New Nexus 7 review

Supercharged with Android 4.4, the Nexus 7 is now an even better tablet

New Nexus 7 review
New Nexus 7 review

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I have to hand it to Asus and Google here. It may be sorcery – I won't pry too much – but they have managed to pull off the impossible here.

They've shrunk the battery size, and yet seem to have improved battery life compared to the previous iteration.

From 4325mAh to 3950mAh, on paper at least, I thought they'd taken leave of their senses. But it just goes to show how much the software influences the energy spend that the Nexus 7 seems to just go. And go. And go. And go.

New Nexus 7 review

This is hardly a scientific comparison - it's hard to compare an old Nexus 7 that's been used for a year with a different processor and screen to the new one and hope to give a fair verdict.

But what I'll say is this: where I expected the new Nexus 7 to fall down, it actually just keeps on giving.

In real world usage, results will vary – it depends what you're using your tablet for, but I found that when testing, I was using the Nexus 7 nearly all day.

With all Google services enabled, I managed about two hours worth of surfing the web, read a Kindle book for about 45 mins, sent 20-30 emails from a separate Exchange account set to push, connected to the car stereo via Bluetooth and streamed some music on a 20 minute drive, as well as checking out Google Maps Navigation for the duration of that journey.

I went from a full charge overnight, taking the Nexus 7 off the juice at 8am. By 9pm, I was still going strong with 41% of battery remaining.

The new Nexus 7 was put through TechRadar's video battery test which sees a 90 minute video played at full brightness (or 300 Lux, whichever arrives first), with multiple accounts syncing in the background.

After the video had finished the Nexus 7 had dropped just 20% battery which is similar to the Kindle Fire HD, while the G Pad 8.3 dropped 30% during the same test and the Tesco Hudl saw a 21% loss.

New Nexus 7 review

This is a tablet that you can use without worrying it will die on you. Of course, you have to remember that the more apps you load on, the more background processes you have running and the more juice you're likely to get through.

And when the LTE version comes out, it'll be running an extra radio which is likely to impact. But for now, it's pretty damn good.

On top of that, I'm pleased to see that Google has continued with previous models and kept the charging port as Micro USB.

There is nothing worse than an OEM using a proprietary port. It's so stressful worrying in case you lose it and have to pay a king's ransom to replace it officially.

The alternative is being able to charge wirelessly - something that is available on the Nexus 7, but I was unable to test just yet as the correct accessories haven't made their way over.