This is the first of a couple different review posts coming up about it!
Our REALLY good friends at Staples asked us what time of electronic device we were looking for to meet our Back to School, Blogging, and Parenting needs, and as Dad had just bought the coolest bluetooth/wi-fi printer, so there was really only one thing on our wish list: an ereader or tablet. While using the smart cell phone is convenient, the data charges are NOT! In reviewing the choices that Staples offered, we were thrilled to see that they still had some of the Nexus 7 Google Android tablets in stock! Since they came out in late June, they have been selling out like the proverbial hotcakes! It was like it was divined!
I think the Nexus 7 makers are like little elves working for Santa though- they know we kids (aka adults) can't wait to rip off the packaging and get to playing with our new toy. So their little evil minds decided to make it difficult (!!!), apparently to ratchet up the anticipation factor. Did I mention they were evil? Seriously, it will take you 5 minutes, JUST to get the outer sleeve (grey in above picture) off the black box containing the tablet! Then you have to unhook the super strong sticky label holding your tablet INTO the inner box. Did I mention they were evil? Ten minutes later you have your new toy and are rapt with joy (ok, so we'll forgive them some).
First a caveat- there is no PAPER manual. The digital how-to book is ON the tablet! But because it's Android and Google, it SIMPLE to navigate. You merely turn the power on and wa-la you have a home screen,which I forgot to take a picture of in my excitement (but the manual book will show in the upper left corner).
So here's a current take: as you can see your most recent entertainment features are shown in large on the upper screen. In this case, 2 magazines (it comes with 5 freebies already loaded!), a book (also a freebie) and music. Oh and did I mention the new Transformers movie is in there too? Are ya thinking cool or what?
Below that are your app navigation buttons, which are really easy to understand. Now I moved a couple of mine around, to better fit my needs and this is the really COOL part of it being Android- it was super easy to do and didn't require 18 steps (like things on the iphone do, which drives me nuts). You can as stack the apps on top of one another, so say all your book reader apps are together, your music apps, your networking apps, your working apps, etc. AND you have screens to the left and right as well! On the right screen you have recommendations based on your content, that Google Play things you would like. The left screen is open. So I added all of Kiddos apps onto it, making it easy for her to navigate, and less likely to get into an app she shouldn't!
On the lower screen are your navigation buttons: return, home and tabs. Which are literally what they say- return to previous page (ie from internet back to your email), home screen (which is what the picture above is)-no pesky having to close apps to keep them from running down your data plan- just hit the home button!, and tabs, which show your most recent opened apps WHERE you left them. So you can toggle back and forth between open apps- an Android feature I sorely miss on iphone!
Want to know one of the BEST things about the tablet?
You know I've been suffering with the iphone (if you've had an Android and an iphone, you know what I mean), after accidently running over my Android cell phone. Well other than still trying to get my contacts back, I had everything backed up onto the memory card, so I didn't loose hardly anything. But I had had ALOT of apps on the phone. Well guess what?
When I logged into Google Play with my previous password, it all transferred to the tablet. AUTOMATICALLY! Yup, all the apps Kiddo and I loved and used, BAMM, were there. WOO HOO! Now not to say I didn't go looking for some updated/new apps (GRIN), but talk about a TIME saver! Now it did take some time for the 26 apps to download, but I was charging it at the same time, so no big deal. As to the charge, it had about an hour's worth of play time, before it started showing low. Which was more time than I expected!
The colors are amazing on this tablet. Seriously I think the screen def is better than my laptop! Reading an ebook on it is ALMOST like reading a real book! And it fits perfectly in your hand, with the ideal weight. I do need to get a case for it to protect it from falls, but right now I am loving how thin and portable it is. It is SO easy to slide into a purse and take with you. I love how responsive the screen is- the best touch screen I've ever seen actually, and it is running the new Jellybean Android version, so it is FAST!!!
It works off wi-fi, so there is ZERO danger of running through your data plan, like a smart phone. But you can work off-internet with no problem, so you can read, write, and play with no problem. And it automatically searches for the closest wi-fi, so as soon as you sit down at say your fav fast food place, you can be on their network while the kids are playing!
My iphone doesn't have SIRI, but with the Nexus I have Google Voice and it's searching has saved me an actual book of typing so far! Seriously just think how long it would take you to type: "what are the benefits of having a tablet over a laptop for back to school", versus saying it? Yup, another time saving feature that really works! And the sound? Oh my- the speakers I had bought (and not unpacked) for my iphone are going back to the store! Put the device upright and you have stereo SOUND. Absolutely amazing!
Now there are a few limitations to the tablet:
- there is no expansion slot. SO make sure you get the 16GB model. The extra $50 will be WELL worth it. Now note, I have almost 2 pages worth of apps, some music, and a bunch of books downloaded onto my tablet and have ONLY gone through about 1/2GB.
- Jellybean does NOT work with Adobe Flash anymore. So there may be some videos and games you can not access or play on the tablet.
- what laptop? Seriously, if you have a wi-fi or bluetooth printer, there is not much need for it! There is no USB slot, but you can get a mini to USB connector for under $5 on the internet, and whamo, you can connect ANY of your devices like a mouse, keyboard or back up drive, and have everything you have a laptop for.
- the biggest issue? Getting it BACK:
So far the battery has lasted a solid 9 and half hours, which is really great considering how many apps I have had open at one time. After the initial charge, it has only taken about two hours to get back to a full charge. While playing music the second day, I had it plugged in to also charge, and it did so without any problems!
I haven't done much in the way of ACTUAL word processing or blogging yet (that will be in the update post coming later this week). But so far I am literally in LOVE with the Nexus 7 and HIGHLY recommend it to everybody! It has been super easy to use and I am 100% serious when I say if I had had this in college, life woulda been a WHOLE lot easier! If you are considering a laptop, check out this tablet, it might change the way you use and see personal electronics!
Stay tuned for an updated review and more pictures!
Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this product, free of charge, from Staples, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or other, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it