Linus Torvalds reviews, loves, the Google Nexus 7

Summary:Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, reviews the Nexus 7 tablet on Google+ and loves it.

nexus-landscape-600
Linus Torvalds loves his Google Nexus 7 tablet.

Linus Torvalds, Linux's inventor, software developer extraordinary, and, now, tablet reviewer! On Google+, Torvalds reviewed his Nexus 7 tablet and like ZDNet reviewers such as James Kendrick , he loved it.

Of course, it's not perfect. Torvalds wrote, “Yes, the camera is front-facing only, and there's a good reason there's not even a camera app on the thing by default: it's pretty nasty. But does anybody really care? You'd look like a complete dork trying to take photos with a tablet anyway. It's probably fine enough for some video conferencing, but since that's not my thing let's just say 'whatever.'”

As for the operating system, Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, he, unlike ZDNet's Jason Perlow , likes the Nexus 7's default “plain android look.” Torvalds also found it “smoother, and that Jelly Bean is “picking up some of the best extensions (like app folder shortcuts). Yes, resizable widgets etc. And a lot of small improvement just in general.”

As or the applications, Torvalds and I agree on one point, on Gmail “the %^$* thing still cannot be set to send just plain-text emails. Why, google, why? Good technical mailing lists all know that html email is just spam or marketing people, and auto-delete html crap. Just give me the option to send text-only, ok?” Amen brother.

We also agree about the Nexus 7's side. “I think the 10" tablets are too big. The 8.9" form factor is better. And I think the 7" one is better yet , although I wouldn't dismiss something in between those two (ie the rumored apple mini-tablet size of 7.85" doesn't sound bad either).”

When it came to use as an e-reader though Torvalds still prefers a Kindle. That's because “E-Ink really is nicer for reading. And the kindle is lighter, which to me is a big deal while reading. I've got the Kindle Touch, but I think I'll switch to the even lighter Kindle 4 ("Kindle 5"?) if it gets a front-light.” Personally, when it comes to e-readers, I'm a Barnes & Noble Nook fan. That said, Toravlds thinks “the Nexus 7 is a perfectly fine reader, and with color, magazines etc work.

Torvalds sums up: “It's solid. If you simply don't like tablets (or android), I doubt the Nexus 7 will really change your mind, but if you were borderline, the new price-point (for a quality device - there's been cheap tablets before, but they've really been pretty bad) and the incremental improvements might be enough to push people over the line.”

I've just started playing with mine, but based on what I've seen I'd agree. The Nexus 7 is a lot of tablet for the money. That is, if you can find a Nexus 7 you can buy . They're selling at an incredible clip.

Related Stories:

Nexus 7 hands-on: Form and function meet flash and panache

App comparison: iPad vs. Nexus 7 -- no clear winner

How to make your Nexus 7 not suck

Google's Nexus 7: Android tablets have the same old problems

Nexus 7 and the start of my Google life

Topics: Linux, Android, Tablets

About

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, aka sjvn, has been writing about technology and the business of technology since CP/M-80 was the cutting edge, PC operating system; 300bps was a fast Internet connection; WordStar was the state of the art word processor; and we liked it.His work has been published in everything from highly technical publications... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.