Using Nexus 7 with keyboard: Not on your life

Summary:The Nexus 7 has captured the attention of many interested in the smaller tablet form. Some are wondering if the highly portable tablet would be good to use with a keyboard for content creation. My experience says no way.

Nexus 7 Keyboard

My Nexus 7 is almost always in my hand, surfing the web, researching articles, reading an ebook, or otherwise consuming content from the web. It is particularly useful for those purposes as I have detailed in the past. I am getting asked if the Nexus 7 would be useful for creating content with an external keyboard. My answer is absolutely not.

I have a reputation for using tablets in my work by using them with keyboards to write thousands of words. They are very good at that as my working history proves, but only to a point. 

The Nexus 7 will never be good for writing as I do, even with a good external keyboard. That's due to one factor: size. While the 7-inch display makes the Nexus 7 perfect for a portable companion, it is too limiting for use as a laptop replacement.

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This limit is due to two factors, keyboard width and display size. Just like the original 7-inch netbook, the Eee PC, the Nexus 7 is too narrow to support a case with a workable keyboard. I never could type well on the Eee PC, and the same would be true for any keyboard for the Nexus 7.

The screen size is even worse for using in a laptop configuration with a keyboard. While the small display is perfect while held in the hand not too far from the eyes, it's a different ballgame when propped up with a keyboard for typing. The small screen is too far from the eyes and just too darn small to be useful.

That's why I can't see ever using the Nexus 7 as a standin for writing, even if it's the only gadget in the bag. While larger tablets like the iPad work well for me for such tasks, I am not willing to use something that makes the process difficult. A tiny display would certainly do that so I'll stick to using the iPad for writing and the Nexus 7 for most everything else.

Topics: Tablets, Android, Apple, Google, iPad, Mobility

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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