It’s been a while since I really blogged about gadgets. A couple of years ago I used to get really excited about upcoming products, and I just couldn’t shut up about things like the CrunchPad and the Eee-PC. Lately, that hasn’t happened much, and I’ve been wondering why. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not that I don’t have time to blog, or lost interest in gadgets. It’s just that everything released lately has been “incremental”. Almost everyday there’s a new laptop or tablet that’s thinner, lighter, faster than the previous one. Evolution, not revolution. The first thing that’s really tickled my fancy in a long time is the Nexus 7.
Last week, Google announced their first tablet. Although manufactured by Asus, this 7 inch tablet’s “Nexus” name means it’ll be among the first devices to get upgraded to new versions of Android. It also means you’ll get the OS as it was intended, without vendor-specific skins, which tend to be worse than the vanilla version. But what’s most spectacular about the Nexus 7 is that it’s only $199.
That low price does not means it has poor specs. In fact, the “7” has one of the fastest quad core processors, and a high quality IPS screen. It’s a revolutionary product because you can now get a “real” tablet for half the price of an iPad 2. Up until now, the only tablets available for $199 had poor – often resistive – screens, limited memory, or other large drawbacks. Google’s new offering lacks a rear camera and stereo speakers. Tradeoffs I could totally live with.
I’m very happy with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. It’s a great tablet, but with the Nexus 7 now available, I don’t think I’d buy it now. It has a great 10 inch screen, but I find I rarely take it with me. If I had to choose now, I’d absolutely go for the more powerful and portable Nexus.