I have now owned the new Nexus 7 for approximately a week. The screen is sharp and beautiful. I find it fairly simple to add apps. The speakers have a nice, clear sound.
And I pretty much have no use for it.
My complaint, I think, is not with the Nexus, but with tablets in general. Compared to my Macbook Air, the Nexus 7 (and the iPad I borrowed last year) is inferior for using email, facebook, twitter, and just about everything else I want to do with a device.
Why? The reason is simple. A full size keyboard is like a hard-wired extension of my brain. And I just don’t have that with a tablet. If I merely want to browse facebook or email or play Words with Friends, then I’d just as soon use my iPhone.
There is one shining feature of the Nexus 7 that does stand out, however. I loaded a kindle app and began browsing the titles I have accumulated in the last few years. The rotating book covers made unread books look wonderfully approachable. I began working through Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. The plain text of the pages are beautiful on that crystal clear screen.
So, I’ll give it an E for Excellent E-Reader. But $229 may be a bit steep for reading.
One more nice side benefit exists. It makes a nice whining reducer on car rides. My daughter forgot her Nintendo DS on a recent trip. Her brother played his. I handed her the Nexus and the problem was solved as she played Pet Rescue Saga.
I think that last bit underscores the point about tablets. If you want to work one way or the other, then it is not terribly useful. If you want to read, watch, or play games, then a tablet makes all the sense in the world.