Google Nexus 7 Review

I’ve acquired a Nexus 7 tablet recently and would like to do a write-up about it.

So.  A few weeks ago, I decided I was going to get a tablet.  I’d been looking at tablets for awhile now, and I wanted something that would be easy to use, light-weight, and good for reading.

I was looking at Apple’s iPad.  Brian has their iPad 2 and is very happy with it.  I would probably have gotten the New iPad if I was to get one, but was still undecided, so I was waiting.  I looked at the Asus Transformer and wasn’t impressed with the portability (I had a very portable computer in the Air).  I looked at all the tablets they had out at Best Buy and nothing really tickled my fancy.

I started seeing the new 7″ tablet from Google and Asus, and I was intrigued.  I decided to try it out at Office Max one weekend; sadly they didn’t have any in stock.  Another weekend, I went down to Microcenter and picked up the 16 gb version of it, along with a cover for it.  I’m still loving the cover; I wish I’d found a smart cover that would sleep and wake when you open it, but we all can’t have everything.  There’s a neat M-Edge cover out that I might pick up later, but for now, my blue cover is working fine.

I’ve been customizing the heck out of it… basically moving things where I think they should go and changing backgrounds and experimenting with widgets.  I’m pleased with what I’ve done, so how about a picture?

Nexus 7 Screenshot

The picture is my Pandarian Monk from WoW.  I have my Fancy Widgets running for weather and time and whatnot, and all the apps I need in the folders at the bottom.

From left to right we have: Google, Reading, Media, Social, Gaming, and Utilities.

I’ve installed the following apps (broken out by folder):

Reading:

  • Moon+ Reader Pro: Go-to reading app.  It’s really great and takes a ton of formats.
  • Pocket: I use this for longer articles from my RSS reader.
  • Feedly: My RSS reader.
  • Comics: There are some free things so I decided to give this comics app a try.  DC and Marvel universes, plus indie publishers.
  • B&N Nook: I have some books I like to read that are still in my Nook account.  I read them with this.
  • OverDrive: For library books.  I’ve not figured out how to really use it yet.  Ahem.
  • Wikipedia: Of course, duh.

Media:

  • Spotify: Music!
  • Pandora: Music!
  • Netflix: Movies!

Social:

  • Twitter: For short ramblings.
  • Skype: Video chat.
  • Facebook: To keep up with facebook.
  • Instagram: Initially to test out my camera, but I’ll keep it around to browse Instagram.  It’s nice on a tablet.

Gaming:

  • Fruit Ninja: I’ve a new addiction to slicing fruit…
  • Angry Birds: Uhm, flinging little birds at pigs? Why not?
  • Words with Friends: I’ve played this more now since I’ve installed it here.
  • Frozen Bubble: Great FOSS game.
  • WoW Armory: To show off my WoW stuff to people when I have an internet connection.

Utilities:

  • Evernote: Notes.
  • Dropbox: Indispensable.

Google gave me $25 at the Play store, so I paid for Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds to get rid of the ads.  I also did an “in-app” payment for WwF to get rid of the ads.  Moon Reader+ Pro was only $5 and it was worth every penny.  It’s by far the most used app on my tablet.

And I use this thing.  I read on it, game on it, use it to check the weather in the morning before work, and sometimes use it to watch a movie before bed.  I picked up a picture stand for $5 at Target; that works to hold the tablet in landscape mode to watch a movie in bed.

And now for some more pictures!  I took these while opening it all up.  And opening the box was a pain, let me tell you.  So here we go!

From the top left, you can see my screenshot again, and then the packaging, some general unboxing stuff, and then finally the tablet in the case.  I wish I could have gotten a black case, but they didn’t have one, so what can you do?

It fits really well in my purse or my bag for work.  I like being able to carry this device around so I can read or play a game if I have to wait or whatever.  Sometimes I’m without wifi, and in those times, the books are perfect.

A word of warning to Linux users: you’ll have to install gMTP to browse the files on the device.  It uses the Microsoft Protocol thing, and won’t show up as a device in Nautilus.  It took me a couple tries to pair the device with gMTP, but once I got it working, it was great!  Now I tend to upload what I need to dropbox so I can access it easily on the device.

If you’re looking for a 7″ device that you’ll use for games and reading and light browsing, I can’t recommend this enough.  It’s an amazing little tablet and I love this size.  It’s perfect for reading.

5/5 penguins.

2 thoughts on “Google Nexus 7 Review”

  1. Glad you like it. I ended up scoring a quick success when I bought mine which was when there were few covers and so scoured Ebay but with a memroy of a you tube video that had a Nexus 7 taken apart and they spotted there were magnets in the corners (which would be for sleep functions) (video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZL1mly7rZ0) and so found a really good Leather PU type cover which had batteries inside so it sends it to sleep when I shut the case. Ok it is black not blue like yours but there must be others out there.

    What was the fnacy widgets app you installed by the way? Looks really good.

    I am also looking to group my apps like you but do you find they slow you down?

    1. The Fancy Widgets app is called “Fancy Widgets”. I bought it (I think it was all of $3 or something). There are different skins for it; take a look in the theme store within the app. I’m using MIUI ICS White as my theme. Love it.

      I actually *just* picked up an M-Edge cover today that has the magnets in it to wake and sleep. I’m using it now and I love it to bits. It’s black and looks very classy.

      I don’t find that the grouping slows me down any; I just have to remember where things are, but the way I have them grouped, I seem to remember. The labels help too. I prefer a non-busy screen, so I have to remember where I’ve put my apps. It’s not that big of a deal, really.

      Amy

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