Sat
Feb 23 2013
01:05 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Been using the Nexus 7 for a little more than six months now and I'm still very happy with it. I use it a lot. (Previously: first impressions review.)

Since I purchased mine, Google has doubled the storage for the same price, and added mobile data versions for AT&T and T-Mobile for a $50 premium (plus carrier data plan, etc.).

Some recent developments after the jump...

Google recently pushed out an Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 update. I haven't noticed anything significant, but here's the change log (items marked "new" are included in the 4.2.2 update). They've added a bunch of new "cards" to the Google Now app. (In an earlier update they fixed it so the home screen can rotate so it acts more like a tablet.)

About the same time, Flipboard released an update to fully support Android tablets in tablet mode. Previously they only supported a phone version. The update is very nice, and works how a tablet UI should work. Google has also updated Currents, which is also very nice.

After a long wait of many months, I finally scored a Nexus 7 docking station. Google Play does not have them, and the only place I ever saw them available in the US was ExcaliberPC.com. I had never heard of them but took a chance and ordered from them with no drama. (Looks like they are now on backorder there.)

Anyway, there's not much to it except connectors for the gold "pogo pin" connections on the side of the Nexus 7, a USB connection for power and an audio jack for hooking up external speakers (which I haven't used). The main benefit for me is that the tablet stays charged all the time now. Before, it was a bit of a hassle to hook up the USB adapter when I wasn't using it. The dock is way more convenient.

It activates Daydream which by default just shows a large floating clock. There are some settings for other types of displays. I guess it would make a nice digital clock/streaming radio for your nightstand.

The Mrs. got me a couple of other nice accessories for my birthday a while back. One is this cover. (The "official" covers have been on backorder at the Google Play store since day one.) This one is pretty nice and is great for protecting your tablet screen when traveling. I don't use it around the house. There are several covers available, but many of them seem gimmicky. This one is nice and light and simple.

The other thing she got me was this stylus. I was skeptical at first as to whether I would use it, but I find myself using it all the time, especially when typing text on the tablet.

UPDATE ON THE DOCK: Never mind about the Nexus 7 dock. It isn't keeping my tablet reliably charged. It is very sensitive to how you place the tablet in it to get it to charge in the first place. Even when you do it correctly, it seems to stop after a while. I place the Nexus 7 in the dock, verify it is charging, and the next morning the battery is lower than when I left it. So, not recommended.

66
like
Tess's picture

keyboard

One of the students at work has a case with a universal keyboard to work with 7" tablets. She has the Nexis 7, too, I think. Anyway, if you haven't seen the keyboard, it is cool!

(Don't know if this is the kind she has or not...)
(link...)

cafkia's picture

I too own and use a Nexus 7.

I too own and use a Nexus 7. I also have a 10" tablet that I had first (not a Nexus). The 7 is so much easier to carry around(it fits in my back pocket with the case) that it is all I use for media consumption. The 10" has a keyboard/battery with it and I do use it as a laptop but the 7 sees a lot more use. And yes, it is smooth and polished. I really do wish it came with a microUSB port but that could not make me use it more as it is already my constant companion.

Great screen - I keep mine turned down to 20% or less than max most of the time.

Smooth OS -

Plenty of accessories - I too own and use styli. I bought the case from Amazon and it is one of those that turns it on when opened.

I highly recommend the computer.

R. Neal's picture

Nexus 7 dock update

Never mind about the Nexus 7 dock. It isn't keeping my tablet charged any more. It is very sensitive to how you place the tablet in it to get it to charge in the first place.

Even when you do it correctly, it seems to stop after a while. I place the Nexus 7 in the dock, verify it is charging, and the next morning the battery is lower than when I left it.

Unfortunately the retailer return window is passed, so I am probably stuck with a $40 paperweight. I have contacted Asus warranty, but I don't expect much. I think it's a bad design with the "pogo" plugs, which is probably why Google has never offered it and you can't find them anywhere.

Not recommended.

tennesseevaluesauthority's picture

Loved my Nexus 7

I loved my Nexus 7 from the moment I got it for my birthday in January right up until the moment it quietly fell out of my overcoat pocket at Senor Taco last week and was never seen again.

I'm guessing that it ended up remaining the booth after the Bride and I left and the next visitors won an unexpected door prize. When I realized what had happened, I called the restaurant and the staff were eager and helpful. When I got back to the restaurant everyone helped me look.

On our next visit this week, the manager even came by to offer his condolences and to find out if (hopefully) it had somehow ended up under my car seat instead. He was quite concerned about it...maybe more than me.

So, I've lost my favorite new toy, but I have reaffirmed my faith in the staff at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I've been dining there for 11 years. I'll need a few more giant mugs of beer to console myself and some Yucateca salsa, though.

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