Nexus 7 tablet: One week in

Summary:The Nexus 7 tablet from Google and Asus is remarkably good for the price. I've had mine a week and it is already the gadget I am most likely to grab.

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The Nexus 7 took its time to arrive after orders started filling, and after a week I admit it is hardly leaving my hand. The size and weight makes handling the Nexus 7 second nature, and the operation is as smooth as butter.

It only took a day for the Nexus 7 to become my ereader of choice. I have used the iPhone, various Android phones, and the iPad for reading books from the Kindle bookstore, but none compare to the Nexus 7. Holding the light tablet in the hand for long periods is easier than the iPad due to the light weight and small form. It is already second nature to me to grab the Nexus when I want to read.

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When I am not reading books with the Nexus I am often on Twitter, using the Plume app. I find that I switch between portrait and landscape orientation with the Nexus 7, and I like the way Plume handles both displays. I get a nice big Twitter timeline in portrait and three columns showing the timeline, mentions, and the core list of people I follow in another. Tilt the Nexus and the display instantly changes.

Battery life on the Nexus 7 is as good as expected, easily lasting all day with heavy use. I charge it each night and then use it for hours without worry.

Using the Chrome web browser is a joy and sets a high standard for mobile devices. It doesn't feel like a compromise over the desktop at all, and that's just right for the 7-inch display. Pages are easy to read and the standard double-tap of a column of text zooms it right in when needed. I find Chrome on the Nexus 7 to be even more stable than on my MacBook.

Speaking of stability, that's the main draw for me with Jelly Bean on the Nexus 7. Even with very heavy usage the tablet has not crashed once since I've owned it. That's a first for me with an Android tablet.

I have used over a dozen different Android tablets and frequent crashes/reboots have affected every single one of them. I don't know if that was the result of the earlier versions of Android or the apps I use, but it marred my enjoyment of Android tablets.

That's no longer the case with the Nexus. No app has crashed and the tablet hasn't spontaneiously rebooted while using it. It is as stable as the iPad in operation for me, and that's a big thing.

Smooth operation is also now a reality with the Project Butter enhancements in Jelly Bean. Even scrolling with lots of graphic elements is very smooth on the Nexus 7. It's not perfect but it is no longer jarring as on other Android tablets.

I am very happy with the purchase of the Nexus 7. It has become my tablet of choice most of the time. I now only grab the iPad when I want to get some serious work done, which it excels at doing for me. When I head out the door to work mobile, the iPad in keyboard case goes in the bag. The Nexus 7 also comes along, riding in the little pocket on the bag. It takes so little space and adds almost no weight so I bring it to. 

Odds are if I am not writing I am using the Nexus 7. It is my go-to tablet for most everything else. No one gadget is right for everyone, but if you want a solid Android tablet that is good value for the price, you should check out the Nexus 7.

Topics: Android, Google, iPad

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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