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Google's Breakfast Meeting: New Nexus 7, Android 4.3, TV Device

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By William Peacock, Esq. on July 24, 2013 12:56 PM

Our only question is: where’s our invite?

Today, over breakfast, Google announced a flurry of product launches and updates, including their much-adored 7-inch Nexus 7 tablet, a major update to the Android operating system, a cheap video streaming device, and a few other goodies.

For lawyers and other working professionals, the updated Nexus 7 is the most exciting development. For students, Google Play Textbooks might be even more significant.

Nexus 7 ... 2?

We're not sure what naming convention will come into play here. For now, we'll call it the Nexus 7.2. According to Engadget, the new version of the tablet comes with a higher resolution screen, faster internals, a rear camera, wireless charging, unlocked 4G LTE capabilities (on the high-end model), a thinner-and-lighter profile, and most importantly -- HDMI out.

As a current Nexus 7 owner, gadget envy is already taking over. The higher resolution, pixel-packed screen is an improvement over an already superb display. The faster processor will be needed for the higher resolution screen, though the current iteration performs admirably as-is. The rear camera is a welcome addition, as the previous iteration only had a low resolution front-facing camera for Skype and selfies. As for wireless charging, it's a cool but unnecessary feature; how much effort does it take to plug in a cable?

The one feature that makes this tablet worth the upgrade is the HDMI out. Instead of schlepping a laptop to your meetings, you can hook up the tablet to the projector, display your presentations, and make annotations on the touch screen. Or, if you're in the office late, you can hook up Netflix to the projector or a monitor and procrastinate further.

The new models start at $229 for a WiFi-only 16 GB version, and top out at $349 for the 32GB, unlocked 4G LTE model.

Android 4.3

It's an incremental, yet important upgrade. According to Gizmodo, parents can now set up "restricted" profiles for controlling their child's online and app access. A feature we're personally excited for is support for Bluetooth Smart, a low power update to wireless Bluetooth technology that should enable accessories like keyboards or headphones to last longer.

Chromecast

Don't want to bother with hooking your computer or tablet to your television? If you're watching Netflix, YouTube, or anything through your Chrome Browser, with the addition of a $35 Chromecast stick, you can "push" content to your TV wirelessly. It seems like a fun, relatively cheap gadget. Gizmodo says that you'd be crazy not to get one

Google Play Textbooks

This should save quite a few vertebrae. Google has struck a deal with all five major publishing houses to rent and sell textbooks through their Google Play store, reports Engadget. For your kids, that means no more overstuffed backpacks. Instead of six textbooks, she can carry a single tiny tablet. The rental option could come in handy for college students too, as it'll save them from buying $100 textbooks that they'll barely touch.

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