I buy a lot of gadgets, enough to prompt my financial advisor to ask what I spend all my money on.
One thing that has been bothering me lately is finding a tablet I like. I started out with a 1st gen iPad, but I decided I didn’t like iOS on a tablet for 2 reasons. First, there was the no flash issue. And second, there’s a limit to the amount of customization you can do. I’d have to have to make do with a table without SwiftKey.
Around this time, I had work by my and HP Slate 500 to see if we could use it in-house for light tasks. It was an abomination. Windows 7 did not lend itself well to the tablet. From what I’ve seen of 8, I’m still not optimistic. Seriously, Microsoft, you were the biggest software company in the world. Get your shit together. We shall speak of it no more.
I moved from my iPad to a Motorola Xoom. I liked the Xoom for the first few months I had it, but immediately after I bought it, the Xoom II was announced, and as I downloaded software updates on the device, it seemed to get clunkier instead of smoother. As of this writing, I think the Xoom is something like 18 or 19 months from it’s introduction, and it already shows its age. That’s not necessarily Motorola’s fault. Things have been moving fast in the tablet arena. Still, I was keeping my eyes open for the next big thing.
I have a coworker who let me drool over her Nexus 7. I wanted one badly, but I didn’t want to give up the 10″ screen size. So, when Google announced the Nexus 10, I decided to go for it, sight unseen. Of course, I read every rumor page and speculative blog entry until I thought I had a pretty good picture or what I was getting. And when the tablet went on sale for the first day, I was able to order the 32gb version in the 40 minute window where it was available.
I believe the appropriate term is squee.
A lot of people ask, why do you want a phone that’s bigger than a phone and doesn’t do phone calls. Well, honestly, the tablet has a limited niche, and if I were comfortable with a small screen, I could just use my phone and I wouldn’t need it at all. Primarily, I use my tablet for web surfing, casual gaming, short email replies (my phone is just as good at this, or better) and remote terminal when I’m too lazy to get up and walk to a computer. That being said, when I spent the last week sick, I was happy to have it.
One of the things I find most amazing is the weight and shape of the device. The Xoom was not only shaped like a tank, but the build quality was lower than what I would have expected of Motorola. It had the big squared of edges of a “rugged” device, but the chassis flexed and popped in a way I didn’t care for–even the solid aluminum iPad was more comfortable to hold. In comparison, the Nexus 10 is a joy to hold, easier to grip and a better shape. Perhaps because of this the device seems significantly lighter despite being only a few ounces different on paper.
One thing I didn’t care for (which the Xoom did have) was the lack of an memory port. Having to pay an extra $100 for the 32GB version seems a bitter pill to swallow when I was able to buy a 64GB SanDisk microSDXC Ultra card for $39 last weekend (the 16MB goes for $15). Still, not all tablets have expansion, and it was still $100 less the the iPad,
Overall, I’ve been quite pleased with the device. The Nexus 10 is everything I wanted a tablet to be. It has a sharp screen, it’s easy to hold, and it’s fast. And if you’re like me and actually want a 10″ tablet, you could do much worse.