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July 25, 2012 / playforth

My Nexus 7 – part 3

Here are some further thoughts on the Nexus 7 – how it behaves in various contexts, what I like, what I don’t like etc.

Size: I do like the size in terms of what fits on the screen etc, but for somebody with small hands like me it’s just too big to comfortably hold in one hand for very long. I’m not sure how good it will be if I’m doing a lot of keyboard input with nothing to rest it on (for example live tweeting in a conference situation).

Battery life and processing power: the battery has been lasting easily 11 hours in an average day with fairly light use. I haven’t really hammered it yet but it looks like it will be more than adequate for my purposes. And the processor is really really fast at loading pages, running multiple apps, gameplay etc, better than anything else I’ve experienced.

Screen and display: although it has an incredibly clear high-res (1280×800) display, the screen itself is very reflective in bright light/daylight. And although the glass is scratch-resistant, it’s definitely not smudge/fingerprint resistant. I may need a screen protector…

OS: I like almost everything about Jelly Bean, except 1) adding apps seems to multiply icons in too many places, and the relationship of the home screen to other views in general is a bit confusing, 2) Flash is disabled, which means no adding apps like BBC iPlayer. I understand that mobile Flash is on the way out, but until it’s gone completely, lots of things I want to use still require it!

Apps: my favourite non-game apps so far (of those I don’t already use on my phone) are Guardian Crosswords (though input is still buggy) and the WordPress app for blogging on the go. I’m not a big gamer but I do like time-wasting diversions like Angry Birds and Where’s My Water, and I can’t fault the Nexus 7 for playing them on – better graphics and smoother play than on my laptop.

Google Play: I love the Books app, and Movies is pretty good too – after I’d deleted Transformers I managed to watch the whole of 21 Jump Street without ever really thinking, ‘huh, this is tiny’. But since you’re essentially renting and streaming films rather than buying and downloading them, the play isn’t as smooth as it could be and there was a fair bit of bufferage. My only other problem with Google Play is the way it deals with music – you can import your iTunes library and it’s then available on all your Android devices and the web, but what if you don’t have iTunes? I’m going to fiddle with uploading music from elsewhere, but it could be time-consuming… and can you buy music from the Play store?

Storage/protection: as mentioned I’ll need something to protect against my grubby fingers, but I also want a case. The 4-pin connector implies that something like the bendy iPad cover/stand is available, but actually buying anything official seems surprisingly hard.

Google integration: so complete and easy that it’s actually scary. Dystopian visions where a single giant tech corporation facilitates, mediates and controls every aspect of our lives – yep, pretty much here already. The worse thing is how much I like it…


One Comment

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  1. Peter Baran (@pb14) / Jul 25 2012 1:29 pm

    A couple of apps you might want to toy with (this is from a new Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone perspective). Moboplayer plays pretty much any videofile. Airdroid for controlling it from your PC (and wireless file transfers). But am interested in all of this because we’re toying with getting a few for the office.

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