Nexus 7

2014 Tablet or Bust


This coming year I will be saving up money, since I am quite worried about geopolitical happenings. I feel that the powers that be have decided to reset the system, because the West, and particularly the USA, cannot afford it’s debt. Therefore I am embarking on a modest plan to save enough to pay rent, electric, and internet for two months should my income become imperiled, or the dollar losses value, and expenses rise.

Nevertheless, I have a few electronics purchases I have been meaning to make, and have to pare these down to fit my new budget. Essential function is the watchword, which leaves either the laptop or the tablet as the device to upgrade.

The laptop I currently have is a Toshiba Satellite P775D-7360, and the tablet is a Nexus 7 2013 32Gb. While both function well enough, they are also budget devices, and I am looking to combine the functionality of both into a single device. I have been toying with the idea of purchasing a Surface 2 Pro 8 GB RAM 256 GB SSD, but the cost is prohibitive: Once one spends 1,300 dollars, plus tax, then one has to purchase a keyboard for over 130 dollars to have laptop capabilities. The price is too high, I’m afraid, and I would by necessity need insurance, raising the cost again. So… Time to look for alternatives in productivity.

Next choice, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014, which is my current favorite. Stylus input, 10 inch display with high resolution, light, and plenty of storage options, plus up to 64 GB SD card storage. The tablet has palm rejection, and Samsung has truly worked at an extensive library of provided apps, that ensure the stylus has functionality. The downside is that the screen is only 10 inches diagonal, making this choice less of a laptop replacement, and more of a tablet replacement. If the rumored 12 inch Note materializes, however, problem solved.

The third option is to move back to laptop computing, which will not happen until I have adequate pain management for my back. I hope the 12 inch Note rumor is real, I would give up World of Warcraft for a chance to replace desktop, laptop, and 7 inch tablet for a unified solution. With the Chromecast slowly starting to show its muscle, a possible screen mirroring function from a Samsung Note 12 inch tablet would add to media consumption, and possibly productivity, plus reduce the need for a large computer monitor.

My only misgivings are processor power and screen size, even at 12 inches. If I have to go for 10 inches, the current laptop will be in my future, and the current one I have has also been a royal pain, so in 2014 I really hope to be tablet centric at last, finally getting rid of my hellish PC experience. To say that PCs are temperamental is an understatement, and now that I can finally remove them in favor of a lightweight, future proof experience, I will certainly do so.

Nexus 7 Arrived, First Impressions


The aspect ratio on the Nexus 7 2013 takes some getting used to, although the ability to hold it in one hand is a plus. It is much more responsive than the 2012 model, and seems to hold a battery charge as well as the older unit.  The camera on the back would be fine except it has trouble focusing, though this could have been the subject matter I chose to use: a picture from the couch past the bookcase and into the kitchen.

The screen is beautiful and seems to handle fingerprints better than the previous version, I suspect the glass is coated with a different compound than the original. Swiftkey works well, and I have had no problems with apps as of yet.  I estimate the Android operating system takes 9 GB since there was 23 GB left over when I received the unit fresh, out of a total of 32 GB. They really need to put an sdxc card slot on these units…

Typing is easier holding the unit in portrait mode while using the Swype style typing system on the unit. During the course of writing this small post I have noticed that there is some occasional randomness to the inputted text, so it seems that all the input bugs mentioned on fan sites still need to be worked out. Chances are the high resolution of the unit posed some challenges to Asus and Google.

I have been an ASUS fan since they were a motherboard manufacturer and little else so I am willing to put up with some temporary glitches, as long as they are patched. I am also a fan of Google, I think that this tablet is a good deal at just shy of three hundred dollars, and look forward to many hours of productive nerding out.