This week Google reveals the next generation in their Nexus 7 tablet line, keeping the name and amping up the display resolution to nearly double that of Samsung's newest effort. While this device takes the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 to the cleaners with its display alone, the most important comparison we can make at this moment is between the Nexus 7 and its biggest competitor - its predecessor!
What you've got with the new Nexus 7, what we'll be calling Nexus 7 2 from this point on for ease in differentiation, is a machine that aims to feel rather similar to the original Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 2 works with a new back-facing camera (at 5 megapixels) where the original works with only a front-facing shooter. Both machines' front-facing cameras are the same 1.2 megapixels strong - on the surface - but we'll be the judge of which shoots better when we get them both set up next to one another in the field.
The Nexus 7 2 axes the NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor present in the original and brings on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro. This is a quad-core processor working with Adreno 320 graphics, this taking the tablet down an entirely different avenue for potential features.
Where NVIDIA remains focused in the gaming universe - see SlashGear's TegraZone tag portal and note how often the Nexus 7 pops up - Qualcomm's approach in promoting processor power appears to remain a bit more subdued. Qualcomm's Snapdragon line lives in the Nexus 4 as well, and you'll not see NEARLY as much press coming from the big Q as you have from NVIDIA for the Nexus 7 and its Tegra 3. We'll see if this trend continues through this tablet's release.
To back these processors up, the original Nexus 7 has 1GB RAM (LPDDR3) while the Nexus 7 2 rolls out with 2GB RAM (DDR3). The original Nexus 7 originally (not for long, but they're out there) had an edition sold with just 8GB of internal storage - now both the original and this new edition start with 16GB internal storage and have a 32GB edition as well.
Below you'll see two close-up photos of the Nexus 7 (old and new), both shot with the Nokia Lumia 1020 in 41MP mode by Vincent Nguyen. Why not, right?
The original Nexus 7 works with a 7-inch 1280 x 800 pixel IPS LCD display working at 216 PPI. The Nexus 7 2 brings on a 7-inch 1920 x 1200 pixel IPS LCD display at 323 PPI. That's the most dense display to exist on a tablet form-factor device thus far, and it far and away beats out both the "Retina" full-sized iPad (236 PPI) and the iPad mini (163 PPI).
The Nexus 7 2 has a different shape than the original Nexus 7, to a degree that will require new protective cases, skins, and the like to be made and used - wide open for casemaking opportunities! The original comes in at 7.81 x 4.72 x 0.41 inches (198.5 x 120 x 10.45 mm) while the Nexus 7 2 is 7.9 x 4.5 x 0.3 inches (201 x 114 x 8 mm). The original weighs a little more than the new iteration as well - 11.99 oz (340 g) for the old and 11.2 oz (318 g) for the new.
While the Nexus 7 starts at $199 for its 16GB version and ramps up to $249 for its 32GB version (and $299 for its 32GB, AT&T or T-Mobile versions), it's unclear what will happen to remaining stock once the new Nexus 7 2 is released in full. We do know that the Nexus 7 2 will change up the pricing scale slightly: 16GB will cost $229 USD while the 32GB edition will start at $269 USD.
And of course there's the software differences when this new Nexus 7 arrives, but the added abilities of this new model will cut down to minimal once the older model gets its own software upgrade - one we're sure won't be far off. Now it's on you!