So after all my tribulations with Google over my Nexus7 a replacement arrived at 7.30am Friday morning. Luckily I was just heading out to work so was able to sign for it myself this time rather than risk the TNT neighbour lottery! After a quick check to make sure this one worked (yay!) I plugged it in to charge and demonstrating amazing will-power (for me) I left it behind and headed off to work.
That evening I skipped my usual Friday beers and headed straight home to have a much delayed play with my new toy. Only to discover it hadn’t charged. At all. A quick investigation and trying out the multitude of other micro-USB chargers I have laying about identified this latest problem as a dud charger shipped with the tablet. as it turns out the charger that came with my 1st Nexus was the only thing that did work so between the two of them I have ended up with one working product.
That wasn’t the only flaw though. Like alot of models mine has a slight problem with the way the screen and body meet – basically the left side of the screen is not flush with the body and feels like it needs to be ‘clicked’ back in. It isn’t really a problem as it doesn’t effect any functionality but it feels a bit shoddy. It is clear that there are some real QA problems at Nexus7 HQ!
Now onto the positives. I do love this little machine. The size and weight really do suit me. Even with my (still) ruined wrist it is comfortable to hold and the brightness & clarity of the screen is wonderful. The Kindle app is very smooth and while not as nice a reading experience as an e-ink reader it takes a solid silver medal. Not surprisingly the integration with Google products was extremely smooth and I admit I remain pretty locked-in to them. Google Reader in particular works really nicely in this format and will likely encourage me to get back to using it more and Google+ looks interesting enough in this format to convince me to use it at all 😉
This ‘naked’ version of Android 4.1 seems much quicker and smoother than any I have experience on a phone and after a couple of days worth of solid usage it hasn’t hiccuped once let alone crashed (unheard of with my other Android devices.)
I watched a couple of minutes of the movie shipped with it and it looked like decent quality – no idea what watching a full movie will do to the battery though – anymore that those 2 minutes would have caused me to scratch my own eyes out though (Transformers 2..really?)
Comixology looks good in this format as well – though the app could use some usability tweaks! The comics are still clearly optimised for the bigger iPad screens but I have a feeling this form factor is going to be the break through for digital comics.
All-in-all I think this is really close to being my perfect commuting device. It could do with a SIM card slot but for now tethering to my phone is fine and I have a mifi incoming. The two big problems remain the dreadful customer service and the lack of care and attention with the hardware. So close to being great but instead just OK.