Thinking About a Nexus 7

Last week Apple introduced the iPad Mini, a 7.9-inch screen version of the 10-inch iPad. The smaller iPad starts at $329 for the 16 GB version, $429 for the 32 GB version. People compared it to Google’s Nexus 7, introduced earlier this year, at $199, but that 7-inch tablet came with only 8 GB of memory (you could buy a 16 GB version for $249, a fairer comparison, $80 less than Apple). Amazon’s Kindle Fire is also $199, with 16 GB of memory, but the Kindle platform, based on Google’s Android, doesn’t seem as open an implementation as Google’s own device, and seems mostly to be a conduit for content from Amazon (I could be wrong on that).

Today Google struck back at Apple, introducing a 10-inch screen Nexus to compete against the full size iPad. They also upped the ante by giving their entry level Nexus 7 16 GB of memory for $199 (putting them $130 below the iPad Mini) and offering a 32 GB version for $249 ($180 below the iPad!). The Nexus 7 also has more resolution than the iPad mini even though the screen itself is smaller (7 inches instead of 7.9 inches; it’s a significant difference: the iPad has 27% more screen area). One of the things I like too is the Nexus 7 includes GPS, which the iPad does not (unless you buy one with cellular reception for more money and a monthly fee). A very cool feature, since it doesn’t have cellular data and wi-fi isn’t usually available when I’m on the go, would be if I could download all of Google maps into the Nexus 7, making it a stand-alone GPS navigator. There are other things that go Apple’s way: Apple includes a 5 megapixel camera on the iPad plus another camera for video chat while the Nexus has only a 1.2 megapixel video chat camera. And no doubt there are more apps for the iPad.

The real question is do I need either one of these? I already have the iPod Touch, which does most of what I want just on a tiny screen. I kind of like the idea of a 7-inch device since it would be easier to carry than the 10-inch one. I don’t really read that much on the iPod and that is where the 7-inch screen would be more helpful. Also the videos I watch are encoded at 320 pixels across, so I am afraid that if I blew them up they would look bad. Or I could re-record them off of my DVD’s at a higher resolution, but that would take up more room on my hard drive. Still, the 32 GB Nexus could hold my entire music collection and a big chunk of video, and maybe still leave room for maps of the entire country (world?!), and maybe even Wikipedia.

4 thoughts on “Thinking About a Nexus 7

  1. Make sure you test drive before using any “tighter” resolution screens. I would love to have the MacBook Air 11″, but the high resolution is squeezed down to a smaller screen that just doesn’t work for my aging eyes.

    You consume a lot of material. I would think you would enjoy either a 7-ish inch or a 10-ish inch. Over half my home screen time is now iPad in many more locations than my laptop. If you want to test drive my iPad, I’ll let you borrow it for a couple of weeks.

  2. Done. I tried getting the 32GB version at Google’s Play website, but they wanted $13 shipping plus sales tax. Looked around for better deals and found J&R online. They had it for $249 with free shipping, no sales tax, and a $5 off discount code (SPOOKY), so down to $244. And by shopping via Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card I got an additional 3% cash back in addition to the regular 1% cash back, so that’s another $10 off. With a Discover card (which I don’t have) supposedly you could get 5% off on online purchases as part of a promotion they are having plus 5% additional by going to JR via Discover Shopping. I probably should have gotten someone with a Discover card to buy it for me. And all of this is $180 less than the 32GB iPad Mini, and still $80 less than the iPad Mini with half the memory.

    This version is a little different from the one at Google. I don’t think this one (the retail version) has any Google branding on it, just Asus (who also make Google’s) and the back is brown instead of black.

  3. After ordering, I realized that J&R is located in New York City and that city is not working right now due to the flooding from Sandy. I wondered if they would be able to ship or even process the order. I checked the status way too often and the next night they showed the order as shipped with a UPS tracking number. I had picked free shipping which for them is where UPS delivers the package to the local post office and then the post office actually delivers it to my house. On Halloween they showed a delivery date of Saturday, November 3, with the item currently in Queen, so I figured that just meant the shipping info had been entered. The next day the package made it to Secaucus, NJ, but a map showed that was only on the other side of the Hudson River. It stayed there until this morning when it showed that it was suddenly in Doraville, GA (sometimes tracking shows all the stops it makes in between). This afternoon it showed it was dropped off at the post office. Then tonight it gave me the USPS tracking number, which indicated it had made it to Clarkston, which is where my postman works (the local post office is just a store front, basically). So I should get it tomorrow! That works out great for me since UPS wouldn’t deliver on Saturday and neither would probably leave it at my door on Friday without me signing for it.

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