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Nexus 7 – A Handy Companion


Christmas comes early for Gadgetshelf as Asus Philippines, thru their Incredible Innovations Tour event, awards one of its submitted photographs a 16GB Nexus 7. I picked it up last Friday and I’ve been using and fine tuning it till now… I wanted to see how a 16GB configuration, with a working set of apps that I use regularly, holds up since this device does not have an expansion slot.

Lets take a visual tour around the device:

AroundN7 Its pretty straightforward with only the power and volume rocker as physical buttons on the right side, microUSB and earphone jack at the bottom, and an accessory port at the left side which hopefully will see some docking action early next year. In terms of hardware, the lack of a rear camera might be a downer to most, however, users with a camera tend to use that anyway instead of holding up a tablet device to take a picture.

That said, let me introduce you to my homescreen:


In here there are 4 widgets and 6 application folders which pretty much hold everything for me except the games of which there’re 2 installed. I’ve been using Android since Eclair or even Cupcake and that means I’ve pretty much narrowed down the apps that really matter for my purposes. There are 5 homescreens available should you require more widgets but I’ve learned to live on one with minor expansions to the left and right for quick viewing. The device runs on the latest 4.2.1 Jellybean Android OS and will most likely get up to another years worth of updates.

Here’s the storage analysis as of today which for me comprise of an already solid set of apps (along with redundancies, you can never have too many of those):

Screenshot_2012-12-18-14-12-48You can see above that I’m already using plenty of the space for miscellaneous data which are not essential to the system. What this means for you, future owner, is that you’ll most likely be just on a third of the device capacity with plenty of app drawer screens already.

It is important to note however that most graphic intensive games require a download that will eat up to 1 gig of data or more so that would potentially fill the space up as well. So if you’re a heavy gamer, I highly suggest buying one of greater capacity, at least the 32GB version.

Now I’d like to share some insight about the battery life and charging cycle of the Nexus 7:


In the graph above, blue shows charging via USB port, green via AC. The steeper curve (green) simply means that it charges quicker and if projected, thats about 3.5 hours from zero to full. Regular use would most probably lead to the listed 9 hour operation with a 10% decline every hour of continued use. The Tegra 3 core does manage the power very well… I’ve only had to charge it twice from the date I’ve gotten the device to today.

What I found with the device, having come from a 10” tablet, is that its handy nature does allow it to be used more often than the former. In fact, I’ve managed to type my Park Square entry while on a bench within Glorietta on the same day. I did have to bluetooth my photos into the device first because of the lack of connectivity options compared to my TF101. Reading books and vertically formatted websites is also better with this as navigation can be done with one hand without too much strain from weight.

I dont have my TF101 with me so my 4” Xperia X10 and a mouse would have to serve as scale for now:

_1070400 It really is pretty handy; when typing however, you’re most likely to either use both hands, touchtype with your dominant hand, or utilize the built in gesture typing function that comes with the default keyboard… better yet, use the voice recognition which can even run offline… you’d have to use an English/American accent however so the device would better understand what you’re trying to say to it.

Another thing I love about this device is that, with the updated core, most anything you can throw at it can be played:


This is a 1080p music video in MKV format with FLAC audio and it runs flawlessly. I have this issue with the screen however because it tends to have a broad white spectrum which makes detail and light colors less defined. The speaker isn’t stereo so its best to bring along a pair of earphones with it, as well as to not disturb those next to you.

The Nexus 7 is not a phone and not nearly as productive as a tablet (which is why there’s the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10)… It is a go-to device and a very powerful media consumption / presentation tool with the capacity for creation as well. If your comfort lies with Google and Android, then look no further; this is a very well balanced machine (specs / battery / purpose-wise) whose potential can only escalate.

The official release with 16GBs of storage starts off at nearly 13k SRP, and to all those taking one home this holiday season, do enjoy tweaking the device to match your personality, it is, after all, one of the many strengths that Android has to offer.

Thanks once again goes out to Asus Philippines for the early present!

Submittals (3) Winning entry taken with the VivoTab TF810, Fixed Focus set to 2MP capture

About the author

Mark O.

Mark is an architect and artist who endeavors to design most anything that requires a little bit of thought into it.

Although writing is not considered a primary focus, a little too much time can yield many thoughts that are just begging to be written down.

Armed with a trusty array of content creation devices and surrounded with a continuous flux of technology and life, herein lies those that are fortunate enough to have been given presence through a little bit of movement and a whole lot of iterations.


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