Asus’ Nexus 7 mini tablet, made in partnership with Google launched last year, was in many ways a game changer. For the price of a Kindle Fire, you could get a tablet with a quad-core processor and access to the Google Play store, for hundreds of thousands more games and apps than Amazon’s store had. On top of that, you could install the Kindle app and Amazon Appstore and miss out on pretty much nothing unique to the Kindle.
Naturally, it was no iPad. The base $199 Nexus 7 tablet was half the size, had half the memory, and lacked many of the top-tier games and apps which define Apple’s App Store. On top of that, some customers complained about fit-and-finish issues, like creaky screen edges or slowdown over time. It was as close as the pure “Android” world ever got to a hit, though, which may help explain why a new Nexus 7 is reportedly in the works, to be announced at a special Google event on July 24.
A sneak peek at the hardware
Leaked photos and specifications posted on Android Central show “an updated look” for the new Nexus 7, which eschews the first model’s silvery plastic rim in favor of an all-black-plastic-and-glass chassis. The front-facing webcam appears to have been moved from the top of the screen to the corner, and a 5-megapixel shooter has been added to the back this time around, although the new model still lacks a flash.
Performance under the hood
The quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro won’t be able to run Tegra-exclusive games, which were designed for the Tegra 3 chipset of the previous Nexus 7 model. It should be faster overall, however, and should have anywhere from twice to up to four times as much RAM, reducing the amount of time that it takes to switch between browser tabs and applications.
Price, models, and release date
Pricing information anonymously leaked to Android Central shows that the new Nexus 7 — listed as the Nexus 2 7″ in a retail store’s database — will come in a 16 GB model and at least one 32 GB model. The 16 GB model should cost $229, while the 32 GB model should cost $269. This is cheaper than the price point that the original Nexus 7 was launched at, but about $30 more expensive than the current price.
It’s not clear, from the screenshot, if either model will feature HSPA+ wireless internet the way that today’s $299 32 GB Nexus 7 model does.
No concrete release date has been set yet, and even the specs and prices themselves are not finalized. The Google event on July 24 probably won’t coincide with the new Nexus 7’s launch, but it’s possible that a release date will be announced then.