Ever since the launch of the original Kindle Fire in 2011 showed the world that a $200 tablet didn’t have to suck, the market for smaller, media-focused tablets has exploded. Google seized upon this opportunity to show the world how it’s done just over a year ago with the introduction of the Nexus 7. The flagship Android tablet packed a high-quality 1280×800 IPS LCD, quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, and all-day battery life into a slim frame that weighed barely a third of a kilogram. While that spec sheet would have been impressive at almost any price, Google chose to go for Amazon’s throat with the Nexus 7, pricing it directly opposite the Kindle Fire at a mere $199 for the 8GB model. The Nexus 7 sold incredibly well – especially for what is, at least in theory, a device aimed mainly at developers – with most estimates placing it with over 10% of the Android tablet market. Google clearly had a hit on their hands, and as Google I/O 2013 neared, the Android community was abuzz with rumors surrounding the Nexus 7’s surely-imminent replacement. It was, after all, the one-year anniversary of the original Nexus 7 and Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean” launch. Much to our surprise, however, that event passed largely uneventfully, with no announcement of either a new version of Android nor a new 7-inch horse for it to ride in on.
Rumors continued to swirl, however, and when Google announced a press conference on July 24th, there was little doubt what they had in store for us. Sure enough, that morning Google officially announced to the world the heir apparent to the 7-inch tablet crown, simply enough simply called the Nexus 7. The name says everything that needs to be said: This is everything that was awesome about the Nexus 7 you know, but better. It’s a bold promise to make, but one Google were intent to deliver on. So does 2013’s Nexus 7 live up to the lofty standards set by its predecessor? Read on to find out.