My Nexus 7 Tablet

Gosh, it’s been a long hiatus, but I’m back for the New Year!

Nexus7

For Christmas (actually, two weeks before) I got a Google Nexus 7 tablet.  Up until now I never felt a need for a tablet computer of any type. Since we have 2 desktop computers, an old laptop, and a netbook, I didn’t see the point in owning a tablet. But over the last few months I’ve heard a lot of people on the internet and our local computer radio show singing the praises of the Nexus 7. I watched Youtube videos and reviewed comparisons of the most popular small tablets. And for a long time I’ve thought an ebook reader might be a handy thing to have. So with all the other things that a tablet can do, I decided to get the Nexus, which does not cost much more than a full-featured ebook reader. And after I’d used it for just a few days I knew this was a good investment. I love this thing! And for $199 you can’t beat the price!

Setting up and using the Nexus 7 was a breeze. I have a gmail account, use Google Calendar and Docs and Google+ (a very nice alternative to Facebook, which I should talk more about in the future) and have lots of photos on Picasa, now owned by Google. When I first booted the Nexus it asked for my Google account user name and password, and after that initial log-in, everything in my Google universe was synced to the Nexus. There was really nothing much to set up except my wi-fi network password; the device just did everything automatically! The ease of it was amazing! Of course, the price for this magical ease-of-use is that any last pretense of privacy is now gone. The Nexus knows everything about me; tethered as I am to the All-Seeing Eye of Google on the desktop and now on this more mobile device. (I did disable the GPS for now).

Because I don’t use a smart-phone; just a simple, cheap, no-contract cell phone that I primarily use just to actually TALK to people (I don’t text, either), I’ve never realized how most people are ceaselessly tracked and monitored by their phones. Even most of the Android apps that run on this tablet and smart-phones have (or we give them) permission to access our private data, track our every move and desire and interest and report them back to our Google or Apple or Microsoft overlords, for the purposes, of course, of making our lives so much more convenient! But sometimes it disturbs me to think where this will all end!

But I digress… and here I am buying right into this 21st century interconnectedness (I’m sure that’s a real word)! But I must admit, I love using this thing a lot more than I would have imagined. There are so many wonderful and useful apps available for it on Google Play, most of them free! And I’ve actually been having loads of fun installing and playing games on the darn thing; primarily for the kids, of course. I’m not really much of a computer gaming, or console gamer for that matter. So I never thought Angry Birds would be so much darn fun!

But the Tegra 3 quad core processor and gorgeous resolution on this thing makes it a perfect device for playing games, watching videos and checking up on the Web. And I am really loving it for reading books! I mean, I LOVE physical, printed books; but the ability to change fonts, enlarge the type, and not to have to rely on an external light source to read (especially in bed) is marvelous. And to be able to hold thousands of books in a hand-held device is just so Star Trekky-cool. I’m glad we bought this thing.

And I enjoy using Android, which is Linux-based, a lot. I see over the past couple of weeks that you can also now install Ubuntu for the Nexus 7, and Bodhi Linux as well. But right now I don’t see the point, since I find Android 4.2 quite pleasant and easy to use.

Then today the news just broke about the Ubuntu Phone OS that will be coming out this year. And surprisingly, at least to me, it looks like it may be  a very nice OS. It might even get me to consider using a smart-phone! What is the world coming to!

Best Tablets of 2012: Infinitely Galactic Review

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Google Play and the Nexus 7 Tablet

 I’ve heard of Google Play before, but didn’t know much about it until I saw THIS Computerworld.com article about Google’s new Nexus 7 Tablet that runs the Android 4.1 Linux operating system. I’ve never had much use for a Tablet until now, but the more I look at the Nexus the more I want to buy one!

It’s very similar to the Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet, except the specs (Quad-core Tegra 3 processor; 7” 1280×800 HD display) on the Nexus are better (the Kindle Fire comes out with a new version in July) and it’s at the same $199 price as the Fire. Also check out the video in the above link for more info on the Nexus 7. This thing is really beautiful, and the kids would love it!

The Google Play website has an easy-to-navigate layout and the integration with the Nexus Tablet makes purchasing TV shows, games, books, music and movies awfully easy. And all your purchases are saved in the ‘Cloud’. I would enjoy this device as a book reader, but the graphics on this machine would not be bad for watching visual media, too (although I prefer to watch TV shows on our 23″ monitor). The inclusion of buying music and playing games really makes this Tablet appealing for the whole family, and at $199 it’s a nice price! ($199 for the 8 Gb model; $249 for the 16 Gb).

I need to look into this a little more, but since I’m already hooked into the Google Universe through Gmail, Youtube, Google Docs and Google+, what the heck! Our Google Overlords do make life on the Web easy and seemlessly synchronous. And I like how the growing Tablet Wars are making such versatile devices more affordable all the time.

Though I may reconsider when the Google Cerebral Implant Chip Tablet comes out in 2017!