Getting a Nexus 7 ready to do serious work

Getting a Nexus 7 ready to do serious work

Summary: Late last week, I took delivery of a Nexus 7. Here's what I did to get my tablet ready to do some real work on Monday morning.

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  • (Image: ZDNet)

    Introduction

    Regular readers will know that I'm a pretty agnostic guy when it comes to platforms. My background is in Windows, but in recent years, I've spread my wings and added Linux, OS X, and iOS to my kit. However, one platform that I had yet to adopt for day-to-day usage was Android. I didn't see a space for it. I had a notebook, which used to be Windows, but is now OS X, an iPhone, and an iPad.

    Until now.

    I've had a hankering for a 7-inch tablet, and while the iPad Mini seemed the most logical choice — the iPhone and iPad meant that I was already deep in the iOS ecosystem and heavily invested in apps — I wanted something different than just an iPad hit with a blast from a shrink ray.

    Cut a long story short, I bought a Nexus 7. I chose this tablet because it offered the purest Android experience possible. I had almost bought an Amazon Kindle Fire HD — a fantastic tablet with a great set of speakers — but it's just too tied to the Amazon ecosystem.

    But the purchase of a Nexus 7 meant that I needed to get it ready to do some serious work. This meant getting some additional hardware and software. Here's what I did to get my tablet ready for Monday morning.

  • (Image: ZDNet)

    Case

    I'm harsh on my kit, so a case was in order. There are literally hundreds of cases available for the Nexus 7, so this makes getting a good one a bit of a hit or miss affair. Ideally, I wish that Amazon made a case for the Nexus 7, because it's custom case for the Kindle and Kindle Fire tablets are amazing — albeit pricy.

    In the end, I went for an HHI UrbanFlip in faux carbon fiber.

    Price: $8.99

Topics: Android, Google, Tablets, Bring Your Own Device

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30 comments
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  • Looking for a problem that doesn't exists

    If you are talking about serious work (not blogging), Get a Windows 8 ultrabook /tablet. These machines will do anything and everything.

    The best part - no google spyware
    Owlll1net
    • What "problem" might that be?

      He's just showing what case and apps he chose for his Nexus. If he had gotten a Win8 Ultrabook/tablet he would apparently choose much the same or similar stuff (MS Office instead of OfficeSuite), if available, to make it useful and secure. Gawd, you MS shills....
      JustCallMeBC
    • MS is the king of spying.

      So then there is no best part and i've saved a bunch of $$$ with the nexus.
      drwong
    • Show me

      Show me a 7" Windows 8 tablet first, then we‘ll talk.
      dsf3g
    • Ray

      Windows 8 is a joke. I was one of the early adopters, and I regret every penny spent on that CRAPWARE ($39.99). I had to "Upgrade" back to Windows 7 to keep myself from leaving Windows entirely. I was so sick of that OS, there were days that I wanted to barf all over the keyboard when those ugly tiles popped up. I didn't want a Windows 8 phone metro crap, yet I still received it. THROW IT IN THE TRASH, if you ask me.

      Windows 8 is a watered down version of Window 7, and the sales numbers are physical proof. Besides, why do you think Windows 8 "Blue" is being developed. They're updating the entire OS with something a bit more user friendly.

      Stick to Android. Linux is the future.
      Ray07
    • spyware wise

      ...and probably would have gotten Microsoft spyware LOL
      if you want spyware-free ones pray to the linux geeks to offer you one such OS for your tablet.
      innn
  • With these kind of articles, Zdnet is losing credibility.

    Fundamentally, open source is not allowed at work because if something is screwed up (functionality/security, etc), we cannot wait for the community to release a fix at their own comfort. The sum of Revenue loss caused by lost productivity, lack of SLAs, etc often costs more than the license cost of Windows/Apple OS. Business doesn't need fancy features, but need a reliable OS. We just do not look at the "cost" factor alone when we go with a vendor- it is capex and we are fine with paying onetime. I don't understand why Zdnet allows their writes biased articles these days! Wonder if the authors get commission/goodies from the company they tend to favor! I feel Zdnet's revenue model is build around it (my opinion).
    sandeep.splash
    • make-work article

      check out his amazing iWatch article.
      everss02
    • Businesses use open source all the time.

      Business will use anything that is cost effective and manageable. Open or closed source. If you look at web server it would be difficult to find a modern business site not using some form of open source javascript or any PHP (which is completely open source). When it comes to many server side application Linux beats Windows most of the time (stability and reliability). Blanket statement don't work well here.
      alex_darkness
    • screwed up (functionality/security)

      Are saying that with a straight face? MS Windows?
      functionality/security and fast response to fix problems?
      bcurl@...
    • Not True

      I work for an IT company with 80,000 employees and we have a BOYD scheme here.
      Striking a balance between security and usability is always an issue but it works here and solutions like Citrix or VMware Desktops help sandbox any issues and vulnerabilities.
      SnowIsDancing
  • Choose not to read...

    anything past the first page. I don' t need 11 pages and clicks to tell me what you did. 2 or 3 regular web pages should suffice and if you want pictures of everything then make them optional.
    jkohut
  • It's Monday morning and symptoms of cabin fever are very evident.

    Actually, I thought this was a very nice blog AKH article about a seven inch tablet and, more importantly, about some very interesting apps for this ecosystem.

    Personally, I am invested heavily in the iOS-OS X ecosystem but I also have a Surface Pro (a very nice tablet-laptop hybrid) as well. Additionally, regarding some of my holiday gifts designed to spoil my nephew and niece, both teenagers received an Android seven inch tablet. (They were a Nexus 7 and a Kindle Fire HD)

    My nephew, (a true computer geek, in the best ways) is of the opinion that his Nexus 7 is THE BEST seven inch tablet in the Universe. But then again, what do teenagers know. Grin!

    This article might help him select a few apps to install on his system. (BTW, he still prefers to view web pages on his parent's 10" iPad. It's larger screen is an obvious advantage for web surfing and his uncle can't fault his teenage nephew on that opinion.)
    kenosha77a
  • for a tablet to do work

    it needs a solid keyboard (preferably one that docks the tablet), wacom, and AT LEAST a 10" screen. the idea of working on spread sheets on a Nexus 7 is completely laughable. 7" tablets are consumption devices. with wacom, a 7" device could maybe be a work device for a graphic artist or something, but that's about it.
    theoilman
    • Bluetooth

      I bought a very nice bluetooth keyboard for my Nexus 7. Cost me $25.00 at Microcenter. Works very well. Keep it in a drawer at work, and use it mostly for e-mails (the firewall blocks outside e-mail providers). When I need to get real work done, though, I mainly use my ASUS Transformer, just because of the bigger screen. I have used the Nexus 7 in a pinch, though.
      dsf3g
  • Nexus 7 wouldn't function for us

    The Nexus 7 would not function at all in our work environment, no matter what you install on it. That's because we are 5GHz only wireless and it only supports 2.4GHz.
    Hemo2
    • Doesn't sound much

      like a "can do" environment.
      JustCallMeBC
      • What can I say.

        It's an environment that we actually maintain control over. Unlike a spaghetti mess that most folks want their BYOD environment to be like.
        Hemo2
  • as agnostic as the pope

    Not sure if background in windows, but now entirely in the Apple ecosystem counts as OS agnostic, but why quibble...............

    But the choices seem sound (except the one for not being able to remember passwords), and the best choices I've found for work on an Android tab. Lack of legacy and x86 being the real blocker to truely being useful.
    Surface pro in time (2nd gen probably)
    Boothy_p
  • Welcome to android

    AKH welcome to android. I might suggest you look at few other things. You will probably want to install the Evernote widget as well (very nice easy access tools for Evernote). I would look at some of the other file manager as well es file explorer does ftp, and network shares as well as dropbox and other cloud services.
    alex_darkness