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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bought a Nexus 7 - my thoughts

NewEgg sent a coupon for 10% off tablets. It was time for me get a Nexus 7. I have a 3 year old Xoom that gets a ton of use around the house but I wanted something smaller, faster and with a better screen.

The Xoom was really starting to show its age. It was heavy and slow. Holding it took two hands. Sure, I would balance it with one hand but then a cat rubbing on my elbow or a kid knocking a knee into it and I would get bonked on the head or have it fall in my lap.

I was using the Nexus 7 (old style) my boss loaned me for some code testing at work. From that I knew it was the right size to be held in one hand. I also got to see how the multiple accounts worked. This is something else the Xoom does not have as they are no longer updating Android for it. I could root it and get something on there but I think I will leave it alone for now.

I had a number of goals for the Nexus 7. I want to read more and not just technical books but some biographies, non-fiction and sci-fi. I have read books on my phone and the Xoom. Again the Xoom is a bit big and heavy to hold for long periods of time plus the screen is just not that great. I grabbed some free books from Amazon via the Kindle app. There are a ton more free books than the last time I checked. It used to be the old classics but now they have a decent selection of newer books.

The screen of the Nexus 7 is impressive. I used the default Kindle font and sepia colors. The device holds in one hand as it just a bit bigger than a normal paperback book as far as height / width but obviously no where near as thick. You don't have to worry about losing your place and having the book close if your fingers slip or you drop it. I found reading on this device to be very enjoyable and plan to read a lot more books on it.

For gaming it is a really good size too. My younger son really likes it over the Xoom. Both devices get used nightly for looking up internet items, checking email, weather forecast, reading books and games. Setting them side by side really shows how much nicer the high resolution and brighter colors shine on the Nexus 7.

Being 3 year newer technology it is a lot faster than the Xoom. Bringing up Chrome on the Xoom and waiting before you can type in your search was painful. The internal browser was a bit easier but it did not share my bookmarks. On the Nexus Chrome starts up quickly and lets me get right to business.

Having multiple accounts is a boon and a bane. I like being logged in as me and only seeing my email and having my home screen look the way I want it. When I install an app it installs to my account. We are not sharing a game so my high score is mine. The levels I complete on games are mine. The bane? I have to install the app under each account if each account is admin based. I just want to pick from a list of installed apps and let them appear under certain users. Not a huge deal.

Battery life is good too. It gets used a ton and holds up well. KitKat installed a few days back. I have not noticed anything super spectacular about it. I did like the old color for the battery and time, not a big fan of white, but otherwise it has not caused any issues.

I enabled developer mode of course. Connected right up to my computer and I have been able to install APK files for the code I am developing.

So far I am very happy with the unit. It is the proper size and weight and the screen is really impressive. It is going to work for book reading, gaming and developing. 10% off was the icing on the cake.