When it became obvious I was going to be getting a tablet a number of years ago I knew exactly what I wanted. It had to be 10-ish”, Android based and have a keyboard dock. My reasoning for the dock was so I could get some “real work done” in a pinch and that would require some decently fast typing I wasn’t sure I could do with my thumbs. At the time I went with the Asus Transformer and, I have to admit, liked the device a lot. I also learned that what I thought I wanted in a tablet was not totally accurate.
Break it down
10 > 7
There was a few reasons I thought that a 10″ tablet would be much better than a 7″. The first being that there would be more screen to view. That means more widgets, bigger videos, more room to enjoy games, etc.. While I get most of my comics in physical form the thought of reading a comic on a 7″ screen seemed unnecessarily frustrating. The next reason was due to what, at the time, was a sizable screen on a phone. I had this thought that a 7″ wasn’t a drastic enough difference from my phones screen size. Lastly, I had the mindset that the 7″ tablets are the 10″ tablets cheaper versions. It sort of makes sense. In other areas of tech the smaller version has less space/power/upgrades/something.
I wanted an Android based device. I had just mourned a move from WebOS to an Android phone. I liked the Android phone quite a bit and figured it would do well in tablet form. The more open nature of Android was a big factor as I much rather use open of Free. Add to that I could use the same apps and it was a no brainer. Of course having many of my other friends walking around with Android devices didn’t hurt either.
Get things done
When I said “get real work done” what I really mean is not simple nor short. “Real work” constituted things that I didn’t see as being very easy to do with a soft keyboard. Not impossible, but not an enjoyable experience. For instance writing a blog post or going through some code would be work while responding to an email or reading a book wouldn’t.
Where I went wrong
10 != 7
10″ and 7″ really are in different categories as Ava from HeelsAndTech points out. What I slowly started to figure out was that portability was a huge want for me when it comes to tablet usage. Of course a 10″ is portable but a 7″ is easier to keep with you day after day. Keeping a 10″ tablet with me day after day was like keeping a very light textbook along. A 7″ tablet is similar to carrying a light paperback.
Nope, spot on with this one.
But way off here. I usually don’t think of myself as a consumer but somewhere in between producer and consumer. I’m creating code, writing documents, editing images, recording music, etc… My faulty assumption was that I would want to do most of these things from my tablet. In reality I grabbed the tablet when I wanted to read the feeds without being tied to a desk or watch a movie on a treadmill (probably not the safest thing…). These were times when I was done creating for the moment and ready to walk away from the desk.
But I wasn’t unhappy
My Transformer didn’t cause any problems. It had great battery life. It’s screen was nice. But something happened that inched me over the line: seemingly no official word on the original Transformer getting Jelly Bean, the newest version of Android. It is true I could root the device and throw another ROM on there but when it comes to my tablet I want to keep it simple. It got me thinking more about if it was already time to replace my Transformer with another device which had a better chance for a longer life span.
I waited a little bit and it wasn’t long that I started to see friends slowly getting their hands on Nexus 7‘s and still liking them weeks after purchase. It got me thinking about if an official Google device would likely get better lifespan than 3rd party devices which rebuild, add on and push their own ROM’s out. After a coworker brought Nexus 7 over so I could test out the tablet I was pretty much sold.
So far it hasn’t been perfect but total perfection is not what I was expecting. The issues have been minor and I believe are more on the server side than client side. For instance I was looking at Google Play Magazines and it was stuck trying to log in.
In general it’s a solid and speedy device with a good feel. I’m glad I picked one up when I did.
The issue I had with Google Play Magazines I also had with Google Currents. This seems to happen if you accidentally hit the account you want to use twice on first run. Here is how I fixed it on my tablet (using paraphrased wording):
- go to Settings->Applications
- find Google Magazines/Google Currents
- View the application information
- Touch Force Stop and the warning that pops up after about the application possibly misbehaving
- Touch Clear Data
- Touch Home and reopen the app.
You should no be back to the original “select the account to use” screen. Be careful to only click your account once. The Nexus screen is very sensitive!