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Hands on with the Nexus 7

After winning the hearts of many savvy tablet lovers with the original Nexus 7, Google raised the stakes even higher with the 2013 edition of its popular 7-inch model. The second generation Nexus 7 tablet is thinner, lighter, faster, and stocked with enough new features to keep tablet fans smiling.

It starts with a powerful Qualcomm® Snapdragon™  processor designed to increase overall speed and performance. Add 2GB of onboard RAM and the Nexus 7 runs like a rocket. Apps open in a flash, Web pages scroll quickly, and movies play silky-smooth.

Whether you’re watching a movie, playing a game, or listening to your favorite playlists, you’ll enjoy premium audio from the tablet’s outstanding speakers. The sound system on the Nexus 7 can crank out virtual surround to give the sensation a “bigger” sound experience.

All this wouldn’t mean much without a killer screen, and Google doesn’t disappoint: The Nexus 7 boasts a 1,920 x 1,200-pixel IPS display (IPS is code for “looks great at any angle”) with an industry-leading 323 pixels per inch. That kind of pixel density translates to razor-sharp photos and especially text, making the Nexus 7 a great choice for folks who love to read books and magazines. What’s more, thanks to its solid construction, the screen can stand up to little kids, crowded purses, and other accident-prone environments.

Speaking of kids, the Nexus 7 runs the Android 4.3 operating system, which allows parents to configure multiple user profiles and set limits on what apps and media kids can consume. So it’s not only easy to share with different family members, but also less likely to distract from homework. (“Sorry, the Nexus says you’ve played enough Minecraft for one day.”)

That’s some solid parental power in action. As for actual power, the Nexus 7 supports wireless charging. Just lay your tablet down and presto, juice flows into the battery—no plug-in cable required. Hello, future!

Google packs all this into a wafer-thin slab that measures only 8.6 mm thick and 4.5 inches wide, meaning it’s slim enough to ride around in a back pocket—assuming you can bring yourself to put it away for any length of time. The whole thing weighs just over half a pound, so even with all the extra goodies, the new Nexus 7 remains fit and trim.

That’s good news for travelers, and so is this: Unlike a lot of other Android-powered tablets, the Nexus 7 2013 edition is available with optional 4G LTE. (All models come with dual-band Wi-Fi.)

Want to see it in action? Watch the video above for a hands-on look at Google’s new and improved Nexus.

Topics: Google, Snapdragon S4 Processor, tablets

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