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Review: Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Google's new tablet packs major performance into a minor price tag.

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From a physical standpoint, the new Nexus 7 compares favorably to an iPad Mini in both weight and size, only a little slimmer, and with a rubberized back. It fits comfortably in one hand if you’re watching movies or playing video games. It tips the scales at 290 grams (slightly more than half a pound), so you don’t have to worry about it tiring out your arm during marathon movie sessions.

Upon firing it up, the first thing you’ll notice is the clarity of the screen, which is on par with just about every HDT we’ve come across. Google packed the screen with 323 pixels per inch (2.3 million pixels total) and the result is an incredibly crisp picture for photos and video. Google claims that this tablet has the highest resolution screen of any seven-inch tablet, and after seeing it ourselves, we’re inclined to agree—comparing the screen on this tablet to the screen on a “regular” tablet is like comparing a Ferrari to a Toyota.

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The Nexus 7 also boasts a new speaker layout designed to simulate a surround sound system. While we were skeptical that it would work as advertised, it performed admirably for such a small device, emulating a home theater experience as well as any handheld device can.

The Nexus runs on a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and comes loaded with 2GB of RAM, which makes it extra snappy. This being an Android device, all preloaded apps are Google entities, like Chrome and Maps. It’s great news for those of you use who use those apps on your desktop, as you can import your bookmarks and even keep tabs open across platforms. The fact that they are “your” bookmarks can’t be stressed enough as the new Android 4.3 lets you create different profiles on the Nexus, allowing to keep your content private from others using the same device. It’s access you’ll want to grant yourself too, because the Nexus lets you see things more clearly, hear them more crisply, and capture them more vividly, all at a faster clip than any comparable tablet out there.

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