Friday, November 30, 2012

Nexus 7 review

For my birthday, my husband surprised me with a Nexus 7.  I love this device.  I use it primarily for reading, web browsing, email, and Facebook.  I've owned an iPod touch 4th gen and the original Kindle Fire.

  •  smooth UI experience (especially with the Jelly Bean update)
  • very nice screen
  • access to the Google Play Store (the Amazon app store for kindle was smaller)
  • support for multiple users so my husband, I, and my kids can all have their own accounts
  • like the live wall papers.  I have these great tropical fish that swim around.
  • bluetooth works well and it can pair with the speaker I had laying around
  • Most websites work well, including the desktop version of (which is a site that most tablet browsers have problems with)
  • PBS streaming videos work well as does netflix
  • Stable, haven't had a hard lock yet (keeps fingers crossed, since I just called down the wrath of Murphy's law)
  • I can put app short cuts exactly where I want them.  
  • Calendar widget is very useful
  • Touch response is almost instant, I don't have to tap twice
  • Browser has this cool magnify feature that if it can't tell which link I clicked, it magnifies a little piece of the screen so I can choose, so no more wrongly clicked links.

  • don't really like the newest version of the kindle app, but that isn't the nexus's fault
  • multiple user support means you need to install apps multiple times, or rather, each account needs access to a Google play account that has a certain app purchased.  I created a new gmail account to just be for apps because I really don't want my kids having access to my mail.
  • I think there are still a few issues with multiple users, relating to memory usage, but a reboot fixes it and it doesn't happen very often
  • access to Amazon videos involves jumping through some hoops.  Installed Firefox Beta because it still supports flash (and the flash apk).  Amazon Prime videos work, but the video controls don't.
  • occasionally gets into a state where settings menus won't pop up for minutes.  Reboot fixes this. I'm not sure why it happens.  My current theory involves too many processes running.  I've installed an app killer.  Next time the problem happens, I'll be able to see if it is memory related.
Other thoughts:
  •  Battery will last all day, probably get a little over a day of web browsing, email, reading, and my kids playing games.  I charge it every night.
  • My husband likes this better than the Kindle Fire.  He didn't like the Fire's screen or laggy interface
So was the upgrade from Kindle Fire worth it?  I don't know.  It is a much nicer user experience over all.  The screen is great.  The faster processor means I'm not waiting around for anything.  My husband likes it a lot better. I'm glad I own it.  But the Kindle Fire did everything adequately.  The Nexus does everything well.

update 12-25-12:
So a few weeks ago my nexus started acting strangely. There was some kind of windowing problem where only the main window of an application would open. This affected facebook, kindle, the settings menus, and google play. I reset to factory defaults and the problem went away (although I also didn't have multiple accounts like I did before). Since the reset, it has been acting fine, so I'm not sure what the problem was.

I also got a bluetooth keyboard for Christmas. It makes typing text so much easier. My kids will be happy since I won't have to kick them off the computer every time I need to type something long.

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