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I have often mentioned here I am something of a geek. Heck my father likes to joke the DoD could easily find the heat signature of my house from space based on what I have in my home office. Three computers. Server. PS3, PS2, N64, Sega, four phones, and countless other things. But I have not gotten a "smart" phone or a tablet on purpose, cause I am already in front of a computer way too much. Why would I want to buy something that would just be an extension of my workspace?

But I do build web sites for a living. And although there are services I can use to test my sites to ensure they render correctly on a phone or tablet, well I really needed to get a darn tablet.

I must have spent like 40+ hours reading everything I could find on the different tablets out there.

I got the Google Nexus. Much more below the fold.

Let me start off by saying IMHO the iPad from the reviews and my interface with the darn thing is the best tablet out there. If price was no problem I'd own that. But then if price was no problem I'd be driving an Audi A8 and living in a $10,000,000 condo on the beach. My tablet was $249. From the reviews the iPad of a similar memory and processing speed $549. In my world that is a HUGE price difference :)!

I had planned to get the Samsung Galaxy. But as I read more I found the hardware maker of the Samsung was the exact same for Nexus, and well Google are the folks that make the OS for both. Why not go with them? So I did.

Let me first start with the only issue I have with the thing, which I knew from the reviews. It only has a forward facing camera which is meant to be used for something like video Skype. I've looked and looked for an app, but it won't allow me to scan in a bar/QR code. That really pisses me off. But alas I knew this before I bought it.

Outside of that it is one of the more amazing pieces of electronics I've ever owned, and I've owned a ton of them. I have to admit I am blown away. Via the Google Play store, like the Apple App Store, I loaded the thing up to do anything and everything you can imagine. I didn't have to pay a single penny for anything. I am kind of a "power user" and outside of stuff from the Adobe Creative Suite (PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign) it does everything I can on my $3,500 desktop. Lets just say there as "an app for that."

I am also a interface kind of guy. When I get a new PC I might spend 20+ hours getting the operating system to work and look the way I want. Just habit. So I started there with the Nexus before I had used it much. I quickly realized that "out of the box" it was almost perfect the way it was. I mean simple, easy to use, exactly as it should be.

It was the same with touching a screen with my fingers and not using a mouse or keyboard shortcuts (the way I do most stuff). At first I was all pissed off. Thinking I don't want you to do that. That wasn't my intent. Then after a few hours it all made complete sense. Again it was about perfect.

Finally when I entered my Credit Card info Google threw me $50 in credits. Now what I am about to say .... well I can't believe I am about to say it.

I am a huge reader (you know books, the ones you hold in your hands) and gamer. I've said so many times I could NEVER imagine reading a book on a computer, much less a tablet. Same with video games. Why play them on my phone or tablet when I can play them on my 60 inch HDTV. But I bought a few. I mean they were free.


I am not smart enough to put to words the reading experience, other than to say it is enjoyable. Very enjoyable.

And for gaming, I am stunned. I fear I might not turn on my PS3 again.

It is, how can I say this, maybe the best $249 I've spent in the last decade or so. Just amazing.

I normally can find flaws in anything. Pick shit apart. I find almost nothing to complain about with the Google Nexus.

Update/Note: The Nexus doesn't have a memory card port, therefore you have to use something like DropBox to move files around. And of course that means you can't upgrade the internal memory via a card.

Originally posted to webranding on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 06:22 AM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Will Tell You This, It Would Be A Great (7+ / 0-)

    gift for your spouse. Your kid. Your parents. You name it.

    Note: No I don't work for Google :)!

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 06:23:25 AM PDT

    •  Tablets are great for kids (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding, BachFan, palantir, duhban

      My two kids (8 and 15) each have their own Galaxy Tab. It's their book collection, music and video library all-in-one.  They use it to skype friends. The 8 yr old doesn't have a phone yet so the camera is one of her favorite uses. Of course there are the games too. They both still use a PC for school work and "real" games but the tablets are definitely taking over.

      My wife has had an iPad2 since the thing came out but never did get to like it. She's always cussing at it and wants an Android-based tablet. I'm not sold on the Nexus without the  rear camera, though. It seems like a big piece to be missing.

      I still don't have a tablet myself and don't yet see the need. My Android phone and my laptop and enough for me.

      •  The Camera Issue I Think Will Become (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloridaSNMOM, BlackSheep1

        more of an issue for me as I use the thing more and more. But again, I knew it didn't have it.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 07:03:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  um, have you checked (0+ / 0-)

          the forums over at android central, webranding?

          Raise a question there about this need for an app. Might inspire somebody to craft one for you.

          LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

          by BlackSheep1 on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 10:52:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I wonder (0+ / 0-)

        as technology snowballs if people will even recognize the world in 10 years or even 5. My youngest sibling is just young enough to be part of the facebook generation

        And tablets especially I think will dramatically change how the classroom works as the price is incredibly affordable for many schools and families and it completely changes the game much like how pcs did in the 90s.

    •  I got a Galaxy Tab 10.1 at Google I/O last yr (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I used it a lot.  I liked it.  I mean, I really liked it.  But there were apps that didn't work the right way, and apps that didn't exist that I wanted.

      About a year after I/O, the danged thing started acting up.  Eventually it got to the point that I couldn't get it out of a boot loop, so I called Samsung and they told me to send it in for a free repair.  Turns out they had a 15 months warranty, not 12.  They thought they could fix it in 2 days.

      When I got an email notification that they had to backorder parts, I said screw it, and bought a new iPad.

      Eventually the Tab 10.1 came back.  I admit, I haven't even turned it on.  I hate that the iPad can't play Flash.  But other than that... it works better.

      Would love to talk to you offline some more about what you're doing with your Android tablet.  

      In capitalist America, bank robs you!

      by madhaus on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 02:19:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is it really that good? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm thinking of getting a tablet for work and travel, but every time I play around with non-Mac machines, they disappoint.

    On the other hand, you have to sell your first-born to afford them, and quality has been in a downward spiral for a while.

    Hmm. Must consider.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 06:35:47 AM PDT

    •  When I Said I Can Pick Apart (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MBNYC, BlackSheep1

      anything I really mean it. I literally bought it only really to review the sites I do. I figured it just kind of sit on my desk. Then I started to use it. I find myself going to it to check a sports score or do this or that and not my computer.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 06:41:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this review (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, BachFan, quill

    I'm considering purchasing this, or the Galaxy Note II when it comes out.  Question:  Does it have expandable storage (MicroSD)?

    •  Nope. I Should Update To Note That (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BachFan, quill

      cause that is a problem.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 06:38:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  similar problem for me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      My contract with TMO is up in Oct and I'm planning to get a note 2 to replace my old phone. The note 2 will fulfill both my new phone and "travel tablet" needs nicely. It's the only reason I haven't gotten a gnex 7, which by all reviews is the killer tablet of the year.

      And, I agree with webranding: lack of removable storage is definitely a flaw, though that washes out if you're comparing against iPad.

  •  Long Story But I Am A Redskins Guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue muon

    and RG3 has nobody to throw to. I live in St. Louis and it is the same for Bradford. The dude has nobody to throw to. I don't care how good you are at QB you have to be able to have somebody get open and make a play.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 06:57:42 AM PDT

  •  I've got a Galaxy Note (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, quill, BachFan

    which does pretty much all the same things and has a surprisingly good rear-facing camera and gps and is a great phone to boot.  Screen resolution is the same as my laptop.  One gadget does it all, and it fits in my pocket (so it's always with me).

    The tablet does have a bigger screen (which does make a big difference using it as a keyboard), but apart from that . . . (and it's one more thing to carry, or not have when you want it).

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 07:06:39 AM PDT

  •  Thinking of getting a tablet for my boy (6+ / 0-)

    He's autistic, and functionally non-verbal.  They started working with him on an I-Pad at school last summer, and he really took to it.  But the price thing you're talking about has led me to hesitate.  Is there any way for me to find out how many and what apps Google might have for autistics?

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 07:15:50 AM PDT

    •  Google Play Is Where The Apps (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      are and you can search there.

      I've heard amazing, amazing things about iPads and how children like yours interact with them. I mean literally opening up new worlds for them.

      I won't remotely say what I have would be the same.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 07:23:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  iPad 2 or iPad mini? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding, FloridaSNMOM, BachFan

      Not to detract from the Nexus 7, which by all accounts is a nice device. But for your particular needs, I'd offer two options to consider.

      First, Apple still sells the iPad 2 which runs the same software as the new iPad. The most significant difference is the iPad 2 does not have the high-resolution Retina display. The iPad 2 costs $399 (compared to $249 for the Nexus 7 with same RAM). Still much more expensive, but closer than the top-end iPad.

      The other thing to consider doing is wait until October, when Apple is supposedly announcing the iPad mini. Rumors are it will be a 7" size (like the Nexus 7) with the same display resolution as the iPad 2 (and will run all iPad apps). Pricing speculation puts it in the $200 range.

      The iPad mini is still a rumor, and it's a losing game to wait for the next thing. But October is close at hand, so it might be worth waiting until then if you can.

      Are you shaking or biting the invisible hand?

      by puppethead on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 07:30:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You may be able to find a grant (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlackSheep1, BachFan

      There are a few of them out there to help pay for Ipads for autistic children, especially those who are non-verbal. (I believe Autism Speaks has one for example). Some may be closed if they are overwhelmed with applications, but keep looking and check into local organizations as well, including Shriners.

      Either way there are a lot of good autism apps out there for just about every platform, but Ipad has a lot and is where a lot of families turn. And they are not only speech apps, but things for schedules, grooming reminders, etc.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 08:26:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  google "android autism apps" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, BlackSheep1, BachFan

      Searching around, I found lots of ASD apps and some discussions comparing ipad vs android. From what I see, it looks like there are lots of android apps but not as many as ipad. That will change as the Android tablet market grows and developers port their apps over.

      But really, number of apps is less importand than quality of apps. Perhaps you might read some reviews and make a list of best rated apps and then check whether there are android versions of each.

      As for price: given its capabilities this tablet is a steal at $200 and the ipad mini won't be close (prob 250-300, based on what I've read).

  •  OK, I have a really stupid question about tablets (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in general (I've never had one so I know little about them.)

    The main reason I would use a tablet would be to read newspapers and magazines which I do a lot of on my laptop.

    When I'm reading a really interesting article, in say, the New Yorker or The Nation, I download it with just a few clicks.

    But I understand that on tablets (I may be mistaken about this) you can't download files to folders, so you can't clip the articles you want to save.

    I would find this very frustrating and really defeat the purpose of using a tablet because I want to be able to download items I find interesting.

    So what do you do? Do you e-mail the file to your pc? That seems like a real pain.

  •  another plus: stock Android (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, BlackSheep1, BachFan, madhaus

    One of the least sold but best features of the gnex 7 is that it comes with stock Android, and the latest version too (Jellybean). That means your tablet isn't burdened by manufacturer overlays like Sense, and you'll get at least the next OS update.

    Speaking of which, to anyone who owns or has tried a phone/tab running an older version of Android and weren't happy with the experience: try a jellybean device. Right now I think that would be either gnex 7 or galaxy 3 (which can be  seen at most phone shops). Jellybean is a big step up for Android in terms of features and UI.

  •  I'm very interested in the Google Tablet (0+ / 0-)

    I love using the Google Chrome browser, and I love my little Asus netbook.

    I tried Amazon Fire and hated it because of how impossible it was to customize. I didn't want it automatically linked to my Amazon account (and my credit card), and I hated how I couldn't get rid of the bloatware they preloaded on it. Oh, and I hated how finicky the touch screen was. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not.

    I'd love to get my hands on a Nexus to see if I like it before I buy. Anybody know where you can do that?

  •  Text to speech (3+ / 0-)

    Are there good text to speech apps for it? For both reading books and reading web pages? How hard is it to change the font to a larger size both for books and for web pages?

    My daughter has low vision, she reads at about 20, 22 point on the computer or the Kindle. She wants a tablet for herself at some point instead of having to borrow my kindle, and she'd rather have a tablet so she can use it for more things. Given her vision issue I can understand that. Paper books don't work for her unless she's reading picture books with big letters. Most large print books are made for adults and she's 9 and not interested in those books yet.

    I know a Kindle can give her what she needs so far as books go, and a laptop/netbook can do the web browsing, but I'd rather get her one portable device she can do both on.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 08:21:27 AM PDT

    •  There's a (Kindle) app for that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, BlackSheep1

      Kindle app reads your Kindle books. Text size is customize-able too. I know Android has text-to-speech built in but I don't have experience with it as a book reader

      •  Last I heard (0+ / 0-)

        the Kindle App didn't do text to speech. Maybe they've up dated it, I'll have to look into that. We're definitely looking at a tablet for her vs. something smaller because at the larger font size she'd be lucky to get half a sentence on a phone screen.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Sep 05, 2012 at 09:03:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  tts and big fonts (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, BlackSheep1

      Apparently there's an app called "classic text to speech engine" that will enable tts in the kindle app, which doesn't have it built in.

      As for big fonts in browser, definitely. There's an accessibility menu that allows you to blow up the fonts. The kindle app allows you to set font size.

  •  Hi Web (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't get a chance to comment this morning. Tip'd, Rec'd, & Repost'd.

    No memory, that's a killer problem for me. A real shame to because I was interested in the Nexus.

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