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Nexus 7 (2013) vs Nexus 7 (2012) head–to–head review

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We're big fans of both versions of the Nexus 7, with both the original 2012 and brand new 2013 models receiving our hallowed five-star rating. This is because upon release both tablets were great value for money, offering at their time top-end components and affordable £200 price tags.

However, being released less than a year apart, early adopters of the first Nexus 7 may be wondering whether it's worth shelling out yet another £200 for the 2013 model, or if it's better to hold off and wait for a bigger upgrade.

Design and build
Despite both taking the same name, the 2013 and 2012 Nexus 7s are visually about as different as you can get. Where the old Nexus 7 had a three-piece layered design, boasting a textured backplate, grey plastic middle and Gorilla Glass front, the 2013 model has a single-piece smooth chassis that wraps around its glass front.

The visual change makes the 2013 Nexus 7 feel significantly more high end than the 2012 version, which, while also very nice considering it costs less than £200, did feel slightly cheap when compared with competitors such as the Apple iPad Mini.

back-view-nexus-7-pair

The 2013 Nexus 7's top-end finish is helped by its reduced size and weight: it measures in at 200x114x8.65mm and weighs just 290g. This makes the 2013 Nexus 7 feel significantly more travel friendly than its 197x120x10.5mm, 340g 2012 predecessor.

The 2013 version also won in terms of build quality. While we liked the 2012 Nexus 7's design, with prolonged use its grey sides are prone to picking up marks and chipping. By comparison the 2013 Nexus 7's slightly rubberised chassis felt far more robust and scratch resistant.

Winner: 2013 Nexus 7

Next: Software and display

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Alastair Stevenson
About

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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