Chromecast dongle for streaming video and music from the cloud to your TV. A USB device that’s compatible with Android or iOS devices, it works alongside a number of high profile apps including YouTube, Netflix and Google Music.
Whereas most Smart TVs already offer similar functionality via a standard remote control, Google thinks using your phone, tablet or laptop in conjunction with Chromecast will be a more convenient experience. This is because multiple users can control the dongle at the same time and, crucially, can keep using their devices for different tasks as well.
If you already own a TV, and it has a USB port that’s compatible with the Chromecast, this could also be a cheap way to upgrade to Smart TV. The dongle will cost $35.