I watched the Google I/O keynote, suspecting the leaks were right about the Nexus 7 tablet and they turned out to be true.
I got in the queue for one of these and have been using mine since the middle of July. ?The short version is; this is a fantastic device that I love to use.
I am an owner and user of all the Apple iPads. ?Since the first version these have been my primary means of content consumption beyond my Mac Pro and MacBook Air. ?The iPad is a great size for sitting on the coach and catching up on reading, surfing the web or responding to emails. ?In general, I use the iPad more than I do my MacBook Air when sitting around at night. ?The real exception, when I need to write something lengthy and I want more of a touch typing experience.
I do own a Kindle 4 and we have a Kindle Fire in the house. ?These are also great devices but they tend to be Amazon content consumers and not a general device. ?Honestly, not used much since the iPad has the Kindle application.
I would call this device the same size as the Kindle Fire. ?It’s nice when you have the latest cutting-edge device, one that ships with a Quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1 G of RAM and an amazing 12-core GPU?and runs the latest Android Jelly Bean v4.1. ?It’s just plain fast.
I don’t play many games but I do use some graphic intensive applications, mainly related to astronomy and rendering star charts. ?Using these apps on this device, the rendering is extremely smooth.
One thing I like about my Kindle 4 is the battery life, it lasts forever. ?The battery life reported on the Nexus 7 is 10 hours for most tasks but I think it is longer. ?I use the device a lot, I mean a lot and I am only charging once or twice a week. ?Not exactly scientific but it lasts a long time.
There is a lot to be pleased with in the hardware and overall presentation.
- Did I mention it’s fast? ?Oh yes, it is fast.
- There lots of software that run on it already and done very well. ?Flipboard, Kindle and Instapaper are great examples.
- Nice controls, consistent and non-hardware except for volume controls.
- Great integration with Google Play. ?It’s easy to get applications, videos and music.
- Video play is really smooth.
- Audio quality is great.
- Text rendering is really sharp and smooth. ?This one bothers me on pre-retina iPads. ?The text in the Kindle app is not as nice as it could be. ?
- Size – it almost fits into a shirt pocket. ?It’s a lot less bulky than the iPad
There is always a few issues with anything new and the Nexus has a few, some are probably my lack of understanding and are not even Nexus 7 specific.
- Not all of the applications I use on the iPad are available on the device, but it will get better.
- Not all of the applications I found for Android run on this device, will also get better. ?
- When using the browser, the fonts are often so small that their hard to read and I have to zoom in.
- WiFi-only – I own 3G iPads and I never have to worry about having an Internet connection but with this device I do. ?Not huge, but a factor.
- Orientation is locked by default. ?I lived with this until I figured out that it could easily be turned off.?
- Headphone jack on the bottom, wish it was on the top.
I love the Nexus 7, it fits nicely into my collection of devices. ?Devices I actually use.
I have been critical of the other Android tablets I played around with, too many have iPad envy. ?The Nexus 7 is trying to be its own device in its own form factor, one that is a nice size.
I’m looking forward to the next version of this, maybe one with 3G so I can keep the Nexus 7 with me and use it for navigation. ?I use my iPad this way today, and it’s just a bit too big.