I don’t usually blog about my new gadgets. But sometimes the gadget is so good that is worth doing so. It happened before when I got my Kindle 3 and now the same happened with the Nexus 7. There are plenty of Nexus 7 reviews out there. I just want to share some personal highlights.
Size and ergonomics. I never felt inclined to buy a 10″ tablet. It might work well as a couch device at home but it’s just too big to carry with me to use on the go. So, iPad, Touchpad, Galaxy 10.1, and others were never really an option for me. Furthermore, the current smaller tablet offerings (7″ or 8″) based on Android are just too crappy to even consider.
The Nexus 7 is small enough to carry with me all the time and has the right ergonomics (dimensions, shape, bezel, weight) to use with one and two hands wherever I am (lying on a couch, standing in the train, holding my new born son at 2am, etc). The size is also perfect for casual gaming—something that I had stopped doing for a while. I strongly recommend watching this interview with Matias Duarte in which he explains the rationale behind Nexus 7′s industrial design.
Performance. The Nexus 7 has chunky specs for the price. Gosh, this is a quad-core Tegra 3 tablet for £199! The combination of performant hardware with the smoothness on Jelly Bean really improves the UX on the device. There’s virtually zero lag on anything you interact with or do in it. Ah, and battery life is great too.
Android. ICS was the first release that I felt like the whole Android thing could actually become something cool. Jelly Bean is yet another big step in the right direction. It brings tweaks to the task switching and launching flow that make a subtle but big difference. As a result, Jelly Bean is the very first Android release that I’m actually enjoying—even with all the little things I still don’t like about it.
The Nexus 7 is a great product due to a combination of factors. It’s a nice piece of hardware for an amazing price that ships the first Android release that you can feel good about. No, Android is not perfect, Google still has work to do to make it amazing. But, for now, Nexus 7 is here and is awesome—Firefox (Beta) and Pattrn run beautifully on it, by the way :-)