Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Go, Nexus 7 Tablet

Sheer prejudicial bloodymindedness meant that when it came to tablets I was never going to be in the market for a mehPad, so when the first android tablets became available I got one. Trouble is, it was early early running Android 1.6. Subsequent android updates meant it was soon struggling. But we needed to learn a bit about apps for some writing we were doing at the time, and the sheer amount of travel going on at the time meant that a small tablet was handy for trips when I had a computer available upon arrival. The thing has run well for years now, but it has really only been running as a media player on bus and plane trips for the last 18 months. Last year when the Kindle Fire came out I reckoned it would fit Michele like a glove, and so it proved. Impressed with the Fire's speed and functionality I began thinking about getting a new tablet myself and the Fire appealed. Around that time I read about Google's plans to have its 'own' tablet and I decided to wait until they were released. 

A few weeks ago I picked up my new Google Nexus 7 by Asus. I was as excited by the prospect of an Asus Nexus as I had been by the prospect of a Samsung Chromebook, having had excellent experiences with 3 generations of Asus netbooks. I had so enjoyed the Chromebook that I was prepared for the Nexus to be a slightly less exhilarating experience. But such preparation was unnecessary. The Nexus is stunning. It is lightning fast, light and comfortable to operate, and the bluetooth is a total bonus. The screen is great and the spelling anticipation for keying means that very often I only have to key every third word or so, because the semantic power of Google's algorithms flashes the options faster than I can think anyway, and the main challenge is to get my fingers to the right option.  The USB charging adapter is small and light and recharging is very quick. Dropping media on from Windows and Mac machines is a snap. Notwithstanding Michele's throwaway line (in response to my interest in running a bluetooth keyboard) that if I need a keyboard I'm using the tablet wrong, I have ordered a cover that includes a built in keyboard. I'll post on my experience with the keyboard as and when I get it, and get it going. The easy sync to Google docs of files written offline on  an app, and the ease of working in google docs online means that this very light and tidy set up might be sufficient for 80% or more of my travel needs.

Not that I'll be leaving the Chromebook behind when on the road. No way. That thing packs so much soul it would come on every trip simply for company.

At the start of the year our friend and colleague Donna was pondering tablet options and I recommended waiting for the Nexus and giving it first refusal. In light of the first few weeks messing with the Nexus, Donna, I'd say the same again -- albeit in bold and in large font, highlighted in the color of your choice.

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