Tag: Nexus 7

Google’s just done an Apple

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So yesterday Google had the breakfast meeting that it had announced a couple of weeks ago. It was heavily rumoured going into the meeting that we’d be seeing the new Nexus 7, and lo and behold, there it was for the whole world to see. Sleek, sexy and a strong upgrade to the older model 7.

New 7

The new Nexus 7 has had a modest upgrade to its processing power, now sporting the exact same Snapdragon S4 Quad core and 2 Gb of RAM set up that the Nexus 4 has; which anyone who’s used an N4 will tell you, is more than enough for today’s current app demands. The most notable upgrade however has to be the screen. Moving from a fairly “meh” 1280×800 to a stunning 1920×1200 and keeping the same 7” form factor means that you have one of the highest pixel densities of any tablet screen, including the retina displays in the iPad. The colour capability of the screen has been upgraded which has given the screen a much more vibrant look, something that was a small problem in the old Nexii which tended towards looking a little dulled and greyed out. Connectivity wise, there’s a wifi version and a 4G LTE version, although currently the 4G is only available in the US (here’s hoping it comes over here soon), and there’s also NFC to back it all up and Wireless charging to boot.

 

The basic 16Gb version will go on sale in the US on the 30th of July priced at $229 (£149).

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Bait and Switch

The other announcement though, took us all by surprise. The Google Chromecast dongle seems like a fairly innocuous piece of tech, but it’s been making big waves. For just $35 you buy the Chromecast, connected it to an HDMI port on your TV and then you have instant access to Netflix, Youtube and Google’s Play services (in the US they also have access to Pandora). It runs Google’s own Chrome OS and you control the dongle with your phone. Google announced that for a limited time, buyers would get 3 months free Netflix, even if they already had a subscription. So obviously they were selling like hotcakes, so fast in fact that Google had to pull the deal because people were buying the ever loving crap out of it.

The most interesting thing about these two releases is how… Apple like they are. Here’s a premium upgrade to an already great product, and a little piece of innovative tech that people want. In a year where Apple have been almost suspiciously silent, Google have clearly been watching Cupertino’s moves and then are looking to copy them. With Google Glass on its way and with rumoured upgrades to more of the Nexus line, this could be an interesting year if you’re an Android fan.

New Nexus 7 suddenly arrives in the rumour mill

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Google I/O 2013 was something of a disappointment. After last year’s hardware announcements and the upgrade to Jelly Bean, we were sort of hoping that something similar would come from the conference this year, but sadly no luck. Well, that may have changed now as all of a sudden, the newest iteration of the Nexus 7 has appeared all over the internet, bringing specs, pictures, a potential release date and even a video.

The original Nexus 7 was a solid tablet offering at rock bottom prices that gave us the option of premium hardware without breaking the bank and it also helped seal the 7” tablet market as one to watch. It is getting close to 2 years old now, which is positively geriatric in modern mobile terms, so it’s exciting to know that it’s going to be upgraded.

As for specs, so far as the current rumours go, we’re looking at a Snapdragon S4 processor (the same one in the Nexus 4), a full HD screen, rear and front cameras and a debateable amount of RAM. The reason we say debatable is that there seems to be some uncertainty as to whether there will be 2Gb or 4Gb of it in the new machine. 4Gb would be awesome, but being realists at Kumulos, we’re willing to bet that it’s 2Gb.

There are reported to be 2 offerings in the wings: a 16Gb package at $229.99 and a 32Gb one at $269.99. You’ll notice this is slightly above the current price point for the Nexus 7, but we’re guessing this price is one that will drop relatively quickly as the older Nexus 7s are phased out and replaced with the new ones. As for a release date, well, apparently we can look to be seeing these new tablets hitting shelves by the 20th of July, which is really not far away at all.

No current news on whether we’ll be seeing an update to Android with this new hardware, but  following the pattern Google have followed before we can probably expect to see one.