The unveiling of the second-generation Nexus 7 Android tablet on Wednesday was something I'd been waiting months for -- ever since a cracked screen essentially bricked my original Nexus 7 (although it could enjoy a second life as a dedicated e-reader).
Yet now that the new Nexus is here, Google's Chromecast streaming-media stick has stolen all the buzz. I've been a big fan of the Nexus 7, but I'm now thinking about waiting longer before diving into the latest Nexus tablet. Let's take a quick tour of my reasons for and against hopping in line for a new Nexus 7 right now (and be sure to read CNET's official review of the Nexus 7 -- it got four stars).
(Buy now) The best Jelly Bean around
Perhaps the strongest reason for grabbing a new Nexus 7, in my view, is for the Android early-adopter clout. The tablet ships with the latest version, Android 4.3, and a pure Google experience that puts the Nexus ahead of all other Android tabs in my book.
When my original Nexus 7 arrived last summer, running Jelly Bean and Google Now, it let me in on the ground floor of Android features that emerged more prominently over the course of the last year. If you want to see where Android is now, and get hints at where it's headed next, you'll want to order the new Nexus 7 as soon as possible.
(Buy now) Waaay more pixels than you need
With the latest, tastiest version of Jelly Bean and what amounts to a Retina Display in a 7-inch package, the new Nexus 7 is one of the most beautiful and affordable touch-screen devices you can buy. Add to the package rear and front cameras, wireless charging capability, and near-field communication (NFC), starting at less than $250, and you'd certainly be forgiven for making an impulse buy.
(Wait) LTE version still evolving long term
Witness the awesome and often awful power of U.S. wireless carriers, and you have the most obvious reason for waiting. Presumably, as with the original Nexus 7, it's taking a bit longer to work out a deal to offer the tablet with 4G connectivity, which was easily my most wanted feature in my original Wi-Fi-only version from last year. While the second-generation Wi-Fi-only Nexus 7 will be available with 16GB or 32GB starting July 30, the 4G is slated for sometime "in the coming weeks."
If you're a Verizon customer like me, you may want to practice patience, given Big Red's recent track record on provisioning hot new devices (like the HTC One) for its network. I'm going to be hella-zen by the time a Verizon Nexus 7 arrives.
(Wait) Not alone anymore
While this Nexus 7 is an attractive package with some nice upgrades, the tablet landscape could very well change in coming months. When the original Nexus 7 first came out, the Kindle Fire was the only small tablet with any real traction and its lackluster specs weren't exactly coveted by the geekiest segments of society. Fast-forward a year and there's now the iPad Mini to contend with, as well as a meatier Kindle Fire and numerous other small Android tablet choices. And in the next two months we're likely to see the next versions of the Kindle Fire HD and the iPad Mini. They may change the landscape again.
I also wonder if it's worth waiting to see if an even more ideal form factor pops up soon. Could a Galaxy Note 3 with a 6-inch screen wind up being the perfect device?
I think I might wait to find out, unless I start hearing from you all how amazing the new Nexus 7 is and the early adopter envy becomes too much to bare. Let me know in the comments what your tablet-purchasing plan of action is (if you have one) for the coming months.