| || |
My Weekend With The Nexus 7 (A Review Sans Specs)
As an Android enthusiast I was rather excited for the new Nexus 7 tablet. Having had only owned 'hacked together' tablets (Nook), or lower end items (Vizio) I couldn't wait to get my hands on Google's new toy. That's the enthusiast in me.
Now the practical side of me realizes that $290 after tax for a 32GB tablet I don't necessarily need is a bit extreme, however I figured now would be the best time to dip my feet into the performance tablet space. I also wasn't going to let the fact that I missed a great 20% off coupon for Staples ruin this for me. Maybe that's the tight-wad in me.
We were taking a family trip to the beach, I was determined to pick up a new Nexus 7 on the drive down. I preloaded my Google Drive with TV shows and HD wallpapers, made a check-list of must-have 4.3 compatible apps (basically just DashClock), and ordered some screen protectors online. After making several phonecalls to various electronic stores I finally found one at an Office Max.
As soon as I got into the car I traded seats with my wife, turned on my Galaxy S3's Hot Spot and was ready to go. The first hour or so consisted of me selecting which apps I would NEED on this trip.
You know how that goes.
I wish the tablet would have automatically downloaded my apps but looking through My Apps list I noticed a lot of leftover crap from the Froyo days was at still present, so perhaps it was easier to hand-select a few dozen apps to download rather than delete several dozen unwanted ones later.
Android 4.3 is definitely a fantastic OS. I don't think it's necessarily anything to die for, but it's a really cleaned up and snappy version of Jellybean. I feel like there aren't many obvious gigantic improvement, but those who have been using Android since the 2.X days or above will notice the improved smoothness, and all 4.X users will feel at home right away. The cut status bar pulldowns are still taking me a bit of time to get used to (notifications to the left, toggles to the right), but they're practical.
At this point I haven't decided wheter or not I would want to root this device. It basically does everything I'd want it to out of the box, and aside from restoring data for a couple games I don't see a real need for it as of right now. As someone who has ran a custom ROM on literally every single Android device I've ever owned, I see this as a positive thing. Google is really nailing it.
The hardware is great. It's more compact than I anticipated and surprisingly lightweight. I'm almost afraid I'm going to break it because it feels so delicate. Hopefully the Poetic silicone case I ordered from Amazon (with the tablet) arrives soon. I could have opted for a Prime Eligible fold-over leather case but feel like that would not do this otherwise elegant device justice and add unneeded bulk. Plus I don't want any ugly textured edges interfering with my view of the beautiful screen. Yes, it's as good as you've heard. The only issue I have with it is that it doesn't dim as low as I'd like. This could disturb my sleeping wife when using in bed, however she didn't toss or turn once in the hotel room when I sat til 2:00 AM organizing my homescreen and finding the perfect wallpaper.
Within the first 24 hours I played a few games, read several Pulse articles, listened to music via Bluetooth speaker, and streamed a few of our favorite more mature TV shows from Google Drive after our kids went to bed, all in the comfort of our hotel room. Given this could have been done on my phone, the hardware made the entire experience much more enjoyable, but I'm still not convinced that justifies the price tag. I imagine keeping it synced with my home stereo via Bluetooth so that guests can hop on Google Play Music All Access and play DJ when their over, having video Hangout chats with my wife using her Chromebook while at work, and finally getting around to reading on a regular basis again will make the purchase count. Perhaps being on a trip was the best experience I could of had with this device and hopefully I get the same amount of use at home, and using my Nexus 7 for typical daily Android tasking could greatly minimize the amount of time my phone sits on it's charger. Overall I think it's a great product and if you can afford it go for it.
....I might need to purchase a Chromecast. Maybe.
Sent from my SCH-I535 using AC Forums mobile app