The Best Way To Play Android Games Just Got Better

Illustration for article titled The Best Way To Play Android Games Just Got Better

Last year Google released its first official mid-sized Android tablet, the Nexus 7. I called it "The Best Way to Play Android Games." We can throw that one out now. The new Nexus 7 is here, and its better in every way possible.

Asus has done an outstanding job of refining Google's flagship Android tablet. It's thinner, lighter, sleeker, and generally easier to hold. It's got the same rubberized rear finish that made the original such a grippy little gaming machine, without the weird golf club grip texture its predecessor was sporting. After handling the new Nexus 7, the older model feels primitive.

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And of course it's more powerful. It's ditched Nvidia's Tegra 3 chip in favor of a 1.5 GHz quad core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. It's got 2GB of RAM, twice that of the first Nexus 7.

It's an incredibly speedy tablet, which is reflected in every game I play. Ubisoft's Rayman's Jungle Run gave my old Nexus 7 stuttering fits at times — here it's smooth and silky and incredibly hard to put down.

The biggest improvement is the screen. The original might as well be an old tube television in comparison to the glorious 1920 x 1200 WUXGA screen. It's bright, crisp, and sharp — the sharpest I've seen on an Android device.

Note in the video here I keep calling the screen 1920 x 1080. Old habits.

What else? It's got a rear camera — not a good one, but considering the original didn't have one at all, it's an improvement. Dual front speakers provide true stereo sound, which isn't something you see every day.

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Gizmodo has an excellent analysis of the hardware in their review of the 2013 Nexus 7, so I won't get too deep into its innards. What I'm concerned with is gaming performance, and so far I've been incredibly impressed. With Android 4.3 adding OpenGL ES 3.0 support, the 2013 Nexus 7 is ready to take on anything Android game developers can throw at it.

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If the original Nexus 7 was the sweet spot for Android gaming, the 2013 version is the sweeter spot. That leaves "sweetest" for the 2014 version. After that, I got nothing.

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DISCUSSION

kureiscott
The Logic and Rationale Police

Man I just don't see a need to own a tablet. I own a desktop and a laptop and a phone and the tablet combines all of them, but is inferior to all without any of the major appeal of any.

It reminds me of what was said in Mighty Boosh;

"The old and new combining to make something not quite as good as either"

Or something like that. I was planning on buying one for my wife for use in her classes she teaches, but she has a Vaio and an Xperia phone, and I think..."Well, how could be it be any more useful than either?"

That's just me though and they seem to be more annoying than anything. Went to my daughter's thing for Father's Day and there were a bunch of people in the church taking pictures and videos with their fucking tablets.

Seriously, does it ever occur to these people that they could be blocking others, and that a small camera or phone would be better for the occasion?