Google launches new Nexus 7 tablet and TV dongle

Google has launched the latest version of its Nexus 7 tablet and a TV dongle – here’s the rub

Google has launched the latest version of its Nexus 7 tablet and a TV dongle - here's everything you need to know.

Nexus Hugo 3

(Credit: AP)

The world watched as the tech giant unveiled the new Nexus 7 from an event in San Francisco, and introduced the Chromecast dongle.

The dongle fits into an HDMI port on a TV and connects to home Wi-Fi networks, allowing people to use their phone, tablet or laptop to 'cast' online videos to their TV.

But first let's take a closer look at the Nexus, a seven-inch tablet built by Asus, which charges itself wirelessly. Google says it is the "world's highest-resolution 7-inch tablet".

It packs in 323 pixels per inch, giving it a higher resolution than the iPad mini and the Kindle Fire.

Nexus 7 Hand

(Credit: AP)

Expected to be launched before Christmas in the UK, the new tablet follows in the footsteps of the first Nexus 7, but a Google chief told the San Fran audience, and those watching online, the new device represents a "significant upgrade".

Hugo Barra, Google's vice president of Android product management, said: "Nexus 7 was a big hit.

"We're trying to follow up with another one.

"This is a significant upgrade to the first generation... with a high resolution screen with more than double the number of pixels."

This, coupled with the fact it features a larger screen than its predecessor, is great news if you enjoy watching movies and catch-up TV and swiping through magazines on your tablet.

But it's not all about watching movies. If for you tablets are all about the morning commute, the fact the new Nexus is slimmer and lighter than the previous version means it should be easy to hold and will be able to be slipped inside your pocket or bag.

Nexus 7 New 1

(Credit: Google)

And with enough battery for nine hours of high-definition video and 10 hours of web browsing, you're set up whether you want to use it on the train or in bed.

"Even with more than twice the pixels and double the performance, you get an extra hour - up to nine hours of video, and 10 hours of web surfing," said Barra.

The new Nexus is also the first device to run on Google's latest update to its Jelly Bean operating system, Android 4.3.

The latest version of the mobile OS allows you to block access to in-app purchasing options, so if you're a parent you'll be able to stop your kids running up huge bills.

"We're adding multi user so that parents can restrict their child's access to content and in app purchases," said Barra.

"You can hide all of the purchasing functions with restricted profiles."

Jonathan Leggett, mobile expert at price comparison website, highlighted the Nexus' slender frame and high-quality screen.

He said: "The new model has a more powerful processor and an improved resolution which is considerably better quality than its mini-tablet rival - the iPad mini. It has also been slimmed down and weighs less than its predecessor."

But what about the  TV dongle?

The tiny two-inch device is plugged into your HDTV's HDMI port, and uses wireless home internet to stream videos and other content. 

You direct or 'cast' the content to the TV from your phone or tablet at the push of a button, but the video you're streaming is stored online in the cloud rather than on your mobile device.

The dongle works with both Android and iOS devices, and can stream YouTube, Google Play, Netflix and other content via your tablet or phone to your TV.

Google says on its website: "Plug Chromecast into any HDTV, connect it to WiFi, then send videos and more from your smartphone, tablet or laptop to your TV with the press of a button."

Google Chromecast

(Credit: AP)

It has already launched in the US, but Google gave no details of further international releases.  

Google said the fact the media is streamed from the cloud rather than from the device itself allowed for higher-quality streaming.

In a blog post, Google wrote: "Once your Chromecast is set up, you can use your phone, tablet or laptop to browse and cast content to your TV, play and pause, control the volume, and more."

Chromecast has launched in the US, costing 35 US dollars (£23)

The 16GB version of the Nexus 7 will cost 229 US dollars (£149) in America, while the 32GB model with be priced at 269 US dollars (£175), Google said.