Google Nexus 7 (2013) review

Superb performance and quality at a great price

9 / 10 (Excellent)


Test Duration: 60 days

The Google Nexus 7 2013 edition shown in black, white, front and side profile

The Good

  • Fast, slick and responsive
  • Fantastic screen
  • Superb value for money
  • Excellent battery life
  • Can be held comfortably with one hand

The Bad

  • No expandable memory
  • No physical home button might not be to everyone's liking
  • Average Camera / no flash

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What is the Nexus 7?

The 2013 Nexus 7 is a super slick tablet computer from Google which proves you don't need to buy big expensive models from the likes of Sony, Samsung or Apple for a great tablet experience.

The Nexus 7 fills the size gap between a typical smartphone (around 4-5 inches) and a full size tablet (around 10 inches).

It runs on Google's Android operating system and comes with a 1.5GHz Quad core processor and 2GB of memory which means apps, games and videos run smoothly and with ease.

(The full Nexus 7 specs can be found in the )

There are two choices of storage (16GB and 32GB) for all your apps, photos, videos and music. I found there was very little price difference between the two and as the Nexus 7 doesn't have expandable memory I would definitely recommend going for the 32GB model.

Google don't have their own hardware manufacturing which is why the Nexus 7 is built by Asus. And what a great partnership it is because not only is the build quality fantastic, you get a great operating system and a host of genuinely high quality and useful apps from Google.


The '7' in the name refers to the screen size, which measures 7 inches diagonally. The actual size of the tablet is 7.87" (200mm) high and 4.49" (114mm) wide.

The width is quite important in this respect because for a 'mini' tablet this can be the difference between being able to hold it comfortably with one hand or not.

At 114mm wide, it was clearly Google's intention to make this a tablet that can be easily held with one hand.

The iPad mini for example at 134mm wide is just a bit too big for any prolonged single-handed use.

The Nexus 7 2013 vs. The iPad mini width comparison
The Nexus 7 2013 vs. The iPad mini

The Nexus 7 isn't exactly going to win any design awards but it's by no means ugly, it's just a fairly generic black rectangle.

The front is about as minimalist and clean as you can get. You won't find any logos or physical buttons, just a signal sheet of glass covering the screen and bezel (the frame surrounding the screen).

The Nexus 7 2013 - Landscape view

The only physical buttons are found on the right side edge and comprise of the power/sleep button and the volume up/down button. (The microphone sits just below the volume controls).

The headphone socket can be found on the top edge and finally the USB port is located on the bottom edge.

The Nexus 7 2013 - Back view

The back is covered in a nice soft plastic which is not only comfortable to hold but also provides a decent amount of grip. No slippery metal or plastic here!

Rounding things off at the back is the rear camera lens and the stereo speakers.

Nexus 7 Performance

The Nexus 7 performs really well in pretty much all situations. So far I've never felt like it's lacking in processing power or needs more memory.

In fact most day to day activities are handled with ease. Browsing the web, checking emails, keeping up to date with your friends on Twitter and Facebook are all handled without fuss.

The Nexus 7 is more than up to the task with more taxing jobs as well such as watching videos or playing games.

Nexus 7 Screen

The screen is usually where the money is saved on cheaper tablets but thankfully this isn't the case here.

The Nexus 7 screen has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 which gives it a fantastic pixel density of 323 dpi (dots per inch). This makes text, graphics, images and videos look super crisp and pin sharp.

This resolution is known as WUXGA and for the eagle eyed amongst you, this is a slightly higher resolution than Full HD at 1920 x 1080. This gives the Nexus 7's screen an aspect ratio of 16:10

Anything above 300 dpi is considered excellent and simply means that no matter how close you hold your device to your eyes, you won't be able to see the individual pixels. In other words no jagged edges around text or graphics.

The colour reproduction is excellent and the contrast between light and dark areas of an image can't be faulted.

In conclusion, the Nexus 7 has an exceptionally good screen that punches well above its weight.

This then is another reason why the Nexus 7 is such good value for money.

Normally when you opt for the cheaper end of the market, there is usually a compromise here and there that you have to put up with. Not so with the Nexus 7 - I'm really struggling to find much wrong with it...

perhaps with one exception...

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Model From Best Price*
Nexus 7 (2013) - 32GB amazon logo £164.99 & FREE Delivery
Nexus 7 (2013) - 16GB amazon logo £120.40 & FREE Delivery
ebuyer logo £117.10 & FREE Delivery

*Prices correct at the time of writing