I’ve owned a tablet for a while, specifically to read single issues of comic books. At the time, it was either buy something dedicated or hack a Nook Color, so I hacked a Nook Color, naturally.
Then Google rolled out an insanely fast tablet for $200 and my unseemly gadget lust got the better of me. I preordered and it arrived yesterday. And man, not even the iPad is this good.
It’s not that I hate the iPad: without the iPad, there is no Nexus 7. It’s just the Nexus 7 is, frankly, better in just about every respect.
Part of that is the ridiculous power of the thing. This is sporting a quad core Tegra 3 chip sporting 1.2 GHz to the iPad 3’s dual core 1 GHz A5X chip. The other part is that Google built a version of Android on this thing to run like butter from the ground up.
Google was obviously aiming for Apple’s “it just works” usability and it succeeds admirably in that respect. There are, however, a few minor stumbling blocks. For example, the keyboard lacks dual functionality out of the box for what’s likely some obscure design reason. If you’ve gotten used to the cellphone style of holding down a key and popping in a symbol, switching back and forth seems awkward. There also doesn’t seem to be an easy way to close apps, which tend to be left running in the background. The Nexus 7 has power to spare, so it doesn’t slow down the tablet, but it is annoying.
But the ability to create folders by dragging, and the sheer raw speed of downloads, is impressive. Similarly, the graphics on this thing are amazing — it runs even graphically intensive games without a hitch.
It’s also shockingly light. It weighs less than a pound and you can use it comfortably for hours. Similarly, the battery lasts seemingly forever — I left it streaming music to try and drain it, went to bed, and woke up six hours later to the tablet still cranking the tunes.
All this and it’s $250, far cheaper than most tablets and far more powerful. There’s no good reason not to own one of these.
One last note: you may have heard the packaging is frustrating:
This is only because apparently all tech bloggers A) refuse to own or use a pocket knife and B) have wimpy noodle arms. I got mine out of the box in less than thirty seconds.