The real highlight of the new Nexus 7 is of course the much higher resolution display. At 1920x1200 the Nexus 7 is now the highest resolution 7-inch tablet. This new IPS panel is made by JDI (Japan Display Inc) and boasts better viewing angles, 30 percent more gamut than the previous one, and of course better dot pitch of 323 PPI. Alongside that the new Nexus 7 also doesn’t have the always-on dynamic brightness and contrast (NVIDIA Prism / smartdimmer) that many including myself found frustrating with the original Nexus 7. On the new version the equivalent functions are enabled only during full screen video playback. This is a huge improvement since with the feature enabled on the previous Nexus 7 I always felt that greens were undersaturated and some dynamic range clipped.

I did a lot of asking around about how Google calibrates its panels, and was told that in the case of the Nexus 7 there are two stages. The first is the calibration done by JDI on the panel at a high level, the second is an additional calibration at time of manufacture, per device. This sort of thing is relatively standard, but I’ve always been curious about what stages cost extra money – certainly it’s a baseline expectation for the panel supplier to supply a close-enough LUT, but getting Delta E even lower I’m told requires additional expenditure.

CalMAN Display Performance - Gamut Average dE 2000

CalMAN Display Performance - Grayscale Average dE 2000

CalMAN Display Performance - Gretag Macbeth Average dE 2000

CalMAN Display Performance - Saturations Average dE 2000

CalMAN Display Performance - White Point Average

Display Brightness - Black Level

Display Brightness - White Level

Display Contrast Ratio

It turns out that the new Nexus 7 is actually very close to sRGB this time around, with overall gamut being just a bit bigger than the sRGB color space. In the GMB Delta-E and saturations Delta-E measures, arguably the two most relevant for color accuracy, the new Nexus 7 is second only to the iPad 4, and better than the iPad Mini in color accuracy, a significant step forwards from its predecessor.

The new Nexus 7 also goes very bright, up to 583 nits, with excellent contrast of 1273. This is again not achieved using any dynamic contrast cheating since those functions are thoughtfully disabled.

On the display side of things I’m very pleased with how far the Nexus 7 has come, and it’s obvious that display quality was a big focus for the 2013 model.

Hardware and First Impressions Camera Quality
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  • spinportal - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    If you are needing space on the go, hate dongles for USB OTG, and lacking as SD card slot, don't want to spend on a data plan for LTE/3G, and don't want to set up a your own Plex media server or depend on Wifi streaming being available for your Box/Google Drive/ Skydrive / Dropbox, don't want to spend on Spotify / Pandora / Rdio, then bring your own 1 TB wifi storage box from Seagate (Satellite or Wireless Plus) and add the special firmware modification and might as well through in a portable power brick for recharging in between pitstops at the wall outlets. The Seagate Wireless+ with mod can act as a wifi bypass bridge so you can use the media server functions of the drive, and still go on the 'net. Without the mod, you do not have a wifi bridge option. And the SW+ can feed up to 8 connected devices. I've tried Plex media from a home server over cable internet to public wifi at Starbucks and 720p music videos were choppy so forget 1080p 2-hr feature length videos being an enjoyable experience. Music streaming was not so bad on remote Plex, and I'm spoiled to not enjoy 480p DVD quality video anymore since it looks so pixelated and blurry (unless you're on a really small 4" smartphone screen)
  • spinportal - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    Also, where's the pet projects of turning a Nexus 7 (32GB/LTE) into a car infotainment system with Waze / Google Maps (+ offline maps) / Garmin-TomTom apps, Dragon (Vlingo) for handsfree calls (assumed internal tablet mic), emails and texting (narration as well), dashboard mount, bluetooth integration to car stereo so audio outputs to car speakers with call muting other audio apps (assumed built-in functionality by now)? What is needed is for the Big Motors to integrate bt into their buttons on the steering wheel, or otherwise 3rd parties are going to build their own bt kits to do navigation (vol +/-, OK, left/right/up/down cursor, etc.) from the wheel
  • aliasfox - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    This was supposed to be a reply to somebody about 10 pages ago who commented on tablets not getting updated past the first 2-3 years. Completely out of context here.
  • vision33r - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    It looks like a very large 2011 Android phone with all that gap on the bottom. In 2013, most android phones have very little gap or wasted space in the bottom.
  • Wwhat - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    So annoying how such tablets are all infused with monitoring you by google and such (and 'partners' if you know what I mean)
    I like tech and wish I could use a tablet without that ever present feeling of being monitored and watched and monitored and monitored, oh and logged.

    I'm not just bitching, it is a serious put-off for me, and since I'm not unique I have to assume many more people.

    Also to get more to the tech side: No SD slot? And the changes supposedly reflect what users asked for? uh..
    And not yet ac WiFi, but at this pricepoint and time I guess that's too early anyway. And it does have the 'WiFi version' BT 4.0 that has more possibilities than old BT.
    Overall I do like it though, but the aforementioned feelings so far kept me away from such devices, makes me wonder if I'll continue that stance much longer or buy one and go through all kinds of desperate efforts to privatize it a bit more.
  • fteoath64 - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    I kinda agree on the monitoring part. Couple of things we can do. First wait for XDA Rom release that removes most of these junk. Second, wait for Ubuntu Touch to be released and a ported version will be done on the NExus 7. One cannot really complain too much about Google's approaches as it makes $20-25 per year on our balls for their advertising revenue. Additional Play Store revenue so they can release models such as these cheaper rather than $500 each or more. I still cannot figure out the lack of SD card slots as having one WILL facilitate Cloud usage much more more rather than much less. Firstly, less content can be populated on the tablet (ie photos, sound recordings, videos), then a lot less to traffic to the Cloud as well. Heck, anyone one can pull the content into a PC anytime they want if convenient. Apple mught have a good excuse but Not Google. They are just being mean for the sake of "want you to use Cloud more".
  • darwinosx - Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - link

    A simpler way to say it is Nexus devices are sold at or a little below cost.
  • almerickso - Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - link

    Do the speakers automatically switch between left/right when you rotate the device 180 degrees or is there only 1 "correct" orientation?
  • crpcat - Tuesday, July 30, 2013 - link

    "I know a lot of people were hoping for inclusion of line in on the 3.5mm audio jack but I can confirm it isn’t present."

    Does this mean that the 3.5 jack only carries line OUT? I.e. you cannot use a headset with this tablet? That would be totally ridiculous. Even ASUS new $149 tablet (Memo Pad HD7) has a combined audio/mic jack.

    I am looking to buy a small/light tablet for travelling, where on of the most frequent use case would be phone calls (i.e. VoIP/Skype). But if this tablet does not support connecting a standard headset then it totally disqualifies itself.
  • Sunburn74 - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - link

    I don't understand. The original nexus did have a built in mic for VOIP/google chat. This one should too as well.

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