View Full Version : [tablets] My take on people's takes on the Nexus 7.

Aug 9, 2012, 08:33 AM
I've noticed a couple of these threads and a common theme: none of them love the device enough to keep it.

It got me to thinking. Perhaps the ones posting are doing so because of that dissatisfaction, and those not posting are actually satisfied with the product and therefore feel no need to share the opinion. Or perhaps they don't come to MacRumors because they're not converts in the first place. Fair enough.

I don't like iOS. Period. I find it constricting, claustrophobic, and limited. I don't see nearly enough options to create a device that works for me. It feels like I'm being asked to conform to the way Steve Jobs thinks I should work which is not the way operating systems should be. It's ultimately the same issue the RIM OS has, same issue early Palm OS had (before webOS). Notice where those are at now.

I actually like the form factors of the iPhone and the iPad. If the iPhone were larger, and didn't have iOS, I might actually be interested in owning one. And the iPad...well...it's screaming for a "Tablet Lion" of some kind, rather than a "big ol iPod Touch". If I ever see Apple do the right thing and create a full experience on either device, I'm first in line. But the main issue I saw with owning an iPad is that while I like the general form factor, I found it impractical in daily, continuous use. It's heavy to hold for extended periods and large and bulky. Just not "mobile" enough for me.

Enter the Nexus 7.

I specifically targeted the 8GB version because the bulk of what I would consume with it exists in the cloud anyway or I can super compress it if it's a movie for a flight or something. And I must say, after forcing myself for two weeks to work with the device only and not bring my MacBook Air to work, it's done nothing but impress me with its capabilities.

In the first case, I do enjoy Android but even more so with Jelly Bean. It's a step in the right direction and I was happy to see some of its features. It's smooth and solid with very few issues: some apps simply don't work, like OneNote. This is resolved by just going to the browser version and working from there. It's more powerful anyway.

In the second case the tablet itself is an impressive piece of hardware for the money. I've had none of the issues mentioned with loose screens or flexible screens or flickering displays. The form factor is just right; large enough to see things clearly but not so big as to be unwieldy. The weight balance is proper and it just seems to flow into my daily process. I carry it everywhere with me at work and I've had a number of people ask about it...only this time, they don't say "is that an iPad?". The screen quality is an 8 out of 10 (dropped only by the overly conservative contrast and color gamut) and the thing has me convinced that quad core is the way to go for these types of devices.

Lastly, and I had this discussion with a guy at the airport, you simply cannot beat the price of it. It's what Amazon should have done with the Kindle Fire, only with all of its apps thrown in. it performs like a tablet twice the price which makes it an instant win. I know there are people who'd rather wait for iPad Mini and that's fine, but we all know Apple. That thing is going to be $399...and for some maybe that makes sense just to be on iOS. For me, I'd rather know that I can fully control my device to meet my needs.

True issues of the device:
- Screen contrast and color gamut are low. This is noticeable.
- Not all apps updated to support Jelly Bean and some are never going to be updated
- If you do corporate email they will disable the front camera (not the device's fault).
- It does take a while to charge, longer than the Galaxy Tab 10.1, but I wonder if that's because of a thicker battery.
- No real docks for it yet
- The official cover is pitiful, Google needs to take lessons from Amazon.
- Remotely controlling machines just isn't possible, at least not with the same level of consistency as with a computer.
- VM access isn't possible unless you remote to it (same challenge as above). There's VMWare View/VDI/Citrix Receiver but then you're working with a less-than-optimal form factor.
- The keyboard is large enough in landscape mode that it covers most of what you're typing, and may be impractical long-term.

I'm in no way attempting to sway anyone one direction or another. Rather, for those that are curious, this is the first tablet of 5 I've owned that I use constantly throughout the day. It actually has the capacity to be a productivity device rather than a tag along, which is what I was trying to find with all of the others that failed.

For those that are forced to run from meeting to meeting and take notes, review emails and calendars, or access files stored in the cloud, the Nexus performed like a champ. Once you start getting into the world of actually working with desktops and what not - can you use an iPad? Sure. But why bother paying $600-$900 for a tablet when for a little bit more you can get a MacBook Air that blows tablets out of the water? Food for thought. If you simply have to be touching a screen then so be it but whatever.

Aug 9, 2012, 09:30 AM
That is a very well reasoned and cogent take on peoples takes regarding the Nexus 7 :)

I posted my take a week or so ago, and it did end with me returning the device, not because I found I disliked the device per say, but that it didn't meet the criteria of an iPad. If rumors weren't so rampant about the iPad mini, I'm 99% sure I would have held onto it, and to be completely honest, I probably would have had an even more favorable review after time (learing the OS, getting used to it, etc.).

As is, I decided that I would rather have an iPad mini (makes no sense to have both). I have always been a gadget guy and fascinated with hardware, but I think I'm finally coming around to the "It's the software stupid!" camp. I agree that iOS may be more restrictive/limiting than what Android/Jelly Bean offers, however, I don't find that to be the case for me. I use a tablet for Web Browsing, E-Mail, and apps. To me, the default email client on iOS is far superior (easy, simple, to the point, idiot proof), Web Browsing is great (and you have the option for Chrome if you want), and the biggest by far for me is the apps.

I just could not get my brain wrapped around the Google Play store. Way too much crap out there, couldn't find stuff, had no idea what was and was not optimized for tablets, etc. With a little work, I'm sure you could get 99% of what you want or could get with an iPad. Here's the rub, I don't want to have to work/research to get what is automatic on iOS/Apple App Store.

I will fully admit that I am biased towards iOS, and I will not try to hide that fact. However, I will also put out there that I am not hostile towards Android. If they offered a better experience, I would jump ship in a heartbeat. In the end, for the time being, I very much like/appreciate the simplicity of the iOS ecosystem, which to me is strength, but to you is a weakness.

I'm just pumped that Google is stepping up their game in this arena, and hopefully Amazon will follow suit. I think this increased competition will be to the betterment of us all, regardless of what platform you ultimately choose.

EDIT- Oh yeah, I forgot about Microsoft. Let's hope they don't bring a big bag of fail with their Surface tablet.

Aug 9, 2012, 07:54 PM
The color gamut issue is rectified by a command you can run if your rooted. Expect the next OTA update to fix it. It has to do with nvidias tegra 3 drivers that lower the backlight and up the gamma to compensate to conserve battery during videos. It carry's over into the rest of the os. It stays stuck on after video playback is over. Its called nvidia prism. I disabled it on mine and the screen looks much better now.