Earlier this week, Google finally confirmed the long-rumored second generation Nexus 7 tablet. Though the device has been showing up in retailers' flyers and systems for a few weeks, the device was only confirmed on Wednesday, with a release date scheduled for next week, on July 30. However, it looks like retailers (and Google) are eager to start shifting units, as the device has gone on sale four days early.
After Best Buy, Amazon, GameStop, and Walmart all started selling the device on Friday, Google tweeted that it too was moving up the release date of the Nexus 7.
"Surprise! The next generation @GoogleNexus 7 is now available. Order yours on Google Play: US- http://goo.gl/FAk3Sd," the company tweeted from the official Google Play Twitter account.
As the tweet above mentioned, the new Nexus 7 is only available via the US Play Store, as it has yet to launch internationally. The price for the 16 GB WiFi-only model is $229. This model features a 7.02-inch 1920x1200 1080p HD display (323 ppi) with scratch-resistant Corning glass, a 1.5Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro with Adreno 320 400MHz graphics, 2 GB of RAM, a 5-megapixel camera, a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, 16 GB of storage, dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz/5GHz) 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, NFC, a 3,950 mAH battery, and Micro USB with SlimPort-enabled (meaning it can output HDMI video and audio through the microUSB port thanks to DisplayPort technology and a special microUSB-to-HDMI adapter). The whole show is running on the newest release of Android, Android 4.3.
For more on the Nexus 7, check out the early review from our friends at Laptopmag.com.
The store clerks had just put it on display - hadn't even completed the initial setup/tutorial before I had my hands on it, which means the demo was practically fresh out of the box.
My initial hands-on experience was very short-lived: the tablet completely locked up almost as soon as I started the camera application. It wouldn't even turn off after holding the power button for 10+ seconds.
So all I could really appreciate is the slightly sharper text and graphics on the frozen screen; not exactly the first impression I was hoping for. My original N7 crashed a few times over the first few months but never so thoroughly that I couldn't even reboot it.