The second-generation Google Nexus 7 is a definite improvement over its predecessor. It’s slimmer, lighter, and boasts a higher-quality screen with sharper resolution. It may be a no-brainer to upgrade from the old to the new Nexus 7, but it’s harder to say whether or not it can hold its own against other tablets on the market. Does the latest Nexus 7 come out on top compared with the nearly year-old Amazon Kindle Fire HD?
First, some basic design differences: The Nexus 7 is 0.3 inches longer and 0.9 inches thinner than the Kindle Fire HD. Google’s newest tablet is also noticeably lighter than Amazon’s tablet – 3.4 ounces lighter, in fact.
Getting into the nitty-gritty details, there are other stark differences between the two tablets’ capabilities. One of the most obvious is in their screen resolutions. The Nexus 7 sports an impressive 1,920-by-1,200-pixel resolution, while the Kindle Fire HD has one of 1,280-by-800 pixels; that’s enough to make text considerably less crisp. The Kindle Fire HD’s front-facing camera sensor is 1.3 megapixels, though the tablet doesn’t have a rear one. On the other hand, the Nexus 7 features a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera sensor and a 5-megapixel rear shooter.
Other differences include processing speed, operating systems, and cellular capability. The Nexus 7 has a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, while the Kindle Fire HD’s is just dual-core and 1.2GHz. The latter tablet operates on Google Android 3.0 or higher as opposed to the Nexus 7’s Google Android 4.1, known as Jelly Bean. The Nexus 7 also has a cellular-capable option (or will, soon, when it hits the market later in August), unlike the Kindle Fire HD, which only offers 4G LTE on the 8.9-inch version.
Despite their obvious similarity in size, there are only a few commonalities between the two tablets: The 7-inch screen size, Bluetooth, and 2.4 and 5GHz Wi-Fi compatibility. They also have similar battery lives; the Kindle Fire HD lasts for seven hours, while the Nexus 7 lasts 37 minutes longer on the same test.
Both the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD are available now, for $229 and $199, respectively. For more, check out PCMag’s full review of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the new Google Nexus 7. [PCMag]