This is going to be a three part review to the new Google Nexus 7 tablet running Jellybean version of the Android OS.

Part I: Anticipation
Here I’ll talk about what it’s like before I get device, what I’ve heard, and what I’m looking forward too.

Part II: Actualization
My first hands on experience with the tablet, how fresh it feels, how it compares to my other Android experiences and of could compared to the iPad

Part III: Aftermath
And after the glow of ‘new toy’ wears off what are we left with, will I be a hard core user, maybe get a bump up to medium, or will it be regulated to the occasion check in when I think about it.

Part III: Aftermath

Okay so we’re heading into one week with the Nexus 7 and I am still in love with the device.  It’s just the right size for single handed operation, and the sound issue is an actual hardware problem with my unit and Google is looking into replacing it.  Although it sounds like it might be a while, as they have have been so over whelmed with orders for the 16gb version they have actually STOPPED taking new orders and instead give you the option to get on a mailing list for when the do start again.

Now that COULD also be due to the amount of replacement units that are needing to go out to replace the variety of issues that have been plaguing these first GEN devices.  I’ve read reports of screen separation, ghosting effects, charging issues, touch detection problems and even microphones not working.  Luckily my sound, actually let me correct that my speaker issue is easily worked around until my replacement arrives.  I can use either headphones or Bluetooth to re-route the audio to none blown speakers.  So I’ll stop whining for now.

All of these issues point to a lack of Quality Control, and you’d think with ASUS’s experience they would have know better, but it is what it is.  I just hope every other Android manufacture out there is paying attention.

The Nexus 7 is exactly what the doctor ordered to jump start the Android tablet market.  Google needed to put out a device that showcases the best of what they can do.  And while the Nexus 7 isn’t perfect, it hits in all the right spots where it counts.  Easy to hold, easy to use, and great experience once you know what you are doing.  It would never be something my Ma would learn to use, but if I had to I could configure it for her and she could learn to use it.  She wouldn’t take the time to figure out all the bells an whistles.

And now most of the games she would be interested in playing are available on Android.  In fact because of my previous investment trying out Android on my ASUS transformer and my Kindle Fire I still haven’t touched my $25 Google Play credit I’m tempted to use it to buy content but I can’t for some stupid reason access my Google Play Movies on my Google TV, go figure.

But the Nexus 7 is great for sketching,  it’s just the right size, for at least my doodling.  The face recognition does work better without the blink detection but it’s not as secure since a photo works too.

Google Now is an interesting bit of software.  But to compare it to Siri is really not fair.  To me they are different things.  Google Now helps you find things where Siri is more of an assistant.  Now I am running the Beta Version of Siri so mine has a few more features than what is currently publicly available and with it I can actually have Siri Tweet, post to Facebook, and even launch applications.  None of those thing can be done with Google Now, but GN can find things and pretty quick too.   One of the annoying things with Siri and security is that in order for her to be able do those things you have to unlocked the device first.  But with Google Now I can hit the button look at the device, it will unlock and then I can fire off Google Now and it presents me with the answer.  So I use them for different things.  And I’m sure much like a parent I have room in my heart for both without having to favor one over the other.

The most asked question I’ve been getting is will I switch.  At this point no, I’m still going to keep a foot in both camps.  I see the benefits of each for various reasons.  If Apple makes the iPad mini and it’s easy to hold in one hand it’s really gong to be tough.  That could kick the Nexus 7 into the Kindle cradle where currently the Kindle Fire sits as an my audio book player for when I rest for the evening.

I use to wake to my iPhone and go to bed with my iPad but now the Nexus 7 is the tablet that I go to bed too and the one I wake up with.  It’s nicer to have the larger screen size vs looking at my iPhone however this is no Retina Display.  Don’t get me wrong it’s a great screen, but I can still see the pixels when I’m looking up close and when I doodle I take my glasses off and get nice and tight to the screen just like I like to do when I draw in the real world.  When you are that close you can see it, it’s a lot like looking at my MacBook Air or my 27″ iMac screen.

I really do like that I can customize the interface, I just don’t like that I haven’t been able to figure out how to control how often then widgets refresh.  But I’m sure in time I’ll learn more about that.  I do hope that Jellybean will rolled out to the original Transformer.  Regardless I’m still going to revisit my Transformer and these widgets.

I’m going to really enjoy this journey into Android, and I’ll be blogging it along the way. I hope you’ll join me.

Bily Foster

PS I just got my notice from Google about my replacement > excitement squeal<