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8/27/2012
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Google Nexus 7: A Work Tablet?

Google's first Android tablet, with its fast quad-core processor, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system, compact size, and hi-res screen, offers the best bang for the buck of any tablet available today. It's the snappiest, most comfortable-feeling tablet I've tested.

What about having fun?

We thought you'd never ask! When you're tired of using the Nexus 7 for catching up on work email and preparing proposal and presentation drafts, you can kick back:

  • Browse the Web with a choice of desktop-class browsers.
  • Chat with friends over Skype or Google Talk.
  • Connect with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or other social networks.
  • Stream videos from local storage, from UPnP or Windows LAN shares, or from sites such as Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, and elsewhere.
  • Listen to music from local storage, from services such as Pandora or LastFM, or from your favorite Internet radio stations.
  • Catch up on the latest news from news sites and blogs.
  • Read ebooks through apps such as Google Play Books, Amazon Kindle, and B&N Nook.
  • Play games.

To see me using the Nexus 7 for all these enjoyable pursuits, check out the comprehensive Google Nexus 7 screenshot tour on my blog. One big disappointment, though: Google has removed Adobe Flash support from Android starting with version 4.1, although there might be ways to circumvent that restriction.

The bottom line

Can you be productive using the Nexus 7? It depends on the work. If you need to crank out richly-formatted text, presentation, and spreadsheet documents, it would be challenging even on a 10-inch tablet because Android productivity apps aren't quite there yet. On the other hand, with the aid of Google Voice Typing and perhaps a Bluetooth keyboard, you certainly can create relatively lengthy text documents fairly easily. And the Nexus 7 is great for viewing documents, websites, and other forms of content; in fact, the ability to hold it in one hand comfortably gives it the edge over a heavier 10-inch tablet in many situations.

What about Samsung's similarly-priced Galaxy Tab 2 7.0? If the Nexus 7's lack of a camera doesn't bother you (it is possible to take low-res snapshots, thanks to a third-party app), the Nexus 7 outperforms the Samsung tablet in nearly every respect. Check out all its advantages.

Google Nexus 7 vs. Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

Nexus 7
advantages
Galaxy Tab 2 7.0
advantages
Quad-core CPUMicroSD slot
Android 4.13MP back camera
1280x800 px screen 
1.2MP front camera 
4325 mAh battery 
$199 price (8GB flash) 


Google's First Android Tablet


Name: Google Nexus 7 (manufactured by Asus)

Google's first Android tablet, with its quad-core processor, latest Android operating system, hi-res 1280x800 screen, and compact size, offers the best bang for the buck of any tablet available today.


Price: $199.99 (8GB flash) or $249.99 (16GB flash)



Pro:

  • Rock-bottom price for a full-featured tablet.
  • Quad-core 1GHz CPU delivers snappy performance.
  • Based on the latest Android 4.1 OS (Jelly Bean).
  • Crisp, bright 1280x800 display.
  • Packed with wireless: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC.
  • Thin, lightweight, comfortable feel.
  • Decent battery life.
  • Google Voice Typing works surprisingly well.

Con:

  • Best used with a Bluetooth keyboard for generating office documents.
  • Lacks a primary (back) camera for taking photos.
  • Lacks a microSD slot for expandable/removable flash storage.
  • No option for 3G/4G cellular.
  • Lacks Adobe Flash support.

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